With weather conditions varying so much, our bodies are constantly being tested. What makes it difficult for human bodies is the sudden drop in temperatures. This tends to cause problems like dehydration, high body temperature, energy loss, body pain and headaches. How can one remain fit without too many changes to one’s lifestyle?
Regular exercise and regulated diets is a crucial element. The latter includes a a regular fluid intake as well. This is because the human body does not store water like it does calories (as glycogen or body fat), so we need a constant supply every day. The body loses on average the equivalent of 6-12 cups of water each day. Most healthy adults need about one and a half litres to three litres a day so aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of fluid daily. Apart from water, there are a few drinks that help you stay fighting fit.
Buttermilk (chaach/lassi): Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus.
Those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk, as it is more quickly digested. Buttermilk has more lactic acid than skim milk.
One cup of buttermilk has 99 calories and 2.2 gm of fat, whereas whole milk has 157 calories and 8.9 gm of fat. It is also an excellent source of protein and calcium.
Fresh lime (nimbu paani): Low on calories and high on health count, nimbu paani is the healthiest way to quench your thirst and refresh your body. Lemon is high on vitamin C and ‘nimbu paani’ acts as a natural hydrant in these harsh weather conditions.
But make it fresh each time and avoid buying from street vendors since that can cause stomach infections.
Aam Panna: A traditional preparation of roasted or boiled raw mangoes, aam panna’ is a great digestive aid and an instant energy infuser. It also helps prevent heat strokes, dehydration and dryness of mouth and tongue in acute summer conditions. If your schedule prevents you from making aam panna at home, then try the packaged variety.
Fruit and Vegetable juices: Rich in minerals and essential micro-elements, these juices contain substantial amounts of carbohydrates, which supply energy to human body. Fruits and vegetables contain generous amounts of vitamins that regulate metabolism and help in the conversion of the fats and carbohydrates into energy. Fruit and vegetable juices are also known for their therapeutic benefits.
So, don’t let the weather bother you; get on with these instant ‘refreshers’.
The writer is a dietician.