Monsoon pantry: Healthy must-haves!

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 are 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.

Corn is a staple favourite in the monsoon, whether as boiled or roasted bhutta, these yellow pearls when garnished with chilli powder, salt and lemon is a taste in heaven! It is easily available as a local delicacy during this season; it is also a great source of fibre, carbohydrates, and proteins. As a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre, it helps in preventing constipation or digestive problems. The antioxidants in corn help prevent cancer and reduce the chances of heart problems and control 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 two teaspoons of virgin coconut oil every day for a healthy and energetic start to the day.

Whether it is infused in tea at your favourite roadside stall or prepared at home, adrak chai is an absolute favourite 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/ kadaor 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.

Favoured for their thick peels that keep the fruit from any external damage, pomegranates shine in the wealth of the nutrition. A fruit loaded with antioxidants and a plethora of other health benefits much needed by the body during monsoons. They say ‘the way to a person’s heart is through his stomach’ and what other than Pomegranates can do it better? The sweet arils are a perfect mouth-watering substitute for desserts, add them to your daily diet, and you are sure to be pomegrateful!

Bananas are often referred to as the ‘Nutritional Powerhouse’. They provide you with the right amount of carbs for the energy your body needs. Did you know that 10% of your daily fibre requirement comes from a Banana? So say hello to a happier belly with a Banana a day and your body will thank you a bunch later!

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 your hands regularly and keeping your surroundings clean.