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Updated: May 19, 2012 17:46 IST

Cool foods for summer

DR. VIJAI K. S. SHUKLA
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Go for a special summer diet...Photo: Special Arrangement
Go for a special summer diet...Photo: Special Arrangement

Foods to stock up on and those to avoid to beat the heat.

It's summer and most people are drinking water like thirsty men in a desert. But in the midst of all this guzzling to prevent dehydration we tend to neglect our diet! Sure, the body needs water to replenish lost fluids, but it also requires a special summer diet too! Here are some food items that can make your summers cool:

Vegetables: Those with high water content should top the list, as they help hydrate your body from within. Foods such as onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower and sprouts should find a place on your plate, as they serve to cool your body from within while providing the daily quota of nutrition.

Non Veg: For those who feel empty without their quota of meat, try fish. This is better than red meat or chicken because it contains fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Gooseberry: Not only is amla a great refresher, it also helps reverse the ageing effects of the sun and gives you added stamina for gym sessions. It strengthens the heart, hair and different glands.

Apricot: If you're prone to skin breakouts or acne in summer, apricot can help. It provides iron, vitamin C, potassium and fibre. Enjoy it as a great pre- or post-workout snack.

Buttermilk: Buttermilk is better than diet soda. It is one of the healthiest summer drinks. Down a glass a day to avoid dehydration and digestion issues.

Cardamom: Look no further than your cup of elachi chai for an instant cool down. Cardamom has wonderful detoxifying properties to effectively cool down even the most hot-headed days.

Corn: Nothing elevates work stress more than a malfunctioning air conditioner. So pop some corn. It's a good source of pantothenic acid, which provides vitamin B to lower stress levels. Boiled corn is a great snack or a lunch takeaway as it lowers cholesterol levels and is high in essential carbs.

Mango: Skip Katrina's aamsutra adverts and focus on the real fruit. Chilled mangoes are the juiciest way to cool off, but if you're looking for a bit of spice, try this: Unripe mangoes are a rich source of pectin. Steam and juice with cumin (jeera) and salt for an excellent remedy from heat stroke and exhaustion.

Oyster: Already established as an aphrodisiac, oysters contain phytochemicals that wipe out the toxins that encourage sweating. But they're best consumed fresh and should not be bought from stores where they're sold in bags and bowls.

Soybeans: Rich in protein, they help prevent summer colds. Add some to caramel custards, kheer or payasam to lower bad cholesterol levels.

Kiwi: The fruit is rich in omega 3, relatively easy to find, and easy on the pocket. And there is no need to dress up this tasty and delightful fruit.

Soups: Watery broth-based soups are an excellent choice! Adding ‘cool' herbs such as mint or coriander to the soups is another way of ensuring that your piping hot soup cools you down from within.

Curd: Curd is a healthy alternative to cold drinks and ice-cream. The Vitamin B in it helps soothe ulcers, allergies and heat boils.

Juices: Be it lime juice, coconut juice, green tea or just plain buttermilk, drink them all to replenish lost fluids and avail of the benefits of various nutrients and vitamins.

So, now that you are armed with the do's and the don'ts of a summer diet , enjoy the sun!

Stay away from them

Cold drinks and ice cream: While fizzy cold drinks and yummy ice -creams may seem cool, they actually interfere with the body's own cooling mechanism!

Coffee and alcohol: Both act as diuretics, which increase urination, leading to an excessive loss of water from the body

Fried foods: Samosa, vada-pav, burger and pizza contain a lot of fat, which on entering the body increases the metabolic rate. This has a thermal effect on the body, increasing its temperature!

Keywords: diet tips



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