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Diet for Summer Season

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Summer has set in. The hot, blistering heat is not only exhausting, but drains your energy levels too. So how are you welcoming this summer? With sunscreen lotions, sunglasses and air conditioners? But what about the foods?

Yes, the summer foods? We all love our summer vacations but we often tend to overlook the summer foods. Resulting in overindulgence of cold drinks and ice creams that lead to unnecessary weight gain.

The thought of healthy eating probably runs through your mind a dozen times a day. It makes you seriously question that grilled cheese sandwich or the three tier chocolate and butterscotch cake that you conveniently devoured while watching your diet plan fly right out of the window.

It is, therefore, important to maintain your health by choosing the right kind of foods according to the climate you are in. Nature has provided us with enough foods that are specific to seasons and are healthy. And this is also how you can adapt your body to the seasonal changes.

For summers, the key is to eat light. This helps your heart and digestive system remain healthy and function well.

The next step is to choose the foods that have a cooling effect on your body.

It’s summer—that amazing time of year when fresh produce abounds. There’s an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy choices. Better yet: many of summer’s fruits and vegetables are brimming with secret health benefits. Here are some  favorites and why they’re a particularly good choice in the summer

The scorching summer heat is hard on our bodies, our moods, and our electric bills. Don’t let the temperature get you down, though. Following tips will help you keep cool even if it feels like the sun is out to get you.

Click here for Tips to beat the summer heat :

Fruits

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Goose berries (Amla)
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Papaya
  • Raw mango
  • Peach
  • Apricot
  • Cherries
  • Muskmelon
  • Watermelon
  • Apple
  • Water apple

Vegetables

  • Bittergourd
  • Greens — cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, asparagus, green beans, alfa alfa, eggplant, iceberg and mint leaves.
  • Sprouted moong, beans and lentils.

How do they help?

1. Fresh vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins and minerals. They have an expansive effect on our bodies, which draw heat from our central organs and, thereby, cool the body.

2. Fresh veggies and fruits also contain a lot of water which add to the cooling effect on the body.

3. Eating these cooling foods also assist the body’s ability to release heat.

This way, the hot weather doesn’t make the body overheated or exhausted.

Most of us lead lives where we’ve been inconspicuously sucked into a food routine and are desperately trying to claw our way out of it. Amidst a number of lifestyle problems to deal with, we tend to forget or ignore granny’s simple remedy of eating fresh, seasonal produce.

 

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Our planet earth is blessed with many seasons and we all enjoy each one of them. Each season has its own special features and is blessed with its unique fruits, vegetables and flowers. Every season is beautiful, if you know how to enjoy it and maintain your health during that time. The summer season might be a difficult time for many of us due to the heat and humidity but, this season can also be made enjoyable by taking care of some small things so that you can benefit from the care and precautions taken and make the most of your summer. With sizzling temperatures, beat the summer heat and stay cool.

Click here for Useful lifestyle tips you can follow to beat the summer heat

1Water is the best option to quench thirst.

It is a key ingredient in keeping the body cool. With high humidity levels, sweat will not evaporate quickly. This prevents the body from releasing heat in an efficient manner. This is why it is necessary to hydrate and drink water, even when you are not thirsty. Increase water intake regardless of your activity levels.

2Avoid caffeineted or carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages, and those high in sugar.

All these drinks contain preservatives, colors and sugars. They are acidic in nature and act as diuretics. They cause loss of fluids through urine.

Many soft drinks contain diluted phosphoric acid, which damages the inner lining of the digestive tract and, therefore, affects its functions.

An excessive intake of soft drinks increases phosphorous levels in the blood. This separates calcium from the bones and moves it into the blood.

This calcium displacement from the bones makes them porous and brittle. It also causes plaque on the teeth, kidney stones, arthritis and bone spur.

Soft drinks also reduce mineral levels in the body to such an extent that enzymes are unable to function well, resulting in indigestion.

3Do not drink very chilled liquids.

They do not really help cool you down in summers, though they make you cool for some time. Drinking really cold liquids when feeling hot may lead to a slight constriction of the blood vessels in the skin and decrease heat loss, which is not advisable when trying to cool down.

4Limit all strenuous activity.

