I have always been a weak baby, well health-wise. I catch a cold soon and get stomach issues as soon as I grab a bite of the tempting street foods. In the monsoon season making an entrance, things aren’t always easy for me. Sneezing and coughing become common. Like always, my mom has just the right home remedy for me – ginger-infused water for relief. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is an immunity booster. There are more reasons why ginger should be in your monsoon diet.
Health Shots consulted Dr Mohammad Safir Haider, Consultant – Emergency Medicine, Cygnus Laxmi Hospital, Varanasi, on ginger and its health benefits.
What are the benefits of ginger in monsoon?
In the monsoon season, ginger can be beneficial for maintaining health and fighting certain health problems. Here are ways in which ginger can help to combat health issues during monsoon:
1. Boosts immunity
During the rainy season, the risk of infections and illnesses is higher. During this time, ginger can help to strengthen the immune system. Dr Haider says that it contains antioxidants that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. So, it supports the overall immune function and reduces the risk of infections.
2. Relieves respiratory issues
Monsoon often brings damp and humid conditions, which can increase the incidence of respiratory problems like coughs, cold and congestion. Ginger’s natural expectorant properties can help to alleviate respiratory issues by loosening mucus and promoting its expulsion. It also has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce inflammation in the airways and provide relief from respiratory symptoms.
3. Ginger aids digestion
When it is all wet and humidity is high, it can lead to digestive issues such as indigestion, bloating, and foodborne illnesses due to increased moisture, says the expert. Ginger acts as a digestive aid by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes, improving digestion, and reducing bloating and gas.
4. Fights infections
The rainy season is associated with an increased risk of infections, including viral and bacterial infections. Ginger has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight against certain pathogens. It can prevent the growth of bacteria and viruses, potentially reducing the risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.
5. Improves blood circulation
In the monsoon, the high humidity levels can impact blood circulation, leading to sluggishness and discomfort. Ginger has vasodilatory properties, meaning it can help expand blood vessels and improve blood flow, says Dr Haider. By enhancing circulation, ginger promotes overall well-being and can alleviate symptoms such as fatigue.
How to include ginger in your diet
You can use ginger effectively to combat monsoon health problems. Here are some ways to incorporate it into your diet:
1. Ginger tea
Prepare ginger tea by simmering fresh ginger slices in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain it and consume the tea.
2. Ginger-infused water
Slice fresh ginger and add it to a jug of water. Let it infuse overnight then drink it throughout the day to reap the benefits of ginger, says the expert
3. Ginger in meals
Include grated or sliced ginger in your meals while cooking. It can add flavour to soups and curries.
4. Ginger supplements
You can also opt for ginger supplements that come in the form of capsules or tablets. However, consult with a doctor before starting any supplements.
Ginger can offer these potential benefits during monsoon, but it is not a substitute for maintaining good hygiene practices, staying hydrated and following a balanced diet.