The rainy season provides relief from the sweltering heat but it also carries its own set of health risks as throughout this time, infections and illnesses are common, which renders an effective immune system essential. Building immunity becomes a primary concern to avoid seasonal illnesses and relish the downpours without becoming ill.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Edwina Raj, Head of Services, Clinic Nutrition and Dietetics at Aster CMI Hospital, suggested the following essential tips to strengthen your immunity and enjoy a healthy monsoon season –
I. Eat a balanced and nutrient-rich diet:
To shore up your immune system during the monsoon season, eat a well-balanced diet. Include a range of veggies and fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins in your diet. These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help your body’s immune defences. Fruits, such as oranges , guava, kiwi , papaya , lemons, are high in vitamin C, which aids in improving immunity. Likewise, ginger, garlic, and turmeric have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Balancing your diet with adequate intake of protein sources supports to recovery and fight infections by including foods such as dhals, beans, sprouts, peas, eggs, fish, mushroom. Your gut health should be your priority as we know the foods that we eat matters for healthy bacteria to harbour in our gut, therefore include prebiotic and natural probiotic containing foods along with fiber like fruits, vegetables, fermented grains, fermented vegetables, curd, onion, sprouts, kefir, barley aid to a healthy gut and minimise the impact of unhealthy bacteria that increases the risk of inflammation and hence avoid foods that disrupts your gut health such as processed foods, excess intake of sugar/sweets and unhealthy fat.
Furthermore, drinking plenty of water is essential for staying hydrated and flushing toxins from your body. Proper hydration strengthens your immune system and aids in the fight against infections. To stay warm and hydrated during the monsoon, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day and opt for hot herbal teas.
II. Practice good hygiene:
During the monsoon period, personal hygiene is essential for avoiding the transmission of diseases. Handwashing with soap and water on a routine basis, particularly before meals, is essential for removing dangerous viruses and bacteria from your hands. Stroking your face often can spread germs from your hands to vulnerable areas such as your eyes, nose, and mouth.
If soap and water are not readily accessible, bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to successfully decontaminate your hands. To minimize the possibility of contamination, clean and sanitise commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs and switches. In addition, keep your living space clean and free of stagnated water to avert mosquito breeding and the disperse of mosquito-borne diseases.
III. Get sufficient sleep and manage stress:
Sufficient sleep and stress management are widely misunderstood elements of immune system health. Set a goal to get 7-8 hours of restful sleep each night during the monsoons. Poor sleep reduces the strength of your immune system, making you more vulnerable to pathogens. Establish an inviting and pleasant sleeping environment and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
Stress management is also important because chronic stress stifles immune function. Relieve anxiety by practising relaxation methods like meditating, deep breathing exercises, or yoga. These practices enhance the production of immune-boosting cells while also improving overall health. Avoid using electronic devices too close to bedtime because the blue light they emit can interrupt your sleep patterns.
IV. Regular physical activity:
Daily exercise is an effective way to boost your immune system and boost your general wellness. Even during the monsoon season, participate in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. Take into account indoor exercises or substitute activities such as dancing or aerobics if outdoor activities are not possible due to heavy rain.
Yoga is a great replacement because it improves not only flexibility and strength but also immunity and stress reduction. Various online indoor workout routines can be customised to your fitness level and preferences. Workout improves circulation and stimulates antibody production, allowing immune cells to reach various locations throughout the body more effectively.