5Eat light, nutritious and non-fatty meals.

6Reduce intake of heaty vegetables and fruits, like spinach, radish, hot peppers, onions, garlic, beetroot, pineapple, grapefruit and ripe mangoes (if you cannot resist mangoes, soak them overnight in water).

7Minimize the intake of dried fruits. Increase the intake of fresh fruit.

8Use sabza (tulsiseeds) in your drinks — this has very cooling effect on the body.

9Include lots of fruits and vegetables in the form of salads and fresh juices, preferably without sugar, in your diet.

10Drink lemon juice, coconut water and thin buttermilk, to replenish the fluids that are lost in sweat.

11Avoid sugary foods, especially honey and molasses, and stick to natural sugars available from fruits and veggies.

12Minimize the intake of hot, spicy foods and extremely salty foods. The body retains salt in the organic form found in fruits and veggies; the inorganic salt, meanwhile, is digested and needs to be thrown out of the body. And this is why you need to drink water!

13Cut the intake of fried foods, like vadas, samosas, chips, bhajiasfarsans, etc. Fat has a thermal effect.

14Maintain good hygiene levels.

Since the sultry heat of summer increases with each degree rise in the mercury, by rooting ourselves to nature’s provision of healthful food choices we can experience the bloom of our health and vitality.

 

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Keeping cool when temperatures reach record highs isn’t just about comfort. Dangerously high temperatures can result in heat-related illnesses ranging from heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Following tips can help you keep cool all summer long.

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What should be the diet regimen to be followed in summers?

Summer diet should be different from winter diet. The summer takes away all moisture from our body, therefore care should be taken to include those foods in our diets that contain lots of water.

Summer foods should be essentially light to digest as our body produces enough heat during summers to digest the food. Legumes, wheat, barley are some summer foods to be included in daily diet.

The best summer diet solution would be to include large variety of fruits mainly citrus fruits & vegetables & salads in diet. Onions & lemon are a boon during summer season.

Can you name some foods that have a cooling effect on body?

Summer foods are essentially rich in water content. You may include citrus fruits like lime, orange, sweet lime, pineapple, water melon, musk melon etc.
Among vegetables include the cool cucumber, tomato, onion, lettuce, cabbage etc.

You require to include rice, legumes, wheat & avoid meat & poultry. You can rather opt for sea foods which are suppose to be cooler.

What food items should be avoided?

Some foods have a warming effect on the body whereas some have a cooling effect therefore one must see the water content of foods before consuming.

All heavy, fried & fatty foods are to be avoided as they are difficult to digest.
Avoid meat, poultry, nuts & seeds. Also avoid foods like garlic, clove, mustard & coffee.

To prevent dehydration what should be the ideal drink and in what quantity should it be taken?

It is important to keep yourself well hydrated during summers. Take plenty of fluids like fresh citrus fruit juices, lemon water, coconut water, khus sherbet, Aam panna, Thandai, ice tea, smoothie, butter milk & vegetable juices like cucumber & carrot juices.

Is it true that caffeineted and sugary drinks are harmful during summers?

The sugary & caffeineted drinks are harmful during summers as they worsen the effects of dehydration. So it is advisable to stay away from them.

What is the ideal temperature at which liquids should be consumed? 
Ice is used in large quantity during summer. While giving a temporary cooling to body, it weakens the teeth at their roots, at the same time; disturbing digestion.
Ice water should be replaced with comparatively cold water. Water can be made tasty by adding such fragrant substances like ‘khas’, ‘sandal’, ‘camphor’ or ‘rose’.

In summer, Ice creams and cold drinks should be consumed minimum as they result in throat problems that could make the body vulnerable to some other diseases.

Is it true that strenuous exercise should be avoided in summers?

Summer is the time when we spend much more time outdoors which by itself can be considered a moderate exercise routine. But don’t count on it, and do some physical activities which can turn into a healthy habit. When you exercise more, you need extra protein. A healthy source of protein with cooling effect on the body is: beans, grains such as rice, barley, millet, tofu, soy milk, fish & plenty of fluids to maintain electrolyte balance.

What should be the ideal diet for those suffering from heat stroke?

Drink plenty of water, stay away from the sun, and avoid taxing activity during hot weather conditions.

