Summertime should always be fun time. Whether you love putting on shorts and hitting the pool or find it hot and sticky and prefer to just relax indoors, being a bit diet savvy surely helps to beat the heat. As the mercury rises, most people tend to experience heat related health woes such as nose bleeds, heat stroke, dehydration, skin rashes, prickly heat and stomach upsets.
Rehydrate your system, improve your work performance and stay fit and alert through the long summer days by following these simple diet tips-
- Maintain an optimum fluid intake to avoid dehydration and to compensate for water lost during perspiration. Drink 10-12 glasses of plain water. Other preferred drinks are coconut water, fruit juices, buttermilk, lime juice, carrot and beetroot juice, jaljeera or soda water with salt. Avoid caffeinated or carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages, and those high in sugar.
- Top recommended foods for summers would be watermelon, cucumber and mint among vegetables and oranges, pineapple and sweet lime among fruits. Being low in sodium and calories, high in potassium , vitamin C and carotenoids, these fresh and seasonal foods easily qualify as excellent thirst quenchers and coolants.
- An ideal summer meal should be refreshing, non-fatty, lightly spiced and yet nutritious.
- Brown rice, raw salads, mung sprouts or alfalfa sprouts tossed in vinaigrette or a light curd dressing, solkadi, avial, watery dals, herbal and green teas promote easier digestion and are recommended.
- Restrict eggs, red meats, fried foods, excess coffee, alcohol, whole milk and cigarettes to avoid feeling sluggish and lethargic as the days get hotter.
- Certain warming ingredients like cinnamon, garlic, pepper, chillies, dried fruits, ghee should be used sparingly whilst ‘cool’ ingredients such as kokum, yoghurt, raw small mangoes, peppermint oil are preferred.
- Add raw onion to your salads or chutneys as they have a cooling effect and can help you prevent heat stroke.
Use your imagination and plan ahead to find innovative ways to keep your summer cooking simple and cool!