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Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmendoza/4069052407
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmendoza/4069052407

With rainy days becoming more frequent this June, there are two things we want to do more often—
eat and sleep.

When the rains dampen our clothes and mood, we usually crave for hot, filling dishes that will give us comfort during the gloomy weather.

So, go ahead and indulge in our Top 5 Rainy Day Pinoy comfort food:

1. CHAMPORADO
Nothing beats champorado when the weather gets cold. Both filling and sweet, this chocolate rice porridge is made of glutinous rice mixed with milk and instant cocoa powder or native tablea (pure cocoa blocks). It’s a popular breakfast and meriyenda fare best enjoyed with dried fish.

2. ARROZ CALDO or GOTO
The name arroz caldo is Spanish in origin, which literally means “rice broth”, but the dish actually originated from the Chinese. This rice porridge often served to keep the stomach warm. Because it’s easily digested, it is also served to those feeling under the weather.

Whereas arroz caldo uses chicken, goto uses tripe, beef and internal organs. Meanwhile, lugaw is simply plain rice congee. You will certainly like these warm dishes on a rainy day—or night!

3. BULALO
Bulalo is a tender beef shank soup with the marrow still inside the bone. A very flavorful and rich dish, it is a certified favorite during the rainy season. However, take care in consuming bulalo as it is high in cholesterol and calories.

4. SOPAS
A creamy and hearty soup ideal not just for the cold weather but also for giving relief to common tag-ulan sicknesses such as cough, colds and fever, sopas is made of elbow macaroni, milk, shredded veggies and chicken bits.

5. SINIGANG
Best known for its sour base of tamarind, the preparation of this Filipino soup dish varies per region. It often incorporates any of the following meats: fish pork, shrimp or beef cooked with vegetables like kangkong, okra, tomatoes and radish among others. You’ll be enjoying sipping its balance of salty, sour and spicy while listening to the pitter-patter of rain on your roof.

But if you’re craving a quick fix, dash to the nearest bakery and buy hot pan de sal. Spread with peanut butter, cheese or jam and dunk it in your coffee or hot chocolate drink. There are many delicious ways to keep warm this tag-ulan!

food

With temperatures soaring at this time, food spoilage is one of our immediate concerns.

Ingesting contaminated food and drinks results to diarrhea or even food poisoning which may lead to dehydration. And dehydration is the very thing we need to avoid when the season is hot and dry.

So why do food spoilage easily occur during the warmer months? Most likely because of the following factors:

Improper food storage
This is the leading cause of food spoilage. Perishable food unrefrigerated for more than two hours is better headed to your compost pit than your stomach. Foods such as fish, meat, poultry and dairy products are especially prone to contamination in warmer weather.

Spoilage Bacteria.
These microscopic organisms multiply, sometimes rapidly, as long as nutrition and water are present. Bacterial growth rate is high in warm climate, resulting to the rotten appearance and foul smell in spoiled food.

To prevent food spoilage from spoiling your fun in the sun, here are some tips to keep your food safe and fresh:

· Wash your hands before handling food.

· Store food items separately and in tightly sealed containers to prolong their shelf life.

· Monitor food for sign of spoilage. If food is on its way to getting spoiled, remove it immediately to prevent its bacteria contaminating everything else inside the refrigerator.

· Avoid cross contamination by using separate utensils for raw and cooked foods.

· Thaw frozen food in a refrigerator or microwave oven before cooking, and not in the counter to avoid bacteria from rapidly contaminating your food.

· Fruits and vegetables should be washed before cooking to remove any dirt and soil residue that may contain bacteria.

· Keep cold food cold and reheat food after it has been kept in room temperature for a long time to destroy any bacterial growth.

· When doing grocery shopping, head to the frozen food section last. Pack raw and cooked foods separately.

· When eating outdoors, keep food covered and under the shade to prevent pests from diving into them.

· When faced with the dilemma of food spoilage, remember the wise words, “Remember, if in doubt, throw it out!”

This rainy season, eat your way to better health! Learn how you can boost your immune system in five delicious ways.


Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattmendoza/4069052407

The rainy season, also known as the cough-and-colds season, is a challenge for people of all ages, health-wise. Though there are no conclusive studies that prove that the weather itself lowers our resistance to viruses and bacteria, some scientists believe that the cold weather encourages people to stay indoors. In this close proximity with other human beings, sicknesses become easily transmittable.

To protect yourselves, you need to have a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating, not only food that’s fresh and safe, but also the right kinds of food. Here are five foods to help you fight those nasty diseases.

1. Chicken Soup
It’s not only good for the soul, but also for your health. Aside from the obvious fact that a bowl of hot soup can warm you up, chicken, while being cooked, releases a type of amino acid that chemically resembles a bronchitis drug called acetylcysteine. If you’re craving a heavier version, whip up a pot of arroz caldo that doesn’t only give you your fill of carbs, but also ginger, believed to break down toxins in the lungs and sinuses to help you breathe easier, and onions and garlic—both natural antiseptics and immunity boosters.

2. Vitamin C-Rich Munchies
Vitamin C, which reduces cold symptoms by 23%, can be found in abundance in local citrus fruits such as calamansi and dalandan. You’d be surprised that other foods such as red bell pepper, papaya, tomatoes and broccoli also have high amounts of this antioxidant!

3. Fish and Shellfish
We’re lucky to be surrounded by the ocean so we have our bounty of seafood. Shellfish such as clams, oysters and crabs aids white blood cells in producing a kind of protein that help rid the body of flu viruses. (Just watch out for red tide season!) Meanwhile, omega-3 fats reduce inflammation, protecting lungs from respiratory infections. For your omega-3 fix, stock up on tuna, tanigue, tulingan, tawilis and dilis.

4. Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that make sure that your intestinal tract remains healthy and free from disease-causing germs. You can get these from yogurt and other food products. Just check the labels to see if they contain probiotics, particularly the bacteria called Lactobacillus reuteri, which block the multiplication of viruses that attack the body.

5. Water
People aren’t kidding when they say that water is life. Water is a cure-all for all sorts of sicknesses. It keeps your body hydrated, giving you the boost to fight those viruses. It also gives you an internal cleansing, washing away the toxins, released through waste products. Drink as much water as you can everyday—go beyond the required eight glasses!

There you have it—5 super foods to help you get through the rainy season. But before you dig in, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This prevents another disease common during the rains—the dreaded diarrhea!

Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/power-foods-boost-immunity
http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm
http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/boost-your-immunity-naturally
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/37856647/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/eat-killer-immunity/