If you start experiencing the warning signs, shift to a cool, sheltered area and gulp something cool. Water containing electrolyte, juices and glucose should be given to the patient to maintain electrolyte balance.

Besides this, give to the patient plenty of fruits & vegetables. Good protein intake like legumes, beans, tofu, low fat milk & milk products is also important. It is also known that Peppermint oil mixed with water is another great remedy for heatstroke.

Simple diet chart to be followed during summer season

An ideal summer diet would be as follows:

  • Two glasses of water, followed by a cup of tea & 2 lite biscuits on rising.
  • Wheat flakes with unsweetened soy milk and fruit for breakfast.
  • Fresh lime juice or tender coconut water as mid-morning drink.
  • Brown rice with rasam, vegetable curry, curd and sprouts and greens salad for lunch.

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Today is an opportunity to kick off some new habits that may just stick. Little by little, you’ll start to see a difference in how you feel and look.  If you devote one day to healthy eating, you will know you can do it again and again and learn to enjoy it!. Adding fiber-rich, low-calorie foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains will help you feel satisfied on fewer calories

Click here for Summer Healthy Foods

Here we bring to you healthy summer foods along with many vegetables to eat in summer, fruits as well as drinks that will help you fight the heat and enjoy your vacation days better!

1. Corn

Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. And did you know that two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—in corn may act like natural sunglasses, helping to form macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays? It’s true. The same antioxidants may also help lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 (though much of the damage occurs decades earlier).

 2. Iced Coffee

An iced pick-me-up is a great way to start your summer mornings. Better yet: drinking a single cup of coffee daily may lower your risk of developing skin cancer. In one study of more than 93,000 women, those who drank one cup of caffeineted coffee a day reduced their risk of developing non melanoma skin cancer by about 10 percent. And the more they drank—up to about 6 cups or so per day—the lower their risk.

 3. Tart Cherries

They deliver a host of health benefits. You may have heard that drinking tart cherry juice can help you get a better night’s sleep and quell post-workout pain. But did you know that compounds in tart cherries may also help you slim down and get leaner? The anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.

4 Tomatoes

There’s no question that sunscreen should be your first line of defense against the blazing summer sun. But eating tomatoes could give you a little extra protection: consuming more lycopene—the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red—may protect your skin from sunburn. In one study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they ate 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or drank about 1 2/3 cups of carrot juice daily), in addition to their regular diet, for 10 to 12 weeks

5. Watermelon

Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable. It also helps keep your body cool (by sweating) during hot summer months. It is low in calories and yet still contains great amounts of nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants like Vitamin C and lycopene. You can eat it, too: in addition to delivering skin-protecting lycopene, watermelon is 92 percent water (hence the name). Another boon? Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. (Interestingly enough, drinking water alongside foods doesn’t have the same effect.)

6. Raspberries

Raspberries are a great source of fiber—some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber—and a study in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating more fiber may help prevent weight gain or even promote weight loss. Over the course of a two-year study, researchers found that when study participants boosted their fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories, they lost about 4 1/2 pounds. Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams

7. Iced Tea

Sure, a tall glass of iced tea on a hot day is refreshing, but did you know it might also do your body good? Studies show if you drink tea regularly, you may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. Regardless of the variety—black, green, oolong, white or herbal—maximize the power of tea’s flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. If you want to keep a batch of cold tea in your refrigerator, “add a little lemon juice,” because citric acid and vitamin C in that squeeze of lemon—or lime, or orange—help preserve the flavonoids.

8. Blueberries

Fresh blueberries straight from the berry patch are a special treat! Turns out the antioxidants in them may help ward off muscle fatigue by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during exercise, according to recent research.

9  Mulberries

These sweet, juicy summer berries are tasty both fresh and dried in trail mix or in a salad. At just 43 calories per 3.5 oz serving, they contain 61 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, and they’re also chock full of potassium, fiber, and resveratrol, a phytonutrient shown to protect the heart.

10 Coriander

Coriander has numerous health benefits and is packed with nutrients such as fiber, iron, thiamine, zinc, folate, phosphorous, folate, vitamin K, and more, It has a great aroma and flavor that screams summer! Coriander may increase the production of digestive acids, which can help stimulate the gut to move waste out. A healthy digestive tract is key for weight loss.

