10 best cool foods to enjoy this summer
Indian summer is turning out to be as hot as ever. Cases of heat stroke, dehydration, food poisoning, sluggish liver and bloating are on a rise. To tackle these high-temperature days, Saumya Shatakshi, Sr. Nutritionist, Healthians, has listed down a few foods that we should incorporate and a few that we should avoid in this scorching summer.
Watermelon: It contains 90% water and is low in calories, making it the first option to hydrate in the sun. Opt for the whole fruit or a glass of fresh juice.
Gazpacho: It is a perfect cold summer soup, which is both delicious and refreshing. Cooked with healthy ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers, this light yet flavourful soup is preferred for its anti-oxidant properties.
Avocado: It is an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fat and is recommended for a healthy heart.
Cucumber: It contains 95% water, helping you keep hydrated and is low in calories and fats. It helps in weight loss, boosts metabolism and immune system.
Mint: It is an inexpensive refreshing herb which could be added to curd to create an appetizing raita, some green chutney or a dip. Mint leaves are loaded with antioxidant and phytonutrient which helps in digestion and soothes our tummy.
Coconut water: It is the best natural thirst quencher and adds a glow to your skin. It is rich in minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium.
Curd/Yoghurt: Curd or yoghurt has a cooling effect and can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. It is rich in calcium and protein. Regular consumption of curd lowers the risk of heart disease.
Green veggies and fruit salads: While fresh green vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres that help in digestion, fruits are a juicy, potent source of antioxidants.
Here are a few foods that should be avoided at any cost to keep your stomach fit and body hydrated:
Sports drink: Full of sugar and empty calories, sports drinks may give you relief for a few minutes but harm you more than you realise. They are a big NO as they contain a high amount of sodium, artificial flavours and food colouring which leads to various health problems like allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children and numerous forms of cancer.
Oily and junk foods: French fries, burgers, patties, samosas, papad, pakoras are rich in trans-fat and high in salt. Oily fried foods heat up our body, lower digestion and can also lead to food poisoning in the summer. Fried foods can make our skin more oily and difficult to manage in summers.
Cold coffee: Coffee is packed with caffeine and has diuretic properties. A glass of cold coffee has the power to create havoc in your digestive system, triggering bloating and indigestion. It will also raise LDL cholesterol levels. It also causes insomnia and restlessness. Opt for a glass of lassi instead.
Non-vegetarian foods: They are difficult to digest in summers and has a lot of heat, which is not good for our body. It can make a person sweat more and cause digestive problems. Avoid curries, cream-based chicken, meat and fish dishes. It is best to go vegetarian to stay healthy.
Ice-creams and cold drinks: Both ice creams and cold drinks are body warming foods. They can make our stomach feel hotter instead of providing relief from the heat.
Salad dressings and sauces: Sauces contains too much of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and salt. They are high in calories, which makes us feel sluggish and bloated. Instead, make fresh dips and dressings using tomatoes, curd and mint.
Spices: Spice powders make our dishes more palatable but during summers, one should always try to use less of spices as they are difficult to digest. Light, fresh food should be your first choice during summers.
Tea: Avoid regular milk tea in summers as it generates more heat in the body and can cause dehydration, making our face dull and low. Instead, opt for ice tea or lemon tea.
Minimise the intake of dried fruits: Nuts take longer to digest and generate more heat in the body which can make you uncomfortable. Instead, opt for soaked dried fruits in summers.