Monsoon pantry: Healthy must-haves!

By Puja Gupta
New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANSlife) The monsoon season is possibly every Indians favourite season! Well it is certainly infamous for one’s cravings for all-things-fried, along with a plethora of diseases and infections that are highest during this time of the year.

However, this year due to the external situation, disease and virus is not just limited to water-borne or monsoon specific illnesses, the deadly pandemic continues to cause global havoc. With extra caution, we have not only become mindful of our surroundings while outdoors but are also watchful of the food consumed. Immune boosting foods have been emphasised to tackle monsoon woes, and also to build the body’s resistance in the long run.

While there is no such thing as a monsoon diet, prepare a fully stocked pantry with these common ingredients to secure good health in the coming months. Nutritionist Sheryl Salis suggests:

Corn

Corn is a staple favourite in the monsoon, whether as boiled or roasted bhutta, these yellow pearls when garnished with chili powder, salt and lemon is a taste in heaven!

Corn is easily available as a local delicacy during this season; it is also a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, and proteins. As a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber, it helps in preventing constipation or digestive problems

The antioxidants in corn help prevent cancer and reduce the chances of heart problems and controls blood pressure

Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil (VCNO)

Virgin coconut oil has been a staple in many Indian households; it is a superfood with health benefits such as weight management, helps improve immunity and boosts energy

The important MCFAs present in Coconut Oil are lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid. The function of monolaurin also found in coconut oil is an antiviral- that kills the virus by dissolving the protective lipids surrounding it. Makin VCNO an excellent superfood that helps improve the immune system

It can be used in cooking, baking vegan desserts at home or even as a salad dressing or sauteing basic vegetables

It is also recommended to consume 2 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil every day for a healthy and energetic start to the day

Ginger

Whether it is infused in tea at your favorite roadside stall or prepared at home, adrak chai is an absolute favorite on a rainy day!

Ginger has powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties and therefore a great herb to incorporate in the diet. Ginger is used in Indian cuisine in every part of India.

Studies suggest that ginger may effectively protect against respiratory tract infections, fungal infections and inflammatory diseases

Ginger can be added to your cup of morning water/ kada or tea to boost immunity

Prepare an easy immunity drink by adding ginger and lemon slices to infused water

Groundnuts/ Monkey nuts

These deliciously crunchy nuts have several health benefits that are often lesser known. A rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, iron etc., it boasts of healthy fat, protein and is low in carbohydrates

It has resveratrol which is present in wine, which not only provides protection to the heart but also prevents Alzheimer’s.

Stock up on some monkey nuts and boil them for a quick evening snack. Don’t shun them thinking they are high in calories, rather have them in moderation for a much-required energy boost

Stock your pantry with these monsoon essentials and bring back sweet memories of the rainy days. While you’re at it, you’ll be gifting yourself the nutritional benefits to stay healthy too. Lastly, do not forget to maintain hygiene by washing hands regularly and keeping your surroundings clean.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

–IANS
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