11 Pineapple

This sweet tropical fruit is the perfect ingredient for summer smoothies and juices. It contains the proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which aids in the digestion of protein and blood clot formation. As an anti-inflammatory super food, pineapple can help reduce swelling and in turn, you’ll have a flatter belly.

12 Mishirkhand

This is a great source of fiber. This plant is great for weight loss due to its high fiber to sugar ratio (a whopping 32g of fiber per medium jimaca—that’s almost an entire day’s worth). They are also a good source of potassium, an essential mineral in maintaining water balance in our body.

13 Bitter Melon – Karela

This bitter and slightly sweet melon and helps improve digestion and lower blood sugar. Too much sugar in the blood stream sends a signal to the pancreas to release the fat storing hormone insulin. By keeping your blood sugar under control, you will reduce the likelihood of storing calories as fat. Can’t stomach the bitterness? Try soaking it in chilled saltwater for a few hours prior to eating (raw or cooked).

14 Mango

Mangoes are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth and to help to ward off other cravings. Mangoes are high in fiber, magnesium, antioxidants, and iron (making them a great snack for women who may have iron deficiency or anemia). And because mangoes aid in digestion, you want to focus on eating the fruit versus just drinking the juice.

15 Figs

This fiber- and potassium-rich fruit makes the perfect summer snack. At around 170 calories for 8 oz, you can eat them alone, in salads, in cereals, or wrapped in prosciutto (just don’t grab a Fig Newton—you’ll get more nutrition and less fat from the actual fruit).

16 Peaches

Packed with important nutrients including vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron, one medium peach (only 38 calories) provides nearly 2 grams of fiber. A peach provides gentle laxative and diuretic properties; and thanks to itsbeta – carotenee, it also helps your skin stay fresh and bright.

17 Sweet peppers – Shimla Mirch

Peppers are a great weight-loss food since all varieties contain capsaicin, a natural metabolism booster. Add them into salsa or eat them fresh, roasted, or stuffed to reap their better-body benefits.

18 Plums

Full of nutrients and phytochemicals, plums are light in calories but heavy on flavor. And they also make a great dessert! Indulge without ruining your diet with plum cake

19 Peas

Peas have higher protein and iron levels than most vegetables, so they can be a good source of nutrients—and an alternative to non-animal foods which tend to be higher in saturated fat.

20 Green Beans

This summer veggie staple is a great low calorie and fat-free source of fiber and iron, Not a fan of green beans? Hide them in hearty and healthy bean salad (a great lighter alternative to potato salad for picnics).

21 Turnip

Did you know turnips could help you shed belly fat? Their high vitamin C and phytochemical levels help detoxify your body—and too many toxins in the body can lead to fat accumulation around your waist. At only 34 calories and 8 grams of carbohydrates per cup (vs. a potato’s 113 calories and 26 grams of carbohydrates), try making mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes for a nutrient-dense, low-calorie alternative.

22 Grapes

Rich in vitamin C and phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, grapes may also protect against Type 2 diabetes. Grapes also have a high water content, making them a refreshing summer snack that helps you feel full and satisfied (1 cup of fresh grapes contain only 100 calories).

23 Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fiber, which helps to reduce blood sugar and insulin spikes, ultimately reducing belly fat.  Substituting a sweet potato for potato salad, potato chips, or mashed potatoes at BBQs to save hundreds of calories.

24  Salsa

Salsa is low in calories and tastes great on all kinds of healthy foods. It has antioxidants, such as lycopene, which aid in cellular health. Use salsa in place of other high-calorie dips such as hummus, onion dips, and cheese dips and you’re guaranteed to cut calories.

25 Blackberries

A cup of blackberries has only 62 calories and is packed with fiber and phytochemicals, including powerful flavonoids and anthocyanins, which help to speed stool and toxins through your digestive system. Their high water and fiber content, plus sweet taste, make them the perfect refreshing summer weight-loss food.

26 Lima Beans – Sem

Lima beans are great vegetarian sources of protein (one cup offers 15 grams, or the same as 2 ounces of meat). The fat-free beans are also packed with soluble fiber and iron to provide long-term energy and satisfaction.

