Transition into the monsoon season has been a much-needed respite from the scorching summer heat for Indians across all states. However, the reality remains that we, as a nation are still fighting a battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, numerous false messages claimed that the virus would fail to survive in the tropical heat. While the WHO claimed that COVID-19 spreads in all climates, changes in weather bring with them unique challenges like the onset of malaria and dengue, especially in Visakhapatnam. At Yo! Vizag, we spoke to experts who can help us stay healthy, especially during the monsoon, even as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge every day.
In some relief, Indian weather can be adapted to very easily, says Clinical Nutritionist at Apollo Hospitals, Abhishta Goutham. With monsoon, however, there are higher chances of contracting air-borne illnesses. “One must create a warm, cosy work and home environment during these times. In order to overcome seasonal flu, one should prepare their body with a calorie and vitamin-rich diet and immunity boosters. A glass of warm water regularly works wonders. Focus on staying hydrated,” says Ms Abhishta.
She further emphasizes the importance of everyday ingredients easily found in Indian kitchens. “Garlic, onion, ginger, pepper, green tea are antioxidant-rich foods. One can also include fish, chicken and eggs into their diet. In addition to these from these, anti-viral foods like tulsi, ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemongrass and neem leaves can be used in making raw salads, or even beverages,” says the Clinical Nutritionist. Further, she suggests avoiding mucus-forming foods like bananas, refrigerated food like soft drinks, ice cream, and even frozen foods.
Mirroring her thoughts, Dr Rakesh Godavarthi, ENT Specialist says regular Indian balanced meals including leafy greens, dal and rice would suffice in terms of nutrition and vitamins. Apart from not getting drenched in rain, the doctor emphasizes consuming hot foods like soup, milk or even water throughout the day. Further, the ENT Specialist says viral fever is a common occurrence during the monsoon, the symptoms of which match those of COVID-19. Speaking about the phenomenon, Dr Godavarthi says, “People must not panic as most viral fever symptoms are common as those of COVID-19 as well. Steam inhalation, a balanced Indian diet and hot food go a long way in maintaining good health in the monsoon.”