- As the temperature shoots up on the weather scale and the days start getting longer, you know it is the scorching mid-summer heat announcing its arrival. The ruthless sunrays of the mid-summer heat not only cause painful sunburns and annoying tan lines, but they also dehydrate the body, which is not a good thing for our stomach and overall health.
- Sipping on an iced latte or a chilled coke while relaxing on a hammock would be ideal for getting over the heat. But, gulping down such cold drinks or food items like ice creams suddenly might cause more harm than good by making you feel bloated, lazy and giving you a headache or a brain-freeze. Eating healthy and cooling foods (foods with cooling properties) as a part of your daily diet can help your body maintain a balance in the temperature and sync better with the heat. Following are 6 foods that will gently cool down your digestive system and prepare it for the battle against the changing temperatures of the summer:
- Fruits: Fruits are not only hydrating but also contain water-soluble essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, which helps make up for the loss of these nutrients through sweat. Blending some fresh fruits with herbs like thyme or mint leaves into a creamy smoothie or packing some freshly cut fruits for work make for a healthy on-the-go snack for your snack break. You can use coconut water, Greek yoghurt or milk as your smoothie base. Make sure to include seasonal fruits like mangoes and melons (muskmelon, watermelon, etc.).
- Green leafy vegetables: Greens like spinach, cabbage and lettuce are not only nutritious but also have a high amount of water content. You can stir fry the greens with other vegetables or meat as a meal or stir fry them with some seeds or nuts for a vegetable salad. Do not leave the greens on the stove for long, as it will lead to loss of water and nutrients.
- Curd: Curd is known to be one of the best natural coolants. This protein-rich and probiotic-enriched food improves the brain and gut health and enhances the body’s immunity, helping you stave off the seasonal cold and flu. You can have it plain, flavoured or in the form of refreshing buttermilk. Adding fresh berries, granola or seeds to the curd adds to its nutritional value and taste. Curd also makes for a great smoothie base.
- Limes and lemons: Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges are a powerhouse of vitamin C and water. Add lime or lemon wedges to your bottle of water, plain yoghurt, in your salad dressing or add them to your fruit or veggie salad. They will hydrate you, give you a vitamin C boost and add a tangy taste to your foods.
- Water-containing veggies: Vegetables like cucumbers, bottle gourd and radishes have a very high water content. Including them in your meals will make your meals lighter, easier to digest and hydrating. Your digestive system will not only obtain nutrients from the veggies but will also have to work less to digest these foods.
- Coconut: Coconuts are a staple food in South India. However, during the summer, coconuts are loved and relished by everyone around the globe. Both the coconut water and the meat contain several nutrients like antioxidants and minerals and are a delicious source of hydration.
Following are some tips to follow this summer to achieve and maintain better health throughout the season:
- Aim to be fit. Maintain a healthy weight by staying physically active every day. Use a scoring system like the body mass index to ensure that you do not fall under the overweight or underweight category but remain in the healthy weight range.
- Eat right. Reduce food items that contain cholesterol and saturated fat. Include whole grains, vegetables and fruits in your diet and eat foods with a moderate amount of fat.
- Use small amounts of oil in your cooking and avoid eating fried and fatty foods. Fatty foods not only increase your waist size but also increase heat in the body. Reduce the amount of salt and spices in your meals as well.
- Make water and fresh fruit/veggie juices and smoothies your favourite beverage options. Reduce the intake of caffeinated and carbonated beverages. Not only do they contain preservatives, added colourants and sugars that are bad for your health, they also flush out water and nutrients from the body as they act as diuretics.
To know what foods are best suitable for your body this summer, consult expert dieticians and nutritionists on www.healthassure.in. They will chalk out a diet plan for you so that you stay fit and healthy while beating the summer heat. To avoid the hassle of travelling in the scorching heat, talk to them from the comfort of your home or office using the HealthAssure app. Download today and have a healthy and fit summer!
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