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Start a salad summer romance

brunch Updated: Apr 21, 2012 16:42 IST
Dr Shikha Sharma
Dr Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

When the mercury begins to soar, very few people have the urge to eat heavy meals, and as a result, many people end up either missing their meals or tend to eat foods that upset their digestion. Here are some basic tenets to follow to eat light and healthy meals in summer.

* Avoid the use of refined foods, which are essentially flours.
* Remember that too much salt in the food can be dehydrating.
* White sugar should be avoided or consumed in very small amounts.
* Fried foods are to be avoided as they increase the pitta of the body, leading to acidity and indigestion.
* Avoid using elements of garam masala in the food.

The sign of a healthy, well-balanced meal is that the appetite is satiated and yet there is no heaviness or discomfort. Also, there is no excessive thirst (needing to drink a lot of water with meals is a sign of a very heavy meal).

Summer is the time for full-meal
Salads, which despite being light on digestion are great for health. Here are some options:

Boiled corn and pineapple salad: Boiled corn is naturally sweet, and a whole grain – a source of niacin, vitamin C and several other B vitamins. Pineapple is excellent for digestion. Its natural sweetness balances the pitta in the body.



Fruits

Boiled black channa and potato salad with chaat masala: Black channa is a naturally low glycemic food, which is very useful for those on a weight loss diet and for diabetics. In ayurveda, black channa has been recommended for diabetics due to its cooling taasir; unlike its fried counterpart, it is not fattening. Boiled potato adds flavour to this salad, as well as fibre.

Fruit and sprout chaat: Many find sprouts strange-tasting if eaten on their own, but mung sprouts with fruit make a delicious snack. One can eat the sprouts raw or very lightly steamed (not boiled as it spoils the texture of the sprouts). Then add anar (pomegranate), chopped apples, peanuts, chopped cucumber and chaat masala.

This kind of snack is a storehouse of energy and health. Sprouts are a source of natural vegan protein (which is excellent as a cardio-protective and cancer-protective food item), and are rich in many minerals, including chromium, which is good for diabetics. Apple is the famous fruit that keeps the doctor away. Anar is also rich in alkali, which makes the system alkaline and is also rich in several vitamins (according to folk traditions, anar is a medicinal fruit).

Boiled sweet peas, chopped pineapple and roasted sweet potato salad: This salad contains vegan protein, digestive enzymes, vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, natural fibre, and is a good source of energy. To add a tangy, zesty flavour, add balsamic vinegar to this salad.

Note: This salad is filling enough to be a complete meal by itself.

From HT Brunch, April 22

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