Heat wave taking a toll on you? Avoid heat stroke, stay healthy with this summer diet
Even as Delhi and north India is sweltering under heatwave-like conditions, with temperature touching 43.6 degrees celsius on Saturday in the capital, here’s a summer diet plan, recommended by nutritionists and food consultants, to stay healthy and avoid heat stroke.Updated: May 27, 2018 10:00 IST
The unrelenting summer this year, what with heatwave-like conditions in most parts of north India (in capital Delhi, the temperature touched 43.6 degree celsius on Saturday), can cause havoc in your body and ruin your health. The searing heat can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. But you can fight the harsh effects of the soaring temperatures by eating right and taking a few precautions.
Here’s what experts have to say.
“Load up on fruits which are high in water content. Say yes to citrus fruits like oranges, and melons like muskmelon and watermelon. Most veggies are cooling for your system, and in particular, increase your intake of dudhi and turai,” shares Anjali Peswani, a Mumbai-based nutritionist and food consultant.
Drink coconut water, kokum sherbet, aam panna, buttermilk and lemon water as often as you can. Your body will thank you for it. These beverages will keep the body temperate in check from within.
There’s an increased need to hydrate yourself during the summer. But hydration is not just about upping your water intake. “When you perspire, you tend to lose sodium and potassium. So mix some glucon D or electrolytes in your water. Also drink fresh fruit juices often,” says Dr Abhishek Subhash, consultant physician, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai.
Indian summers are not kind to your skin. It’s a good idea to moisturise and use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or 30. It’s also important to wear loose clothing to allow your skin to breathe and let the air circulate. “Wearing tight clothes leads to sweat being stuck on the skin. This can leave you with skin or fungal infections, says Dr Subhash.
Let’s look at some of the things to avoid in this weather.
When it comes to food, avoid heavy and heat-inducing products like whole egg and red meat. “Deep-fried stuff, tea and coffee are a no-no too. Some people find mango also to be a little heat-y for them,” says Peswani. She also suggests staying off seafood like prawns and crabs.
Avoid spices like garam masala and sauces with high chili content like schezwan, harissa, barbeque and peri peri. These will lead to an increase in the body temperature. “Also avoid bingeing on foods that are high in salt like farsaan and processed food. Excess intake of salt causes an electrolyte imbalance, and a spike in blood pressure. It also causes you to perspire more,” she says.
Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes when it’s hot are not doing to do you any favours. “Cut down on them and you’ll feel better in general,” says Peswani.
For elder patients with a heart disease, lung disease, kidney problem, diabetes or any neurological conditions, it’s advisable to not venture out in the heat. “They are more prone to heat-related problems like a heat stroke. If they feel giddy or experience vomiting, they should seek medical help immediately,” says Dr Subhash.
Even young people need to be careful and avoid spending too much time outdoors. “And if they feel disoriented or experience muscle pain persistently, then they too need to seek help. These could be initial symptoms of a heat-related problem,” he says.
He opines that now is the best time for elderly diabetics and people with lung problems or asthma to take vaccinations. “They should approach a physician as it’s right before monsoon. Last year, there was a swine flu and influenza outbreak so it’s best to get vaccinated,” he says.
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