Drinking sharbat healthy or harmful in summer season? Know from a nutritionist

Published on May 18, 2022 04:34 PM IST
  • Looking for summer thirst quenchers? Sharbat can be your go-to drink, only if you follow these tips by a nutritionist.
Are sharbats healthy or harmful? (Pinterest)
Are sharbats healthy or harmful? (Pinterest)

As peak summer season is upon us and the heat wave is not expected to recede anytime soon, people are looking for cooling foods, drinks and beverages to quench their thirst. Drinking homemade sharbats is one of the natural ways to beat the heat and stay hydrated. While one must be craving for ice creams and caffeinated beverages all the time, it is better to go for homemade drinks and other healthier alternatives like watermelon, mangoes, cucumbers, gourds to avoid getting dehydrated. Coming back to sharbats, aam panna, kokum sharbat, badam sharbat, chandan sharbat, falsa sharbat are some of the sharbats you can try making at home to hydrate yourself. Considering our sharbat intake has already gone up in summer season, we asked Rupali Mathur, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, New Delhi how healthy sharbats are and if they can have any side effects. (Also read: Best drinks, fruits, vegetables for people with diabetes in summer)

"Valued for its fragrance and exceptional health benefits, sharbats have an uplifting, cooling and restoring effect and innumerable properties to combat dehydration and heat. These heavenly summer coolers not only help in quenching thirst, but also provide with a lot of health benefits," says the nutritionist.

The expert lists all the benefits of having homemade sharbats:

Boosts blood circulation

Sharbats are an excellent source of iron, manganese and B6 vitamins. The iron present in it may help improve blood circulation in the body. Whereas, the presence of manganese in it may help to regulate blood pressure levels to a considerable extent.

Reduces redness in the eyes

Sharbat is a diuretic that has cooling properties. Apart from this, they are rich source of electrolytes, which helps to keep various eye issues away.

Reduces excessive thirst

Having a chilled glass of sharbat in sweltering heat is refreshing feeling. This summer cooler helps in reducing excessive thirst. To add to its nutritional value, you may also add lemon juice in it.

Good source of antioxidants

It is important to know that they have large amounts of antioxidants present in it. They not only boost the immunity, but also protect the organs and tissues from free radical damage. Drink up on this healthy beverage to make most of it.

Prevents dehydration

It is very important to keep you hydrated during this time of the year. Having a variety of sharbats at regular intervals could possibly keep dehydration at bay.

Sharbat side effects

While sharbats have many benefits, they have their own sets of disadvantages if you add too much sugar or artificial colouring to it. Know the side effects of sharbats with artificial sweeteners and preservatives from the nutritionist.

- Coloring agents, preservatives, sweeteners and flavors are unhealthy. Sugar intake can increase your weight and colouring agents can have harmful effect on the body.

- You may be tempted to have chilled drinks, but this may lead to reduced appetite, indigestion, stomach spasms etc in some people.

- Reduce the intake of sharbats that add calories from sugar and have no nutritional value.

- Artificial flavoring has phosphoric acid, which leads to calcium leaching from the bones. The lack of calcium makes the bones brittle.

- Studies shows that when a mom-to-be has more sugar, especially from sugar-sweetened drinks, their babies tend to have poorer problem-solving ability and verbal memory. Drinking it during pregnancy has been linked to poorer fine motor, visual, spatial and visual-motor abilities in early childhood.

Sharbat recipes

It's best to make sharbats at home to avoid these side effects. You can try these recipes by nutritionist Rupali Mathur.

Badam Sharbat

Ingredients

Almonds (soaked overnight and peeled)

Green cardamoms (crushed, cooked in water and strained)

Almond essence

Jaggery powder

Water

Kewda essence

Method

- Add a little water (enough to facilitate blending) to the almonds and blend to a fine paste.

- Strain through a fine sieve or muslin cloth and add some more water to the left-over almonds and blend and strain again.

- Make the liquid up-to 2 cups, by adding water if necessary.

- Add jaggery powder to the strained almond liquid and dissolve over low heat.

- When it dissolves, increase the heat and bring to a boil and let the syrup cook.

- Keep skimming off the scum as it cooks.

- Cook till a drop of syrup pressed between two fingers forms a thread (one-thread consistency). Add the cardamom extract and the kewda essence. Strain through a muslin cloth and cool.

- When cool, mix the potassium in a little of the syrup first and then add to the whole lot. Store in clean airtight bottles.

Chandan Sharbat

Ingredients

Chandan Powder

Green cardamoms (crushed, cooked in water and strained)

Honey

Milk

Lemon juice

Method

- Dissolve the honey in the water, not letting it come to a boil.

- When honey is dissolved, increase the heat and bring to a boil.

- Add the milk and continue to cook till scum forms on the sides, which you should skim off.

- Add the lemon juice and continue to cook till one thread consistency is reached.

- Take the pan off the heat and put the chandan packet into the syrup and cover immediately.

- Leave it overnight. Strain and store the Chandan ka sharbat in bottles.

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