There’s something about the rains that makes us want to sit by the window with a steaming cup of chai and a plate of freshly fried pakoras. As indulgent as this sounds, we have to remember that the monsoons are a time to pay special attention to what we eat. That’s because the rains bring with them an increased risk of infections. Now, while paying attention to our immunity at this time is important, it can seem challenging to implement habits that help.
I have a simple mantra to overcome that: Immunity is thinking healthy, eating healthy, and moving healthy. Here are my suggestions on how you can build your immunity this moody season where getting out of bed is an effort:
Do breathing exercises for 5 minutes every day
The foundation of our bodies starts with our breath and so, you can boost your immunity with breathing exercises. Set aside 5 minutes every day to practice breathwork or Pranayama, which is a great way to regulate your system and clear your sinuses. Breathing exercises like Kapalbhati aid in digestion and reduce blood pressure. These exercises are also a great way to clear your mind and get energised.
Also read: Reasons why you should give kombucha a shot
Take care of your diet
The rains tend to disrupt a lot of our routines, so sticking to a meal plan or workout schedule can be especially difficult in the monsoons but keeping a few tips in mind can make eating healthy really easy:
- Start your day with a glass of warm water: Self-care starts with staying hydrated. Due to cooler weather in the monsoon, you may not feel as thirsty as usual and end up drinking less water than you should. However, water plays a vital role in flushing toxins out of our system. A glass of warm water in the morning helps wake you up, detoxifies your body, and is a great way to meet your hydration goals.
- Eat freshly-cooked food: To avoid infections, it is better to consume freshly-cooked food. Humid weather promotes bacterial growth, making it easier to contract food-borne illnesses. Raw food and leftovers older than a day should be avoided. As tempting as the day-old pizza in the fridge sounds, it’s better to go for a healthier and fresher alternative for breakfast. Trust me.
- Choose gut-friendly foods: Opt for light and easily digestible foods like fruits and leafy vegetables that are easier on your gut and can boost your energy. Washing your vegetables thoroughly is essential in the monsoons, especially those bought from open markets.
- Drink teas high on adaptogens: Kickstart your day with immunity-boosting foods like turmeric, ginger, and garlic. Herbal teas, such as ginger or tulsi tea with a pinch of turmeric, can be an excellent way to stay healthy and cleanse your system effortlessly. Tulsi has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties and is high in zinc and vitamin C. As a result, it boosts natural immunity and limits the spread of infections. Tulsi tea is also known to reduce stress levels, so a cup of tea before bed can help you sleep better.
- Go easy with cold, spicy and dairy foods: Since your body works harder to fight off infections during monsoons, it's best to limit spicy and cold foods as they can be challenging to digest. Be mindful of dairy products, as they tend to spoil quickly in humid weather. Avoid leaving dairy items out for extended periods and consume them immediately.
The simplest way to take care of yourself during the monsoon is to listen to your body. Embracing healthy eating habits can be the first step in a transformative journey to live better each day. Setting realistic goals and starting with small steps is a great way to bring about a big change in your life.
Anshuka Parwani is a celebrity yoga and holistic wellness expert and the founder of yoga studio, Anshuka Yoga.
Also read: How to take care of your diet during monsoon