Summers have arrived all over India. The heat is on with many places in India already touching the temperature 42 plus degree. With the mercury level on the rise, the scorching sun has the potential to drain us out completely. The season here is to eat light. Person’s food intake shifts from consuming high-calorie food in the winter to low-calorie food. Many feel dehydrated during the summer months and experience low energy levels due to low levels of electrolytes like sodium, potassium, etc. This may be due to excessive sweating, eating less food, gaps between meals, and low intake of liquids.
Dehydration can lead to several additional problems like heat stroke, especially during summer. Dehydration in your brain can affect memory skills, cognitive behavior, judgment, migraine, and headaches. On the other hand, staying properly hydrated helps in keeping our memory sharp and clear skin. People are constantly hydrating, washing their faces, or eating cold treats and snacks to beat the painful heat. Hydration is key during the hot summer months and a “Secret tool” to weight loss, and the easiest ways to look younger.
The body’s nutritional requirements are different for every season, and for summers one must include foods in the diet which are light and easy to digest. The food that we eat in summer should be carefully thought about upon keeping in mind various factors. Summer is the best season for a variety of fresh fruits like mangoes, melons, and berries, vegetables that are high in water content like bottle guard, ridge guard, cucumbers, snake guard, etc, which have a cooling effect. Fruit smoothies, milkshakes, and vegetable and fruit juices are easy to make. Fresh lime water, Mintaid, buttermilk, mango Panna, and coconut water are also great thirst –quenchers, during summer.
One should be careful while eating extremely spicy, fried, heavy food and eating out, especially chutneys, raw salads, and fruits as it may lead to various health issues of digestion like food poisoning, diarrhea, vomiting, and acidity and bloating. Just like social –distancing, it is extremely crucial to practice sugar distancing. It is advised to switch to healthier natural alternatives to fulfill one’s cravings by using jaggery, dates, and stevia-based sweeteners known as “Meethi Tulsi” as they are 100% natural and beneficial for weight management.
As compared to winters, one tends to consume lesser calories in summer. It’s okay to consume fewer calories, but fluids should be taken in abundance. One can have low carbohydrates, low fat, and a moderate-protein diet. Complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses should be eaten. This is the best time to build up your immune system strong by eating a variety of foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Magical foods for summer
1. Watermelons and musk melons: Theseare so high in water content that it helps regulate body temperature. They are high in fiber also and loaded with antioxidants properties. It gives a wonderful cooling effect. Watermelon also contains lycopene which helps protect skin cells from sun damage.
2. Cucumbers and bottle gourd: It has fiber, and in summer it helps in avoiding constipation. It has got cooling effects on the body, It can be consumed in the form of raitas, juices, cucumber lassi with a few mint leaves, and salads.
3. Mangoes and Berries:As summer fruits they are refreshing and can prevent heatstroke. Mangoes are rich in iron, vitamin A and C which help build the immune system. Berries are filled with flavonoids which help the body fight many serious illnesses. Berries are also known to increase blood flow throughout the body. It can be consumed as full fruits, shakes, smoothies, and juices.
4. Curd and other low-fat dairy products: These are not the only powerhouse of calcium and protein, but also have a cooling effect. It can be consumed in the form of lassi, buttermilk, chach, different raitas, smoothies, and kadhi. It can enhance weight loss while strengthening bones and feeling full and satisfied.
5. Sugar-free summer coolers: One should not wait for the sensation of thirst, drink water frequently, and take plenty of sugar-free summer coolers in the form of milkshakes, fresh juices, green or herbal tea, jaljeera, namkeen lassi, buttermilk, ginger ale, fresh lime water, bhel sherbet, so your body can be hydrated and also it is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Add Sabja seeds or basil seeds to drink as it has a cooling effect on the body.
6. Mint:It is an inexpensive herb and is easily available. Mint not only keeps your body temperature cool but also gives you a refreshing effect. It can be consumed in the form of chutneys, mintaid, raita, and mint tea.
7. Tomatoes: It contain lycopene and carotenoid which gives natural protection against sunburns. It can be consumed in the form of salads, cold soups, and juice mixed with cucumber, mint, and lemon.
8. Corns: Corns contain antioxidants that help protect from sun rays and lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration which causes blindness. It can be eaten as roasted, sweet corn soup, sauteed corn, or cold corn salad.
9. Salads: A fresh salad comprising of cucumber, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, carrots with some nuts and immunity seeds, with a zero-calorie dressing made up of lemon juice, tomato juice, vinegar is a lot healthier than creamy dressing. It has got fiber, antioxidants properties which help your gut system to remain strong and its is lighter on the stomach also. Raw vegetables and sprouts may work better in your regular meal rather than a cooked version of the same ingredients.
Dietary tips to care in summer
1. Don’t skip meals. Take something after every 2 hours, either any beverage or a light snack, fruits, or biscuits.
2. Eat fresh and healthy food. Try to put less oil while preparing meals.
3. When coming from outside take refreshing beverages in the form of lassi, buttermilk, fresh lime water, coconut water, iced tea, smoothies, and mango Panna instead of plain water, so your electrolytes remain balanced.
4. When going out from home, carry a water bottle and one refreshing beverage along with healthy snacks like roasted makhana, roasted peanuts, roastedchanna,and biscuits.
5. Avoid too many aerated drinks.
6. Avoid fried food and junk food as they may cause discomfort in the gut system.
7. Cook food, especially meat and poultry at high temperatures so bacteria like E.coli, salmonella, and listeria are killed.
8. Do not leave food in an open environment, as harmful bacteria might enter the food and cause a gastrointestinal disturbance.
9. Avoid red meats and organ parts.
10. Walk for 30 to 40 minutes, do normal exercises, yoga every day.