Contributed by- Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist
Indian summer is turning out to be as hot as ever. Cases of heat stroke, dehydration, food poisoning, sluggish liver and bloating are on a rise. For good health days, our in-house nutritionist advice all to religiously follow the thumb rule of drinking lots of fluids to keep hydrated. For general well being during these high-temperature days, she has listed few foods that we should incorporate and a few we should avoid in this scorching summer.
10 Best Summer Cool Foods To Enjoy This Summer
Watermelon- It contains 90% water and is low in calories, making it the first option to hydrate in the sun. Opt for the whole fruit or a glass of fresh juice. For the taste-bud lovers, add a dash of lemon to it.
Gazpacho- It is a perfect cold summer soup, which is both delicious and refreshing. Cooked with healthy ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this light yet flavorful soup is preferred for its anti-oxidant properties. rich in lycopene and Vit C, Gazpacho has anti-ageing properties also.
Avocado- It is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and is recommended for a healthy heart.
Cucumber- It contains 95% of water, helping you keep hydrated and is low in calories and fats, vitamins, folate and potassium. It helps in weight loss, boosts metabolism and immune system.
Mint- It is an inexpensive herb and very refreshing. It can be added to curd to create an appetizing raita or chutney or as a dip. Mint leaves are loaded with antioxidant and phytonutrient which helps in digestion and soothes our tummy. Moreover, mint is a great appetizer and palate cleanser.
Coconut water- Put coconut water on the top of your list to stay hydrated. It is the best natural thirst quencher and adds a glow to your skin. It is rich in minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium. It has cancer-fighting and anti-ageing properties as well.
Curd/Yogurt- It is the best source of probiotics. Curd/ yogurt has a cooling effect and can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. It is rich in calcium and protein. Regular consumption of curd lowers the risk of heart disease.
Corn on the cob- Corn on the cob without butter or salt is a high-fiber, low-calorie food. It aids in digestion.
Green veggies- They have a high content of water in them. They are best eaten while they are still green, fresh and tender. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres, they help in digestion and to keep the bloated stomach and sluggish liver at bay.
Fruit salad- Summer is a peak season for fruit lovers and weight watchers. Fruits are a potent source of dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So, have ample fruit salads to beat the heat.
10 Foods That Are Best Avoided During The Hot & Uncomfortable Summer
Sports drink- Full of sugar and empty calories, sports drinks may give you relief for a few minutes but harm you more than you realise. Though they are easily available and packed very attractively, becoming the first choice of all, they are a big NO as they contain a high amount of sodium, artificial flavors and food coloring which leads to various health problems like allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children and numerous forms of cancer. As it is high in citric acid it harms our tooth enamel also.
Oily & Junk foods- French fries, burgers, patties, samosas, papad, pakoras are rich in trans- fat and high in salt. Oily fried foods heat up our body and lower digestion and can also lead to food poisoning in the summer. Fried foods can make our skin more oily and difficult to manage in summers.
Cold coffee- Coffee is packed with caffeine and has diuretic properties. A glass of cold coffee has the power to create havoc in your digestive system, triggering bloating and indigestion. It will also raise LDL cholesterol levels. It also causes insomnia and restlessness. Opt for a glass of lassi instead.
Non- vegetarian foods- They are difficult to digest in summers and has a lot of heat, which is not good for our body. It can make a person sweat more and cause digestive problems. Avoid curries, cream- based chicken, meat and fish dishes. It is best to go vegetarian to stay healthy.
Ice-creams and cold drinks- Both ice creams and cold drinks are body warming foods. They can make our stomach feel hotter instead of providing relief from the heat.
Salad dressings and sauces- Sauces contains too much of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and salt. They are high in calories, which makes us feel sluggish and bloated. Instead, make fresh dips and dressings using tomatoes, curd and mint.
No more spices – Spice powders make our dishes more palatable. When we plan our meals during summer, always try to use less amount of spices as they are difficult to digest. Light, fresh food should be your first choice during summers.
Tea- Avoid the regular milk tea in summers as it generates more heat in the body and can cause dehydration, making our face dull and low. Instead, opt for ice tea or lemon tea.
Minimise the intake of dried fruits- Nuts take longer to digest and generate more heat in the body which can make you uncomfortable. Instead, opt for soaked dried fruits in summers.
Alcohol- What is the most common side-effect of alcohol that you have experienced or heard of? The short term issues are bloating, increased thirst levels and belly pouches. The reason for the same is that alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories and make us feel dehydrated. They also develop a risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease in the long run. So it is best to avoid alcohol or limit their intake in summers.
These few do’s and dont’s of summer food can help you enjoy a healthy happy summer.
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