With the mercury levels heading north, summers are in full swing, completely draining us out. The blistering heat makes us dehydrated with extreme thirst and lows on energy. We look for ways to cool and soothe ourselves. Hence, it’s important to maintain health by choosing the right kind of seasonal foods as per the summers. Summer days bring with them loads of different fruits and vegetables.
The key for summers is to EAT LIGHT and HAVE PLENTY OF FLUIDS to
- ensure a cool mind and body
- easy digestion
- fulfil daily requirement of nutrition.
~ So here’s your checklist of the healthiest summer foods –
Beverages are a must have to stay hydrated. Go for drinks that provide health benefits and replace minerals and electrolytes with fewer calories from sugar and no preservatives.
- Water: Best and ideal drink to quench thirst. At least 2-2.5 litres should be the daily consumption. It may vary with the activities and seasons.
- Coconut water: It has amazing cooling properties, electrolytes, minerals and simple sugars that helps in keeping the body well hydrated.
- Lime water: It’s refreshing and replenishes the body of it’s lost fluid. Have it chilled and beat the heat.
- Fruit juices: Fresh fruit juices (no added sugar) work as an antioxidant source and helps replenish the body fluids
- Buttermilk (chaas): A chilled spicy buttermilk (masala chaas, jeera hing lassi) is a delicious coolant. A glass every day keeps the digestive system in check. Curd in the form of raitas, cold soups works great for the body. buttermilk / chaas
- Vegetable juices, Cumin coriander water (jeera dhania paani), cocktail of your greens like spinach, coriander, lemon with garlic – help from hydration to weight loss and immunity boosting to detoxification.
- Bael sherbat, Kokum sherbat, Traditional sattus, Aam Panna, Thandai are great summer coolers.
- Popsicles of lime juice, mint, coriander, ginger or watermelon froze yogurt pops, mint mojito popsicles etc.
Foods apart from beverages that keep our body cool are –
- Watermelon: A fruit that helps keep cool, protects our skin from oxidative stress, clears acne, brightens a dull complexion because of its water content.
- Cucumber: Literally as it goes Cool as a cucumber". It’s crunchy with the good load of fibre.
- Mint: Easily available, refreshing and inexpensive herb to be used extensively in raitas, as chutney, dips, in beverages etc.
- Onions: They have amazing cooling properties and thus provide protection against sunburn. Can be added to curries, raitas, salad etc
- Melons: Eat them to stay cool and hydrated as they are juicy, healthy and tasty. They help prevent many health problems. Use them in cold soups, smoothies, desserts salads etc.
- Bottle gourd (Lauki): It’s a superhero vegetable. Great for weight loss, Hypertension, Cradiac problems, Diabetes.
- Tulsi seeds: Add this traditional coolant to your drinks and keep the heat at bay.
Take home message to all my friends out there –
Eat light. Hydrate. Make your own refreshing drinks. Cut intake of fried, spicy foods.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol.