Indian belly can ruin your trip if you let your taste buds run amok. India has one of the best foods for your drooling palette and some basic steps ensure you stay safe, whilst you engage in self-indulgence. Here are three basic rules I can swear by. I have traveled to India many times with my small daughter and I swear we never fall sick. Here is our mantra:
- Drink and drink only bottled water. Go to any shop and ask for Bisleri, the first bottled water brand, it is now a generic term for bottled water. If you don’t have access to bottled water, you can have RO water (RO being reverse osmosis), a process to purify water. You can also boil water for about 20 minutes and then consume it within 2 days.
- Avoid raw foods especially, salad. Most Indian dishes are served with vinegar onion (yum) or cucumber yoghurt. Control!!! Its a luxury you can’t afford. Avoid it at all cost. You can have anything that’s cooked and is still “warm”. Remember, India's a tropical country and it doesn’t take time for microbes to multiply. That is the reason you need to have hot, cooked food.
- Avoid milk for the first week. Indians drink buffalo’s milk and cow’s milk is a rarity. Start with milk products like yogurt and then try and stick to toned milk. Indian yogurt is the best I have tasted so far. You can also have the ubiquitous Indian tea. Its boiled, healthy and if herbal, aids your digestion.
- Stay odomoized to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Odomos is a local mosquito repellent brand. Don’t try and carry mosquito repellents from the west. Indian mosquitoes are thick skinned much like India itself .
- It might be worth it to invest in soft Lucknowi cotton kurtis. They will keep you covered and safe. You can get them for as low as $3 from Chandni chowk. Whats better than a slice of the old world with some shopping indulgence?
Stick to these simple rules and you will have a fun and safe trip…