Thursday 17th August 2017,
Continental  Hospitals Blog

10 Coolest Foods For the Hot Indian Summers

Summer is not just about rising mercury or tanning skin, it’s also the time for multitudes of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables! Summer produces lots of green vegetables, corn, herbs and fruits like melons, peaches, and mangoes. It also happens to be the perfect time to switch to healthy eating habits. Those of us who have to be outdoors for long hours are susceptible to problems like dehydration, heat burns, as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Food and drink have a big part to play in helping your body keep cool and healthy during the heat. Here’s what to stock in your fridge to help your family stay cool regardless of the sizzling temperatures.

  • Fruit with yogurt: This is an ideal combination for breakfast in really hot weather. Fruits which have high water content will help maintain your body fluid which will be lost more rapidly through sweat, the body’s mechanism for cooling down in the heat. Yogurts can promote friendly gut bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. This protects against food poisoning, cases of which dramatically increase during hot temperatures when it is difficult to keep food fresh. Also, this is a great alternative to ice cream which is generally high in sugar content.
  • A Baked Potato Or Pasta Salad: Carbohydrate-rich foods can help to combat heat exhaustion. Starchy carbohydrate snacks during the day like a baked potato or pasta salad made with low-fat mayonnaise and olive oil, keep your body’s blood-sugar and energy levels even. Other ideal carbohydrate foods include baked beans, rice, fruit, yoghurt, and milk.
  • Eat spicy foods: Although this may be the last thing you fancy in hot weather, curries and chilies can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth, enhance circulation and cause sweating, which cools the body down. Spicy foods raise your internal temperature to match the temperature outside. Your blood circulation increases, you start sweating and once your moisture has evaporated, you’ve cooled off.
  • Tzatziki: This Greek dip combines yogurt and cucumber, which has a water content of about 96.4%. Tossed with whole grains — such as barley, wild rice, brown rice, wheat berries, couscous or quinoa — it makes a wonderfully hearty and satisfying main dish salad.
  • Watercress: Watercress is a rich source of minerals, including iron, which some nutritionists believe can be depleted through perspiration. Weight for weight, watercress contains more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more folate than the banana. A lack of iron can cause us to feel tired and lethargic. Use Watercress in salads or soups along with peas and other vegetables to make a wholesome meal.
  • Onions: Especially red onions contain a chemical called quercetin which is believed to have an anti-histamine effect. Histamine is the irritant that causes heat rashes and adverse reactions to insect bites and stings, so eating onions daily may help to ease these summer complaints.
  • Bananas: Banana’s are a rich source of potassium, which helps to regulate body fluid lost through excessive sweating. Other potassium-rich foods are green vegetables, baked beans, dried fruit and cereal.
  • Coconut water: An inexpensive coconut is full of health benefits and has wonderful cooling properties. It is laden with simple sugars, electrolytes and essential minerals which help keep the body well hydrated. In addition to that, there is evidence to suggest that coconut water has cancer fighting and anti-aging properties as well.
  • Watermelon: Biting into a slice of watermelon great way to rehydrate after a long day in the sun. True to its name, watermelon is over 90% water. It’s also an even better source of cancer-fighting lycopene than raw tomatoes. At just 44 calories a cup, there’s no reason not to bite into this summery fruit.
  • Cucumber: This crunchy vegetable costs little, has lots of fiber that can help keep constipation at bay. Cumber is packed with nutrients like Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Riboflavin, B-6, Folate, Pantothenic acid, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, and Silica (phew). This versatile vegetable is made up to 95% water, which makes it naturally low in calories, fat and cholesterol. A 100 gram serving of cucumber provides only 12 calories as carbohydrates.

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About The Author

Mrs Zeenath Fatima is a Dietician with over six years experience in assessing the nutritional needs of patients; communicating the appropriate nutritional information to other members of the health care team; and implementing nutritional care plans.

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