27 Walnuts

Full of fiber and heart-healthy fats (including omega-3’s, which have shown to have metabolic-boosting benefits), walnuts are great to crunch on instead of “bad” fat-filled and salted potato chips. Just watch your portion size since nuts are high in calories. (We recommend tossing a handful into a salad to add crunch and flavor).

28 Gazpacho

Made of mostly vegetables and spices (a soup made with chopped tomatoes and onions and cucumbers and peppers and herbs; served cold ), gazpacho is full of water, fiber, and antioxidants, making it a low-calorie, filling option that can replace more caloric and fattening foods in your diet. Plus, eating a low-calorie soup (like Gazpacho) before a meal could help you consume 20 percent fewer calories at mealtimes.

29 Bananas

Bananas contain a small amount of fiber and resistant starch, which have received recent attention for their potential role in boosting weight loss. Snacking on bananas is easy, convenient, and low cal. They’re also a great source of potassium, which can be lost in sweat during tough workouts or on hot summer days. Plus they make for nice drinks, with carrot and orange juice.

30 Cabbage

In addition to being nutritious, low-cal and full of fiber, cabbage is also a top source of sulfur, a mineral our bodies use to produce the natural hair-and-nail strengthener keratin. To stay slim and enjoy more beautiful hair and nails, whip up some vinegar-based coleslaw. Just stay away from creamy coleslaw; it can contain a whopping 19 grams of fat per cup!

31 Arugula – Rocket leaves

At a tiny 20 calories for every 3 cups, arugula provides an excellent source of folate, vitamins A and C, and more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K needs. Not only is it a great weight-loss food, arugula can also help reduce your risk of bone fractures this summer: A recent study found that people who consumed approximately 250 micrograms per day of vitamin K had a 35-percent lower risk of hip fractures compared to those who consumed just 50 micrograms per day.

32 Celery

Although available year–round, celery is best in the summer. This super low-calorie food is also an excellent source of vitamins K and C, and a good source of many other essential nutrients such as dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and thiamine. Crunching on celery is one of the oldest diet tricks because it may help decrease overall calorie consumption and aid in healthy digestion.

33 Lemons and Limes

Both lemons and limes are excellent sources of Vitamin C, but it’s their flavor that aids in weight loss the most. We’ve all been told to drink lots of water, but sometimes water’s lackluster taste causes us to turn to other beverages. Add lemon or lime juice to boost your water’s flavor and can help you drink more—staying hydrated may help suppress appetite.

34 Wheat

Wheat often gets a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, but it can offer vital nutrients that are helpful for dieters. The whole grains found in wheat (such as bulgur) are great sources of energy, as they are high in B vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

35 Oats

A great energy source and naturally high in soluble fiber (the goopy, gelatinous fiber that promotes good digestion), oats are a great weight-loss food since so many diets cause constipation. Eat them as a nourishing hot breakfast cereal or dry as granola.

36 Oregano

This flavorful, easy to use herb is rich in vitamin K, antioxidants, minerals, and omega-3 oils. Plus, the natural aromatherapy of oregano makes you a happy eater—key for long-term success.

37 Yogurt

Yogurt contains natural probiotics, which can help reduce tummy bloating, gas and constipation (often problematic while dieting). Just choose Greek varieties, which are higher in protein, lower in added sugar, and creamy.

38 Coconut Water

Coconut water is inexpensive and carries a powerhouse of nutritional benefits. Coconut water has electrolytes that make it one of the best hydrating agents. Besides being an excellent cooling drink, it helps in reducing blood pressure level, provides anti-aging properties, acts as a natural diuretic besides being a refreshing summer drink. you can re-energise your body with coconut water.

 

You know summer’s the perfect time to switch to flip-flops, but did you know it’s also the right time to change your diet? Being outdoors more often—and sweating—ups your risk for health problems such as dehydration, skin sensitivities, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The simple (and delicious) solution? Eat local, in-season fruits. Their nutrients are at their peak in the summer.

