Intense heatwave: 7 foods that can help prevent heat stroke | Health - Hindustan Times

Intense heatwave: 7 foods that can help prevent heat stroke

By, New Delhi
May 30, 2024 11:19 AM IST

As intense heatwave takes hold in Delhi, it's crucial to take all possible measures to protect your body and mind from the ill effects of extreme temperatures.

This year's summer has been quite brutal engulfing large swathes of the country, especially in the northern and eastern parts. The heatwave conditions in many states have worsened posing numerous health risks. The scorching temperature is not only contributing to lower voter turnout in the ongoing national election but also forcing many schools to close prematurely for summer vacation. (Also read | Severe heatwave grips Delhi: 5 things that can happen to the body when temperature soars above 45 degrees)

As Delhi reaches 46-47 degrees, it's important to avoid venturing outside during peak heat hours. (Pinterest)
As Delhi reaches 46-47 degrees, it's important to avoid venturing outside during peak heat hours. (Pinterest)

As Delhi reaches 46-47 degrees, it's important to avoid venturing outside during peak heat hours. Prioritising hydration and keeping your body cool will make sure you can avoid heat-related illnesses. One of the most dreaded summer conditions is heat stroke which can even turn fatal if not addressed. As per CDC, heat stroke occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature and heats up rapidly; its sweating mechanism fails, and it is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

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Adequate hydration and consuming foods rich in electrolytes and antioxidants can help regulate body temperature and prevent heat stroke. As there seems no respite from the extreme weather, it's important to add these hydrating foods suggested by G Sushma Clinical Dietician CARE Hospitals Banjar Hills Hyderabad, in your diet to tackle the unrelenting heat.

Foods to prevent heat stroke

1. Watermelon

Benefits: Watermelon is composed of over 90% water, making it an excellent choice for staying hydrated. It also contains essential electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, which help maintain the body's fluid balance. Additionally, its natural sugars provide a quick energy boost.

How to use: Enjoy watermelon as a refreshing snack, blend it into smoothies, or add it to salads for a hydrating and sweet addition.

2. Cucumber

Benefits: Cucumbers are incredibly hydrating due to their high water content, around 95%. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help cool the body. Cucumbers are low in calories and high in essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium.

How to Use: Eat cucumbers sliced in salads, add them to sandwiches, or infuse them in water for a refreshing drink.

3. Coconut water

Benefits: Coconut water is a natural electrolyte-rich drink that helps replenish lost fluids and minerals, such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium. It's also low in calories and contains natural sugars that provide an energy boost without causing dehydration.

How to Use: Drink coconut water on its own, use it in smoothies, or mix it with other juices for a hydrating beverage.

4. Citrus fruits (like oranges and lemons)

Benefits: Citrus fruits are rich in water and vitamin C, which can help keep the body hydrated and boost the immune system. Their natural sugars and antioxidants aid in energy production and reduce oxidative stress.

How to Use: Eat citrus fruits as a snack, squeeze lemon or lime juice into water, or add orange slices to salads and dishes.

5. Yoghurt

Benefits: Yogurt is a cooling and hydrating food that provides a good source of protein, probiotics, and essential nutrients like calcium and potassium. Probiotics aid digestion and help maintain a healthy gut, which can improve overall hydration and body function.

How to Use: Enjoy yogurt as a snack, add it to smoothies, or use it as a base for cold soups and dips.

6. Mint

Benefits: Mint has natural cooling properties that can help lower body temperature and provide a refreshing sensation. It's also known for its digestive benefits and can be soothing to the stomach.

How to Use: Add fresh mint leaves to drinks, salads, or yogurt, or brew mint tea for a cooling beverage.

7. Leafy Greens (like spinach and lettuce)

Benefits: Leafy greens have high water content and are rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium. They are low in calories and can help keep the body hydrated and nourished.

How to Use: Incorporate leafy greens into salads, sandwiches, smoothies, or as a side dish.

In addition to consuming these foods, it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid excessive intake of caffeine and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration. Wearing lightweight clothing and staying in cool, shaded areas during peak heat can also help prevent heat stroke.

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