In India, summers are very hot, especially in the northern parts of the country. It is very important to take a proper diet in summer to keep the body cool and keep diseases like dehydration, vomiting, diarrhoea etc. at bay.
The food and drink that you will be consuming during the summer are going to play a vital role to help you tide through the heatwave because even healthy people can succumb to heat-related health issues.
This article suggests food to keep you cool in the summer. So include these food items in your daily diet and beat the Indian summers.
10 Foods to Eat in Summer
Watermelon, a seasonal summer fruit comes for a reason. This seasonal fruit is 91.45 per cent water and helps replenish the body’s water supply. Watermelons are also rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene levels making them good for the skin and hair. The vitamin C present in it helps to build the body’s immunity. Also, loaded with anti-oxidant properties, watermelon gives you a wonderful cooling effect.
You can find watermelon at almost every nook and corner in India. There’s nothing like a refreshing Watermelon Mojito with fresh mint and lime on a hot summer day!
Cucumber is a summer vegetable that detoxifies the body and keeps the skin healthy and beautiful. Since cucumber is made up of 95 per cent water it is super hydrating, eliminating toxins from the body and keeping it healthy from the inside. Loaded with fibre, eating cucumber in summer helps in keeping constipation at bay.
Slices seasoned with some salt and pepper or mixed with other vegetables for a salad, cucumber surely is one of the best vegetables to cool off this summer. Try this different cucumber & mint raita recipe and become “cool as a cucumber”.
One popular food item for the summer season in India is curd. It is not only delicious but also gives a coolant effect to the body. Curd contains proteins which keep allergies and ulcers away. It can be called our very own “instant cooling agent”. Curd keeps the body hydrated and boosts energy levels ta the same time.
Curd not only cools the body down but adding a bit of salt or sugar increases energy levels as well. Make spicy buttermilk or sweet lassi. You can also make raita and can eat it with your food. Another option to eat curd is by making fruit smoothies. In south India, people eat curd rice in the summer. Here is a slight twist to the recipe.
4. Coconut water
The ultimate nariyal paani is the best drink to have during summer. This ‘not-so-expensive’ drink is available in almost all fruit shops and is loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It has cooling properties that help you fight against hot weather. Studies also show that drinking coconut water regularly also protects against cancer.
Coconut water has the same electrolyte concentration as in our blood and so it gets absorbed very fast. It helps in weight loss and also in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Mint is much more than just a garnish. This cool herb not only gives flavour to your dish but also cools you off in a way that no other herb does. It has several health benefits and can be consumed to cure nausea, headache, asthma, digestion and much more.
Mint or pudina leaves can be used to reduce body heat. It is loaded with antioxidants, protecting the body from oxidative stress and makes a delicious and healthy addition to many foods and beverages. Adding mint in curd, chaach or in raita could give you added benefits. You can also prepare Green mint chutney, which is a common thing prepared in almost all Indian houses.
6.Green leafy vegetables
Green vegetables are a must-have in summers. Adding them to your daily diet is beneficial as green leafy vegetables contain a high amount of water content. Leafy vegetables like lettuce, amaranth, spinach, cabbage, kale are natural coolants and must be a part of the diet in the form of salads or vegetables.
Other vegetables like bitter gourd, pumpkin, tomatoes, bottle gourd, brinjals, too, help cool the body and provide it with sufficient nutrients. Cucumbers, beans, squash, berries must also be included in summer diets to remain healthy. Carrot and beetroot must be a part of summer salads to complete the nutrition intake of the body. Remember, avoid over-cooking these vegetables as it could cause loss of water content in them.
You may get surprised to know that onions too provide cooling properties. The red onions are loaded with quercetin, which is considered as a natural anti-allergen. Adding onion to your daily diet also helps in protecting you against the sun-stroke.
Onions help replenish the electrolytes in the body due to the presence of a high amount of potassium and sodium in them. Furthermore, onions contain oils that help regulate the temperature of the body and should be consumed in summer to enjoy their cooling effects. Eating them raw may ruin your taste, hence mixe it with lemon and salt and prepare salads. Another way to eat onion is by adding it in your vegetables, curries and raita.
Nutritionists are understanding about the numerous benefits of lauki, along with its hydrating capacity as it consists of about 96 per cent water. Apart from reducing excessive heat it also helps in digestion and weight loss.
Bottle gourd acts as a hydrating agent and also treats constipation and diarrhoea.
Mangoes are the perfect summer treat. The rich iron content in mangoes helps you increase the calcium content in your body. As a summer fruit, it is refreshing and helps to avoid heat strokes. It is also rich in vitamins A and C which help strengthen the immune system.
Also, green mangoes, especially when Aam Panna is made of them, provide instant relief from summer while quenching your thirst. However, keep in mind to have the ripe mangoes moderately. Try these Simple Mango Recipes That Are Easy to Make At Home
We sweat more in summers, and with sweating, we lose water and salt from the body, which causes dehydration. Lemon is one fruit that can keep you chilled and hydrated all day long. They are rich in vitamin C . We can eat lemon as a part of our side salad.
Lime water, also referred to as nimboo pani is a refreshing drink for summer. A glass of lime water provides many health benefits. All you have to do is squeeze one lemon in a glass, add some water, and a pinch of salt and sugar, mix it well and have it. Have it every day in summers. When life gives you summer, make lemonades.
So now you have fairly good idea of food that keep you cool in Indian summers. You need not to be afraid of the India hot summer season. Include these food items in your daily diet and you will definitely feel the difference.
So have fun this summer!!!