Mercury levels are rising and summer is at its peak, and the scorching sun gives us enough reasons to constantly hunt for soothing foods which can comfort us in the heat. You can get dehydrated easily due to excess sweat and perspiration and thatâ€™s the time when you feel like reaching out for something cold like sodas, beverages or even cold water. This is where we go wrong because anything extremely low in temperature can constrict our blood vessels affecting the heat loss process from our body. Our expert Neha Chandna, a well-known nutritionist gives a few pointers to keep in mind during summer.
- Increase your water intake. In high humidity, you do not sweat adequately due to which you cannot release heat efficiently from your body. That is the reason why you need to drink enough water at regular intervals even if you are not thirsty, to cool your system.
- Eat lot of fresh fruits, raw salads and lightly spiced foods. Fruits and veggies are easy to digest and high in water content which helps in hydration. Avoid fried and junk foods as they take time to digest and require a lot of water. Spicy foods can also increase body heat.
- Drink naturally cooling beverages like coconut water, lemon juice, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, etc. rather than aerated soft drinks, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages as they contain sugar and other preservatives which act as diuretics (increase the flow of urine) and can cause loss of water from the body.
- You can add sabja (tulsi/basil seeds) to drinks as it has a cooling effect on the body.
- Curd is excellent for summers as it increases friendly bacteria in the gut and improves digestion and boosts immunity.
- Add veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, beet, etc to add to increase the water content in your body.
- Avoid heavy meals at one time as it can cause acidity and affect digestion. Rather, eat small meals to feel light and keep your system active.
- Raw mango is a special fruit in the summer season and is extremely good to prevent sunstroke and weakness. Raw mango juice also known as aam panna can help balance electrolytes in the body. You can also have raw mango in any form like adding it inbhel, salads or making a dish out of it.
Hereâ€™s a sample summer diet that you can follow:
Breakfast: Eat 2-3 fresh fruits as they can help neutralise your stomach acids and make you feel light and active. They are natural sources of energy.
Mid-morning: Have a glass of buttermilk/ coconut water to refresh you.
Lunch: Have a bowl of salad with 1-2 rotis, veggies and thin dals(You can add or subtract the rotisas per your appetite and requirement).
Evening: Have fruit yoghurt/fruit smoothie. They are filling, nourishing and very cooling.
Dinner: Always have a light dinner, especially during summers. Here are a few options â€“
stir fried veggies/ chilled soups + grilled chicken/ steamed fish/ low fat paneer/ tofu + jaljeera/ lemon juice.
The above mentioned diet is low in fat, medium in protein and high in good complex carbs which help control obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and many other ailments. So this summer, stay healthy and cool by eating right.