Summer brings with it sweaty and mucky days along with hot sleepless nights. Probably the only season, unlike the rainy and winter, where hot food and beverages are frowned upon. Everyone looks for ways to soothe and cool the body from the outside and inside as well. Summers are the best time to indulge in cool and refreshing foods and drinks which keep our mind and body hydrated and nourished. Various Fruits, Vegetables, yogurt, seeds etc. contain nutritional properties and essential nutrients. They affect our body and metabolic system due to its higher the water content, better digestion and cooling properties.
Below are some of the items which should be consumed in hot summer months:-
This is one of easiest available yearly vegetable. It is very high on water content and is extremely hydrating. Cucumber is used extensively in Salads and for people trying to lose weight. It keeps acidity in check and is high in mineral silica, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, etc. This not only enhances our energy levels but also improves skin, joint and muscle health. It also stimulates body’s detoxification process.
It contains the highest amount of water content in fruits and very hydrating in summer months to cool down the high body temperature. They also contains lycopene and citrulline both together help in maintaining cardio-vascular health. It can be eaten directly cut into pieces or as a refreshing juice with lemon and mint (do not strain juice).
Mint leaves (Pudina) is one of those soothing herb which aids in indigestion and stomach upsets. It also helps in relieving nausea and dizziness. Mint leaves are also effective in skin care. They possess anti-inflammatory properties and has calming properties beneficial to beat the heat in summers.
Commonly known as Basil Seeds are packed with essential fats, fiber, antioxidants and cooling properties. It helps to relieve constipation, acidity and promotes healthy hair and skin. Its recommended to soak seeds until gelatinous and consume 2 tsp daily to seek health benefits. Its most commonly consumed in faloodas but you can simply add it to juices, coconut water, neera, or simply water to obtain benefits. It can also be added to coconut milk along with honey to make a healthy sabja pudding.
Yogurt/ Buttermilk /Lassi instantly helps in cooling down our body and has high protein content. Jeera and Hing is also widely added to it to help in boosting digestive processes. It’s an age old coolant and used by our older generations since centuries for cooling down our bodies and refreshing us.
Although a Fruit, it is widely consumed with vegetables as it is low in calories but extremely rich in Vitamin A and C. Tomatoes have high water content and is used extensively in meals and salads. Lycopene present in tomatoes also possess anti-oxidant properties and imparts numerous health benefits.
Used in most of the dishes and juices/beverages, lemon acts as a coolant and also a digestive. A drink with lemon juice, water, ice along with salt/sugar/mint leaves is the most preferred beverage with our meals. Lemon boosts our immunity and helps in problems like indigestion, constipation etc. A boost of vitamin C refreshes us helps in preventing dehydration during summers.
Fruits like Oranges, Sweet Limes, Grapes and Berries are all very high in their water contents and juicy and yummy. They contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C and extremely energizing and hydrating.
Bottle Gourd (Dudhi), Bitter Gourd (Karela), Pumpkin (Kolu), Beans etc are all vegetables high in their water content and carotenes and are beneficial in summers. They also provide various other micronutrients and help to maintain our overall health during summers. It also provides us B vitamins and prevents us from heat problems, mouth ulcers, pimples, hair and skin problems.
Lastly water is one of the major primary ingredient to beat the heat! Refer to previous blog to get easy tips to keep yourself hydrated this summer!
Besides all the above, drinking a lot of water and carrying adequate protection like a Cap/Hat/Umbrella etc will do wonders to keep you cool throughout the Hot Summers.