All for a safer Summer
Debanjana wished that she could stay back home and enjoy Summer vacation like she did during her initial college days. But being an NGO worker now she has to travel extensively, to reach out to destitute children in slums across the city, in the summer afternoons bearing witness to the blistering heat. Many like her suffer the wrath of nature's anomalous behaviour owing to great human deeds.
While residents of the European countries bask in the goodwill of summer sunshine, we in India experience a terrifying exposure to the burning fire lord. With various parts of the country feeling it differently, citizens face different issues during the summer. While the privileged have trouble maintaining a glowing skin and glossy hair, a labourer working throughout the day under the scorching heat has to remain hydrated to survive through the season.
Dr Adiiti Sharma, Consultant, Nutritionist, Columbia Asia Hospital says, "Nutritional level should be maintained before going out. Going out on empty stomach and overeating should also be avoided. Sweet and cold drinks like mango shake, banana shake, cold coffee etc. should be taken before moving out. A water bottle containing some electrolyte-rich drink like lemon water, glucose etc should be kept along while moving out. Fresh fruit juiced from outside should be avoided to prevent the risk of contamination and hence infections."
Shikhee Agrawal, Head Training, The Body Shop advises to avoid aerated drinks and befriend summer seasonal fruits like watermelon, mango and melon during this season. Most of those who stay out in the sun tend to choose aerated drinks to instantly cool their system, but it is not the correct approach since the degenerating effects of these fizzy drinks last longer and are more often the factor for your disintegrating health.
It is also crucial to note that one must not drink chilled water or other fluids. When one drinks cold beverages, the blood vessels shrink, digestion becomes restricted, and hydration is hindered. Drinking cold water after a meal creates excess mucus in the body, which eventually lead to a decrease in the immune system function, making one more prone to catch cold and other illnesses.
Beautician Nirmal Randhawa suggests that it is important to have a daily bath to maintain hygiene and avoid germs and infections. Both a warm and a cold bath is good for the body as it boosts one's immune system, removes toxin and kills viruses and bacteria. Furthermore, it is important to take multiple showers in case one sweats more. Regarding hair care and skin care, she says, "Sweat and dust in summers increase hair problems like dandruff, split ends, frizziness and increased hair fall. If you feel like shampooing your hair daily, go for a shampoo which is mild. Sometimes your scalp is oily but rest of hair are fine, so just shampoo your scalp not the hair, as you wash your hair the suds will rinse down. One must also go slow on dryer or heating iron. Skincare also demands getting rid of body hair other than moisturising.
Waxing and shaving are the most basic methods to do so. Even though shaving is a fast and painless way to get rid of hair, it doesn't prevent hair from growing back. Hair removal gives one a smooth and clean body, also and prevents body odours."
With the raving temperature, it is a common practice to indulge in fruits and fruit juices apart from water, while avoiding food like chips, crackers, and foods rich in preservative items. But what about the cooked food that we consider safe and sound? Dr Saurabh Arora says that many types of microbes are responsible for food-borne illnesses, therefore some extra precautions need to be taken in the summer to avoid food poisoning. "Cooked food must also be stored at the right temperature. One must keep food either very cold or very hot since bacteria causing food-borne illnesses thrive at room temperature. As a rule of thumb, keep hot food hot, and cold food cold," suggests the doctor.
Shikhee Agrawal advises, "Make sure to carry enough wet wipes to ensure instant freshness and glow to your face and to soak the excessive oil which can sometimes cause deep skin infections. Also, carry a sunscreen lotion and a lip balm having a good SPF rating as even your lips are not safe from the damaging Sun rays and require proper. Lastly, carry sunglasses to safeguard your eyes."
At a recently held talk by The Imperial, Sangeeta Khanna, renowned food writer and nutrition consultant pointed out the fact that even though we tend to get drawn towards packaged foods thinking that they would be safe and clean, it must be known that often these foods do not have the required amount of nutrients in them. They are highly synthetic and the original amount of nutrient is merely 2-3 per cent! "We need to introspect about how our personal health is directly linked to the health of the planet. We need to take the responsibility to make our sources of food sustainable. Growing some of our own food in the garden or balcony is a wonderful way to nourish our body and cleanse the environment at the same time." Lastly, an effort to green our environment might just be a little step forward in dealing with the scorching summer smartly.