Monsoon and digestive health: Navigating the rainy season with care

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The monsoon season brings relief from the scorching summer heat but also introduces various health challenges, particularly concerning our digestive system. The increase in humidity, waterborne diseases, and specific infections secondary to waterlogging & dietary changes during this season can lead to digestive discomfort and infections. Understanding the impact of the monsoon on digestive health is essential to navigate this season with care.
Waterborne Diseases and Hygiene Precautions: During monsoon, waterborne diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, and Hepatitis are more prevalent due to contaminated water sources.To protect your digestive health, it is crucial to maintain proper hygiene. Drink only purified or boiled water and avoid consuming raw vegetables, fruits, or street food that may have been washed in contaminated water. Washing hands and feet frequently, especially after wading through water-logged areas, and maintaining cleanliness minimises the risk of infections.

Food Safety and Dietary Modifications: Monsoon brings an abundance of fresh produce, but it is essential to be cautious about the source and storage of food items. Raw vegetables and fruits may carry bacteria & germs, so thoroughly washing them with clean water or cooking them before consumption prevents infections. Avoid eating stale or uncovered food from roadside stalls. Warm, cooked meals are easier to digest during this season. Opting for light and easily digestible foods like soups, stews, and steamed vegetables supports the digestive system.Gut-Friendly Foods and Probiotics: Including gut-friendly foods in your diet can help maintain a healthy digestive system during the monsoon. Consuming fiber-rich foods like whole grains, legumes, and fresh vegetables helps promote regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and fermented vegetables aid in maintaining a balanced gut microbiota, enhancing digestion & boosting immunity. These foods provide beneficial bacteria that can protect against digestive ailments.

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Maintaining Hydration and Fluid Balance: Proper hydration is crucial for optimal digestive health, especially during the monsoon when the humidity levels are high. Ensuring an adequate intake of fluids throughout the day prevents dehydration, which can lead to constipation and other digestive issues. Along with water, include herbal teas, fresh fruit juices, and coconut water to replenish electrolytes. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages and carbonated drinks, as they may cause dehydration.

Taking care of our digestive health becomes even more vital during the monsoon season. Practising proper hygiene, consuming safe and nutritious foods, and maintaining hydration can reduce the risk of digestive ailments. Also, don’t forget to listen to your body and seek medical attention if you experience persistent digestive discomfort. Stay healthy and enjoy the monsoon season to the fullest!
Article Courtesy: Dr Satish Kulkarni, Consultant Gatroenterologist, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital,Vashi)

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