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What’s so special about eating foods that are in season? They’ve got twice as much flavor, that extra crunch and are extremely high on vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

Summer bearings include a lot of green vegetables, melons, peaches, corn, mangoes and other fresh and fragrant herbs. Local markets are at their best during summer, when fruits are abundant, and vegetables are as fresh as can be.

Consuming foods that are not in season may come with a risk of chemicals and preservatives that are applied to fruits and veggies to keep them fresh.

Salad leaves

Amaranth leaves, rocket leaves, basil and other summer herbs should be tossed in a salad  bowl and topped off with a yogurt dressing to make a great summer salad. They create a power house of nutrition and are a great way to lose weight. Bung in fruits, nuts, white meat, peppers, mint or coriander leaves to make a light and lovely meal.

What to drink to beat the heat

Watermelon is approximately 90 per cent water, so it’s undoubtedly the best way to keep yourself hydrated. It helps with digestion and keeps the stomach cool. Eating watermelon can help protect skin from oxidative stress that contributes to the aging process, clear up acne and brighten a dull complexion also have a glass of ice-cold watermelon juice daily.

Aam Panna – Two glasses of aam pana can help with digestion, constipation and chronic stomach problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Make it at home to ensure the use of recommended quantities of sugar and salt.

Mint water with lemon: One glass of strained mint water with two drops of lemon works wonders. It acts as a liver cleanser, boosts your metabolism and helps those with a low appetite.

Barley Water: Have two glasses a day and in case you find it bland, add a drop of lemon or honey for taste. Since barley water is rich in fiber, it prevents constipation and also helps in controlling your appetite.

Cucumber : Cucumber is probably the best vegetable to eat in summer. It works great for skin by helping in skin problems like dark circles, sunburns etc. It has silicon and sulfur that promotes hair growth, it also has a high water content that cleans bodies by removing toxins. Also, cucumbers are great for heart health due to its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory effects.

Dark Leafy vegetables : Try on dark leafy vegetables, especially the raw spinach and kale salads. They are known to provide protection against the heat of the sun. These leafy greens are also known to reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. You can also add some spinach leaves to your smoothies to keep the healthy factor intact. You can also add these leafy veggies to your favorite sandwiches or wraps.

Oranges : The sweet citrus fruit is rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s crucial in the summer. You lose potassium through sweat, which puts you at risk for muscle cramps. So eating oranges replenishes your supply and keeps muscle cramps away. Oranges are also about 80% water, so popping a few juicy slices will keep you hydrated during your sweatiest summer days.

Zucchini : Part of the summer squash family, zucchini contains a fiber called pectin, which is linked to increasing heart health and lowering cholesterol. 

Summers are as equally vibrant, fun and exciting as any other season. But, even though it is not one of the favorites of many people, it still has a lot to offer.

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Click here for Tips for Summer Eating by Ayurveda

The concept of Ayurveda focuses on the understanding that our food has a direct effect on our overall health. The seasons are characterised by vata dosha, pitta dosha and kapha dosha in the body. Summer is hot, bright and sharp, and is known to be the season of pitta dosha. Therefore, Ayurveda suggests that everyone, especially individuals whose prakruti is primarily pitta dosha, is to keep cool and not allow it to be aggravated. The right foods eaten according to the season can help promote sattva (purity) detox and rejuvenate the body that further leads to an overall boost in the immunity, physical and mental strength and digestion.

Follow pitta pacifying diet. Good fruits for summer include apples, pears, melons, plums and prunes. Watermelon and lime juice are also good in summer. Try steamed asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprout and cucumber raita. Khichdi made of basmati rice and moong dal, with a little ghee and grated coconut makes a delicious light meal. You should avoid sour fruits, citrus fruits, sour cream, cheese, dark meats, et al that produce heat in the body.

Summer has two parts – mild summer till mid-April and peak summer from mid-April till end of June. Dryness and heat increases in summer, hence making digestive system weak. We should take food that can be digested easily. Foods that can reduce the heat in body are super foods in summers. Include sattu, roasted pulses, pomegranate, watermelon, fenugreek leaves, amla and buttermilk to ensure a healthy body.

