The moment it starts to pour, one thought starts bogging us down- that is it’s time to prevent stomach problems. Monsoon is the season that makes people prone to diseases, especially gut-related problems.
The main reason behind having gut problems during monsoon is the consumption of unhygienic water and food. These factors upset the biome of our gut and impact all bodily functions. Vomiting and stomach pain are commonly seen in people owing to the consumption of poorly handled roadside food and water.
Upset stomach, painful cramps, and acidity are also associated with the monsoon season, as heavy and oily foods become tough to digest due to humidity. Other problems that can occur are food poisoning and bloating.
Eating raw and undercooked foods, contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli lead to food poisoning. Unhygienic water can cause diarrhoea, and eating with dirty hands can lead to stomach infections.
According to Dr Roy Patankar, leading gastroenterologist & director of Zen Multispeciality Hospital, Mumbai, gastroenteritis or stomach flu is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines often seen during the rainy season. This condition is caused by a bacterial or viral tummy bug.
“It is highly contagious and spreads owing to close contact with people who are infected or via contaminated food or water. The symptoms of it are watery diarrhoea and vomiting, abdominal cramp, pain, fever, nausea, occasional headaches, and a headache,” suggests Dr Patankar.
While these issues should be managed seriously, don’t fret because there are ways to prevent stomach problems, even in monsoon.
Try to consume yoghurt, buttermilk, cheese kefir, kombucha, and even fermented soybeans. Probiotics have good bacteria that act on our digestive system, aiding nutrition absorption and supporting the immune system.
Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you flush out toxins from your system, and aid the digestive system.
“Have steamed or boiled veggies instead of raw ones. Raw veggies contain bacteria and virus which lead to stomach infections, making it worse for your gut,” recommends Dr Patankar.
Make sure you are not indulging in seafood. During the rainy season, water is contaminated, meaning that the fish you eat could cause diarrhoea. Also, avoid eating roadside, junk, processed, and canned food.
“Everyone loves to eat pakoras and other fried food during the monsoon but it is a wrong practice. Do not eat heavy foods during the monsoon. The highly humid monsoon weather slows down the digestion process raising the risk of bloating, gas, acidity and indigestion,” suggests Dr Patankar.
While vegetables are generally considered healthy and full of essential nutrients, leafy greens should be avoided during the rainy season. Yes, you have heard it right! The grime and dampness in these green veggies due to humidity can make them susceptible to germs.
Avoid refined sugar as it may cause inflammation and promote the growth of bad bacteria, thereby upsetting the gut flora balance.
Choose healthier and lighter cooking oils like olive or sunflower, that are easy to digest and help maintain your gut health.
So, keep these tips in mind and enjoy the monsoon season with a healthy gut and improved immunity.