Summer heat is catching on and we all are feeling humidity in the weather. Just like we make changes externally every summer, in the way we dress, we should also make some internal changes by eating the right foods for the right season. Summer surely opens up avenues for different outdoor activities and travel but along with that comes the risk of dehydration, lack of energy and weakening immune system. Therefore, it is important to alter eating habits during summer and incorporate a lot of fresh and nutritious foods in your diet. Here are some foods that you can include in your breakfast, evening snack or even meals over the next couple of months.
- Fruits: Summer is a great time to relish those juicy and refreshing fruits. Whether they are melons, litchis, mangoes, oranges, apples, peaches or berries, all fruits are packed with right nutrition you need this summer. You can start your day with a glass of fruit juice or eat a whole fruit in the evening. They are all rich in water content and will do the job of keep you hydrated during the day.
- Cucumber: Cucumber is another food that will help you pack hydration in your diet with its high water content. It is light and rich in soluble fibre which will refresh you instantly and also help your digestion process. You don’t need any extra preparation to eat it. Just peel it and eat it raw to reap its maximum benefits.
- Curd: Curd or dahi has a natural soothing effect on the body, especially during summer. It contains healthy microbes which will help your digestion process. You can have it after your meals or add some tomatoes and cucumbers in it to make a tasty raita, a side dish with your meals. Sometimes, mixing it with rice and eating traditionally Indian curd rice is a good enough meal during summer.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a favorite drink among Indians, especially during summers. It is made from dahi by adding appropriate proportions of water and some spices. Buttermilk will help you balance the electrolyte loss your body suffers due to sweating during summer. It is just the right drink to beat dehydration and energize yourself after a long tiring day in the heat.
- Coconut water: Coconut water is an excellent choice for batting heat waves. It is naturally packed with essential electrolytes. It is refreshing and provides instant energy. It is low in calories and help you avoid all the added sugar that you consume with outside juices.
- Leafy vegetables: Dehydration during summer can cause a lot of digestive problems like constipation. Therefore, along with making sure that you stay hydrated you should also consume a substantial amount of fibrous vegetables. And what can be better than eating leafy vegetables to meet that fibre requirement? You can add kale, spinach, celery, watercress, cabbage, lettuce and many healthier vegetables to your diet. Include them in a fresh green salad or cook up a lighter vegetable preparation with them, the choice is yours.
- Corn: Sweet corn or corn cob can be a healthy snack during summer. You can boil the corn after separating it from the cob or grill the entire cob on a flame. Corn is fibrous and low in calories so it will definitely help you keep a track of your weight this summer.
- Lime water: The traditional nimbu paani is a life savior during summer. It is a quintessential summer drink that everyone enjoys drinking. Having just one glass of lime water can help you balance the loss of electrolytes due to sweating. It will balance your internal pH and help you get rid of fatigue caused by summer heat.
- Mint: Mint is a naturally cooling herb that has a lot to offer during summers. It helps digestion and keeps the brain active even after a stressful day. The menthol in mint helps opening up ion channels. It changes action potential in the cells, which amplifies the cooling sensation in your mouth, giving you an instant refreshing feeling.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are summer vegetables and available in abundance during this season. Their high water content and acidic nature helps maintaining internal pH. Additionally, they are packed with antioxidants that protect your cells from damage, giving your immune system that extra boost it needs.
Dietician Arti Jain
MSc (Dietetics), PG Dip(Nutrition), Diabetic Educator (USA), International Certified Obesity Management (Australia), International Sports Nutrition ( California), Dip in Skin Aesthetics & Trichology