Indian summers are a difficult time. Dehydration and skin irritations come as a packaged deal and we’d do pretty much anything to make them go away – like devour ice cream or gorge on cold fizzy beverages. But, they turn out to be more harmful for us than we think.
Summer is also a season of nutritious and hydrating fruits and veggies. Yes, nature finds its balance. Here is a list of stuff you could incorporate in your daily routine and viola! You will beat the summer heat in no time.
We call it ‘lauki’ and most of us are yet to realize the benefits of this vegetable. A great source of hydration, it also facilitates digestion. It is cooling, calming, diuretic and anti-bilious. ‘Lauki’ or bottle gourd juice with a pinch of sea salt maintains the electrolyte balance in the body. This is also a great remedy for people who have diarrhea.
They come in red, yellow and green colours with the green one being the most common in our Indian bazaars. What you may not know about this ‘tag-along’ food is that it is a terrific source of vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta-carotene and folic acid. Who would have thought! Added to that is its anti-oxidant property. Each coloured bell pepper has a specific nutrient content. Follow the chart for details.
|Vitamin A||12% DV||105% DV||3.6% DV|
|Vitamin C||137% DV||292% DV||282% DV|
|Beta Carotene||340 mcg||841 mcg||110 mcg|
Also, these wonder vegetables are a source of collagen. In short, time-reversal for your age! The reds are the best ones to go for.
The benefits of yoghurt are many. It keeps you cool; it works on your digestive system and keeps your gastronomical problems at bay.
How different is Greek Yoghurt, you ask? It is a tad bit sourer and thicker than its cousin but contains oodles of protein and less carbs. This makes it the best supplement for someone who wants to lose some pounds. Gorge on this instead of milkshakes during the summer and you’ll be left wondering why you didn’t try this potion before.
Green tea to be precise. This concoction is a drink made in heaven. It has zero calories in the first place. It is one of the best replacements for your regular tea and it comes in super grand and zesty flavours – honey, jasmine, lemongrass, you name it! It brings about lower risk of cancer and is a fuel to your brain. A no caffeine, no guilt drink!
The body loses fluids in summers. One may advice you to drink as much water as is possible. But, doesn’t it get a bit too repetitive? Swap it for watermelon! Not the juice but the fruit (for more nutrients). With its hydrating benefits, it brings along heaps of vitamins and lycopene.
Try this for a change and pack it up as your mid-day snack to work: Toss cubes of watermelon with crumbled feta cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh basil/mint leaves for a grown up and cooling salad.
This is the king of all good drinks. This is not just a refreshing glass of something; drink it up and save yourself from premature ageing and degenerative diseases! Coconut water is the ultimate hangover remedy as well (hence, the king).
These babies have zero cholesterol and much like most names on this list, are low on carbs. Cut them into pieces and sauté it with onions in a drizzle of olive oil. Spread it over brown bread or mix it with chicken sausages and green veggies for a salad, either way you have a dish that will do wonders to your health. They have scores of vitamins and they boost your immune system, ergo, summer sicknesses go out of the window!
Sugar palm fruit
It is also known as ice-apple and/or ‘tari’. Being nick-named ice-apple does it justice – it is a highly watery fruit in the shape of a flattened apple. It gives a cooling effect on the body and is known to cure skin diseases such as dermatitis.
P.S. Have you heard of ‘Jalbhara’ sandesh? It is a Bengali sweet dish made from sugar palm! Do give it a go!
We know it as ‘chaas’ and Amul has brought about its revolution among us youngsters! However, this recipe dates back to our forefathers who’d prepare buttermilk from scratch at home. It will hydrate you, wash down your fats and give you calcium and vitamins! There is more – low cholesterol levels and blood pressure reduced! I shall go on to call it a medicinal drink instead.
Also known as ‘pudina’, it is a skin cleanser. A bottle of water left to rest with mint leaves will give you a refreshing and flavourful drink. Also, lemon and mint are an awesome combination for coolers and salads! It saves you from respiratory disorders and headaches; it keeps skin irritants at bay and promotes digestion. Need I say more?