Dosha balancing during summer : Vata is slowly building up during summer and Kapha Dosha, which shoots up in spring, starts to lower down naturally during summer. In summer the sun rays become powerful and appear to be destructive, Kapha decreases day by day and Vata increases consequently. Foods of sweet taste, coolant foods, liquid diet, oils fried food and drinks are desirable in summer.

one should consume water-rich fruits and foods for staying hydrated and energised during the summer. Include moong dal, chana, green leafy vegetables and coconut, which is a natural electrolyte, papaya and alkaline vegetables like radish, snake gourd, pumpkin and banana stem.

Eat at the right time – An important part of balancing Pitta and keeping coll is to eat your meal in the middle of the day when your digestive fire is strongest. Skipping meal is also a sure fire way to upset Pitta – notice how cranky you feel when you miss lunch.

Here are some of the summer foods that Ayurveda suggests to include in your daily diet:

1. Sattu

Sattu is typically made of Bengal gram and is said to have an instant cooling effect on the body. It is high in insoluble fibre that makes it good for your intestines, and is low on glycaemic index making it good for diabetics. A perfect cooling agent and a power-packed energiser, you must add sattu in your diet.

2. Amla (Indian gooseberry)

Amla, or Indian gooseberry, makes for a popular and healthy fruit, and is known for numerous nutritional benefits. This sour-bitter fruit works as an excellent coolant during hot days. Did you know amla juice contains about 20 times more vitamin-C than any other juice? So, this summer binge on amle ka murabba or amla juice to ensure a healthy you.

3. Ghee

According to Ayurveda, ghee is loaded with healthy fats that help our body to keep going. Moreover, our body gets dry in summer, therefore, consumption of a half spoon of ghee every day may help balance the internal moisture. Ghee is known to be a ‘sweet food’ as it is strengthening, aids digestion and tempers the over-activity of all the three bodily doshas.

4. Ginger

The zingy root has anti-inflammatory properties to help ease overheated and irritated skin. In fact, drinking ginger juice may help soothe stomach discomfort. Load up on ginger tea or juice; you can also add it in your curries on a daily basis to stay healthy.

5. Alkaline Vegetables

During the process of digestion, our stomach tends to secrete gastric acids that help in breaking down foods. Sometimes due to unhealthy lifestyle and food habits, the acidic level of the body increases, leading to acidity and acid refluxes. In order to reduce the chances of increased acid levels, you must binge on alkaline foods like green leafy vegetables, root vegetables like sweet potato, beet roots, carrots, nuts, onion and garlic, et al.

6. Coconut

Coconut water makes for one of the best electrolytes in summers. This refreshing elixir not only helps to rejuvenate your body system, but also keep you wary from dehydration in extreme heat. Thanks to the presence of essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium. Drinking coconut water or adding coconut in your curries and vegetables will keep you rejuvenated.

7. Water-rich Fruits

Summers also welcome water-rich fruits like watermelon, berries, grapefruits, pineapple, peaches, mango, et al. These fruits will keep you from getting dehydrated and ensure you are refreshed. You can blend these fruits in to delicious juices or eat them as is.

8. Herbs Like Ashwagandha, Brahmi And Tulsi

These three cooling herbs help in cooling your body. Ashwagandha is known to reduce inflammation in the body further treating conditions like asthma and arthritis. Brahmi can soothe the body nerves and reduce stress in the body. Tulsi, or holy basil, acts as a detoxifying and cleansing agent. It is also known to cool your body system in extreme heat. You can drink herbal teas to see effective results.

 

Myths about summer Foods :

Myth #1 –  If you swallow watermelon seeds, a watermelon will grow in your stomach : Even though your stomach isn’t the ideal growing environment for a watermelon, mom was right in trying to get you to avoid swallowing watermelon seeds. There is a very small risk that the larger, dark seeds could irritate and even damage your intestines. It’s best to avoid swallowing sharp, non-digestible objects as a general rule.

Myth #2 – Microwaving the food reduces its nutritional value : if you use a little bit of water and cover the vegetables, it will actually help in keeping all the vitamins and minerals intact and steam the vegetables in the best possible manner.

Myth #3 – Organic food is more healthy : Eating anything that is organic isn’t okay. Organic snacks eaten in excess, thinking that they are healthy, can cause you more harm than good.

