Spices to eat and avoid during summer season
Adding certain spices to your food in summer can work wonders for your digestive system and body temperature. But not all spices are good for you in hot weather.
The scorching summer heat can slow down your digestion and take a toll on energy levels. It is imperative to keep your body cool in hot months for smooth functioning of your body and mind. However, to regulate body temperatures, it is not the temporary relief of ice cream and shakes that is going to help you but the long-lasting effect of naturally cooling foods. (Also read: Fight summer fatigue with these 7 energising foods)
Adding certain spices to your food in summer can work wonders for your digestive system and body temperature. While coriander can help fight inflammation, fennel seeds promote good digestion. Mint brings down the body temperature while cumin seeds can combat bloating and acid reflux.
Not all spices are for summers though. Red chilli powder for instance must be avoided in hot weather as it may raise body temperature and cause burning sensation in stomach. Ginger on the other hand can lead to heartburn, diarrhoea and other stomach problems.
Gurpreet Kaur, Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chandigarh talks about best and worst spices for summer season.
Best spices for summer season
1. Coriander: It has diaphoretic properties which aids in inducing perspiration and brings down the inner temperature, detoxifies the body and keeps it cool and fresh. It not only helps the body to get rid of excess heat and toxins, but also soothe the digestive tract and fight inflammation.
How to add coriander to your diet
- A tsp of crushed coriander seeds can be added to vegetable stir-fries, curries and soups.
- Coriander leaves could be used in making salsas with cucumber and tomatoes.
- Coriander chutneys can be made by its leaves, which can even be used as a sauce or dips.
2. Fennel seeds: It is also a popular Indian mouth freshener. Its cooling properties help in stimulating intestinal juices which promote good digestion, thus helping with acid reflux. It is also an excellent source of Vitamin C.
How to add fennel seeds to your diet
- Fresh fennel bulb can be used in making stews, soups and broths.
- Fennel tea can be made by brewing fennel seeds in hot water.
- Powdered form of fennel seeds can be used as seasoning on fruits and vegetable salads.
3. Cumin Seeds: This common kitchen spice in Indian household not only enhances the aroma of the food, but also regulates the body temperature. It is a savoury spice that aids in detoxification and is a remedy for flatulence and bloating problems. It makes you feel light and refreshes your body in this scorching heat.
How to add cumin seeds to your diet
- The crushed cumin seeds can be used in marinades and also be added be in vegetable stir fries, soups and lentils.
- The dry roasted seeds crushed into powder can be added to curd, buttermilk, shakes and lemon water.
4. Mint: It is a perennial herb and a tasty spice. It is a key component for menthol which provides a cooling sensation. It aids in improving indigestion, relieves acidity and gastritis related chest pain. It spreads the excess energy released in digestion process by opening up and activating the pores in the skin thereby bringing down body temperature.
How to add mint to your diet
- A sprig of fresh mint can be added in herbal teas.
- Green mint chutney can be made with its leaves, also can be used as sauce or marinades.
However, there are few other spices which we should avoid in summers. Because these spices could lead to various stomach problems.
Worst spices for summer
1. Red chilli powder: It causes burning sensation in stomach, throat and chest, if taken in excess amounts. It could also raise the body temperature.
2. Garlic: It has many benefits from weight loss, controlling hunger to boosting metabolism. However, it is advisable to consume it more in winter season and only sparingly in summer as it elevates the temperature of the body. It may also cause bad breath, acid reflux and increased risk of bleeding.
3. Ginger: It tastes strong and excessive consumption of it in summers can be harmful. It can also cause heartburn, diarrhoea and other stomach problems, if taken in excess amounts.