Heatwave foods: 7 summer-friendly foods to beat the heat and nourish the body | Health - Hindustan Times
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Heatwave foods: 7 summer-friendly foods to beat the heat and nourish the body

By, New Delhi
Apr 22, 2024 09:05 PM IST

As the heatwave conditions take hold in various parts of the country and the temperatures touch 40-45 degrees, it's time to indulge in cooling foods.

Intense heatwave conditions have gripped many parts of the country as the maximum temperature has settled many notches higher than normal ranging from 40-45 degrees in regions like Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Heatwave, a period of abnormally hot weather can even become fatal to humans if exposed. Combined with high humidity, impact on wellness is multiplied. The best strategy to survive such weather conditions as per experts is to stay hydrated and prevent heat exposure, especially in peak hours. (Also read: 10 hydrating fruits to beat the heatwave and stay healthy)

Heatwave alert! The extreme heat can cause dehydration, skin irritation, sunburn and even heat strokes in extreme conditions.(Freepik)
Heatwave alert! The extreme heat can cause dehydration, skin irritation, sunburn and even heat strokes in extreme conditions.(Freepik)

Intense heat can affect the way our body functions, impacting heart, kidney, lung, liver and all crucial body organs. The extreme heat can cause dehydration, skin irritation, sunburn and even heatstrokes in extreme conditions. To cope with sweltering summer heat, the body works hard to cool down the temperature. Water loss in the form of sweating can also deplete electrolytes from the body. It is advised to take sufficient rest and rejuvenate your body in order to be healthy during summer season.

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Nutrition is of paramount importance when it comes to beating the heat and cooling down the body. There is no dearth of seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs that are hydrating and helps the body manage its core temperature.

COOLING FOODS TO COMBAT HEATWAVE

Dr Vanita Arora, Senior Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiologist & Interventional Cardiologist at Apollo Hospital, Delhi in an interview with HT Digital shares foods that can help combat scorching summer heat.

"While most people focus on cooling off externally, it’s the internal temperature of the body that plays an integral role in our wellbeing. The good news is that there are remedies to your body heat in your kitchen that can give you a quick fix and even protect you from the heat," says Dr Arora.

Here are some of the summer foods suggested by Dr Arora that should be a part of your daily diet to beat the heat.

1. Watermelon: This juicy and refreshing fruit is a summer staple across India. Watermelon is about 92% water, which makes it an excellent hydrating food. It also contains lycopene, an antioxidant that magically protects your skin from sun damage caused by UV Rays. You can enjoy it sliced or blended with basil leaves and lemon for a delightful summer treat.

2. Beetroot and carrot: The classic combo for every heat, due to its nutritious values as well as the detox properties, it removes heat from your body and neutralizes the temperature to keep your digestion in check. You can either eat them sliced or make a relishing juice by adding apples and gooseberries to the mix.

3. Cucumber: Another hydrating household staple, cucumbers are crisp, refreshing, and extremely low in calories. They consist of around 95% water, making them ideal for staying hydrated during the summer. Cucumbers also provide vitamins K and C, which contributes to bone health and immunity. Slice them up for a light salad with meals or dip them in hummus for a healthy snack.

4. Mint: This herb not only adds a fresh burst of flavour to dishes but also has multiple cooling properties. Mint can also help soothe indigestion and alleviate body heat if consumed regularly. You can add fresh mint leaves to salads, iced tea, or infuse them into water for regular consumption. You can also use mint to make homemade mint sorbet—a delightful and cooling dessert.

5. Coconut water: Nature's energy drink, coconut water, is full of electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, which are essential for rehydration. It’s an easy way to replace lost fluids and minerals due to sweating during summers. Drink coconut water chilled for a satisfying and hydrating beverage.

6. Salads: You can go for everyday salads loaded with hydrating vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and leafy vegetables like Kale, Spinach etc. These veggies have high water content and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Add protein sources like grilled chicken or chickpeas to make your salad a complete meal.

7. Raw food snacks: For a quick and cooling snack, turn to raw options like sliced bell peppers, carrots, or celery sticks. These crunchy snacks are hydrating and provide a satisfying crunch. Pair them with a yogurt-based dip or hummus for added flavour and nutrition.

Including these summer foods into your daily diet will not only keep you cool and hydrated but also provide essential nutrients to support your overall health during the hot season.

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