Myth #4 – Salads are always the healthiest options on the menu : Salads are indeed healthy but all the toppings and dressings that are later added to it like mayonnaise etc. have fats and are high on calorie count. These high calorie products can cause you more than those fries that you are trying to avoid. So try to avoid those creamy sweetened toppings in a salad and go healthy.

Myth #5 –  Egg Yolks are bad for health : Whole egg is high in cholesterol but low in fat. Including the whole egg in your diet will not affect your cholesterol levels or risk of having a heart attack or any other such disease.

Myth #6 – Chocolate causes weight gain : Chocolate is not the only primary reason behind weight gain. Anything eaten in moderation won’t affect your health and weight. It is absolutely fine to eat chocolates until eaten in moderation. Excess of any processed food would anyway lead to weight gain.

Myth #7 – White chocolate is chocolate : White chocolate is not really a chocolate. It is known to be a confection made with the help of cocoa butter, milk solids and vanilla.

Myth #8 – Chocolate lacks health benefits : Chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants, magnesium and zinc. It also contains phosphate, calcium and protein which helps reduce insulin resistance. Dark chocolate has health benefits in terms of antioxidants. Consumption of dark chocolate in moderation may help in maintaining the blood pressure and could also keep your heart healthy.

Myth #9 – Watermelon’s tasty, but not nutritious : Even though watermelon is very watery (read: hydrating) and low in calories (only 46 per cup!), it packs a healthy nutrition punch. In addition to some vitamin C (20% of the Daily Value per cup), watermelon delivers lycopene—the same red-tinged antioxidant found in tomatoes, linked to a lower risk of certain cancers.

Myth #10 – Eating ripe mangoes will cause heat boils : No fruit or food, not even mangoes, can cause extra heat in the body. There is no scientific evidence to back it. The boils depend on an individual’s constitution and environment.

Myth #11 – If I am still urinating Sweating, I don’t have a heat stroke : It’s a common misconception that heat exhaustion and heat stroke are only serious when the kidneys stop producing urine. Waiting for that to happen can be a mistake. Heat stroke is caused when the internal temperature of the body reaches dangerous level and can cause severe damage or even death.

Myth #12 – Sports drinks beat the heat : Sports drinks will give you the same water and electrolytes that aam panna and nimbu pani will. Except it comes with a price mark-up. Instead soak mint leaves in water to add flavor and encourage you to continue sipping periodically.

Myth #13 – Fan, not Ac, is the best way to stave off heat stroke : During a heat wave, fans alone won’t provide enough cool air, especially for older adults and young children, whose thermo-regulation systems don’t work as well in extreme temperatures. They need extra attention, and staying in an air-conditioned facility is safest. However, the only drawback of the AC is that prolonged exposure or very cold temperature can cause skin to dry.Maintain the AC temperature at 22-24 degrees and humidify the room.

Myth #14 – You shouldn’t drink less than eight glasses of water a day : The funny thing, though, is it’s actually a myth; that number has been around forever, but you don’t have to abide by it to get all the fluids your body needs. People should drink depending on their age, location, and health, and some of those fluids can come from foods.

Myth # 15 – Eating small meals throughout the day will boost your metabolism : There’s no proof that actually works. There’s absolutely no difference in metabolism when comparing those who consumed six smaller meals with those who ate three normal-sized meals. In fact, the people who ate the smaller meals tended to be hungrier than those who didn’t, increasing their desire to eat.

Myth #16 – You can’t get enough protein on a vegan or vegetarian diet : You can easily do that through plants. You can absolutely get enough protein on a vegetarian diet. You just have to give it some thought and make sure to incorporate protein sources at every meal.

Myth #17 – You should burn more calories than you consume : The calorie equation is a myth. Your metabolism and hunger cues shift when you eat and move more or less. Remaining in a calorie deficit for a long period of time will result in a slower metabolism, feelings of fatigue, and eventual weight gain once you inevitably start eating more again.

Myth #18 – Any drink will rehydrate you on a  hot day : While a soft drink or ice-cold beer may really feel like they’re hitting the spot, they aren’t doing the job you need them to do. In fact, it’s a myth that any drink will rehydrate you. Drinks high in sugar or alcoholic beverages will actually further dehydrate you.

 

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