The scorching heat is upon us. The season of summer brings a host of other problems along with it.The common problems encountered include sun strokes, dehydration, fatigue, diarrhoea, viral fever and so on. In intense heat; fluid, vitamins and minerals is lost in the form of sweat mostly. To replenish this loss and stay energised, some seasonal foods need to be included in the diet. They are as follows:
- BAEL: This wonder fruit contains a chemical called psoralen in the pulp which increases resistance to sunlight and aids in maintaining a normal skin tone. Bael sherbets aid in improving digestion and hails as a cool tonic. It has also been known for the inactivation of infectious pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) in platelet and plasma blood components and is therefore proven effective in counteracting infections.
- CUCUMBERS: They are rampantly used in the summer season because of their easy availability. They aid as a cooling agent and act as a negative calorie food since they are high in water content. They are also high in silica, one of the important minerals for having a blemish free skin. Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that appears to play an important role in your brain health. They also contain anti inflammatory properties such as COX 2 which help in reducing inflammation to a great extent.
- CURD: It is the most natural form of probiotic bacteria culture. These are good bacteria which are gut friendly. Therefore, this wonder food aids in digestion and helps in improving the resistance of the gut. This makes curd one of the most easy available immune friendly foods in the daily list. It is a wonder food for treating dandruff and is great for the skin. You can have curd in the form of raita, dips, buttermilk, lassi, smoothies, etc.
- GUAVA: This fruit has bacteria busting properties and is known to stave off infections. It is also a good source of fibre and aids in regulating bowel movement. Guavas contain vitamin B3 and vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine respectively, which help in improving blood circulation to the brain, stimulating cognitive function and relaxing the nerves. They help in regulating sugar spikes and curb appetite. So, they aid in excellent weight loss.
- MANGOES: They are the only reason to celebrate summers. They are a great source of potassium which help in replenishing the body’s loss of water. One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight. They are also effective in fighting heat strokes which make them an excellent summer superfood.
- MINT: This wonder food contains a host of minerals such as copper and iron. The menthol present in mint facilitates good digestion and exerts an anti spasmodic action effective for alleviating abdominal cramps. It gives relief from respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and the common cold very commonly seen in kids during the summer months.
- MELONS: They are famous for their thirst quenching properties. A large wedge of watermelon provides almost a cup of water! Muskmelons/cantaloupes are a perfect choice for dehydration. The higher water content in melons helps you stay full, which can help you control the amount of food and calories you eat while losing weight.
- LITCHI: This heart shaped tropical fruit is indispensable during these hot months. It is a good source of vitamin C, which helps to guard against colds and flu, a commonplace in summers. Manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, Vitamin C and folate are present in litchi and make it a complete food for blood formation, its level and overall health. Litchi contains a good amount of fiber and Vitamin B-complex, which increase metabolism.
ALSO WATCH OUT FOR:
- BEVERAGES: Try to avoid caffeinated drinks like colas and coffee that have a diuretic action on the body accentuating further fluid loss.
- SUMMER COCKTAILS: Ice cream drinks, margaritas, tropical mocktails are potential calorie landmines. Watch out before you gulp them down.
- ICE CREAMS: They are the first of the things all children jump off to have during sultry summers. But, they are calorie dense and contain saturated fats. It is recommended to opt for low fat versions. Better, you can go for frozen yoghurts or ice lollies and fruit popsicles.