Updated Aug 12, 201
No doubt that Indian food is one of the top cuisines in the world. Depending on what part of India you visit, the food variety may differ significantly. Every region has its own preference of vegetables, spices & spice level, and cooking style. Of course you would want to try out as much as you can but some precautions while consuming food and water would go a long way for making your stay in India fun and mem0rable.
To begin, if you really want to try food from road-side stalls or at low-end restaurants, then request the vendor to a) wash hands before serving, b) rinse the silverware boiling water in front of you, even if you have to pay extra, and c) have them wear gloves if possible. If you are sanitizing your hands properly, then using fingers to eat food is well accepted in India and it indeed is fun eating with hands.
If it is raining or it is rainy season during your visit to India, then do NOT succumb to any temptation of having anything to eat from road-side vendors.
In salads, I would resist from consuming vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, or any other which can't be peeled. I take this precaution with only exceptions of top rated restaurants, hotels and franchise chains like McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, etc.
Bottom line here is: Have as much Cooked Food as possible.
Use bottled water only and that too from reputed shops, which most likely be visibly nice & clean. Even at top-rated restaurants, bottled water is the best option. Do ensure that the bottle is sealed and never opened before. If you have to visit anyone’s house, you most likely be served RO (reverse osmosis) water, which is equally safe.
Now, coming to air, there is no escape to pollution almost in whole of India with Himalayan regions the only exception. 14 of the most polluted cities in the world are in India with Delhi the sixth worst according to World Health Organization. With such poor outdoor air-quality, breathing-masks are advisable.
Of course the travel needs differ if you are a traveler with specific health needs, such as for pregnant, immune compromised or any other specific purpose.
Some useful items to carry: Hand Sanitizer lotion, Toilet rolls, and Paper soap
Some of the medicines which highly recommended that you should carry with you are for: Diarrhea (Imodium or Pepto-Bismol), Cough drops, Medicine for pain or fever (Tylenol), saline nose spray, decongestant and cough drops.
Though you may not be carrying every medicine with you, there are excellent over-the-counter medicines in India and that you can easily buy from chemists (pharmacy).
We have covered lots of other details for the travelers visiting India in our India business and travel guide 'ENTRY INDIA', which you can download for free here.