Beat the heat with these summer foods
It’s hot and it’s humid. But the good news is that there are food items that have a cooling effect on your body. They can help you stay hydrated and stay cool in summers.
Scorching summer calls for foods that will keep you cool and hydrated. In the blazing hot weather, chilled food and refreshing drinks that scream summer need to be on your go-to list for healthy and fresh choices. Apart from drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, it’s best to make small changes in your diet and add in quintessential summer snacks. And to help you incorporate those, we list a few summer foods brimming with incredible health benefits:
A great summer super fruit and the perfect thirst quencher, watermelon is essentially 90% water which makes you feel full and stay hydrated. It is also a great substitute for those with a sweet tooth as the natural sugars can satisfy the craving. This low-calorie snack is also packed with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. Some watermelon recipes to try include popsicles, sorbets, slushies and Watermelon and Mint cooler and Watermelon and Feta Salad.
Cucumber is incredibly hydrating and a great detoxifier. And as the popular phrase goes, ‘cool as a cucumber’; what makes this beneficial for summer is the fact that it is high water content (more than 90%) to help you stay cool. With high fibre content and high in vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, cucumbers can easily meet your daily fluid requirement. Besides eating it raw, you can quickly whip some great dishes with cucumber that include cold cucumber soup, cucumber pickles, cucumber spritzer and cucumber salad.
Bael or Wood Apple
An instant energizer and cool, bael or wood apple is a powerhouse of nutrients and antioxidants. High in carbohydrates, the fruit is packed with potassium, iron, fibre and calcium. It also has a variety of therapeutic benefits according to Ayurveda. Moreover, it may also help in relieving indigestion, constipation and diarrhoea and can reduce inflammation. If you are wondering how to introduce this power-packed fruit in your diet then go for bael ka sherbet or you can also make lassi, chutney, smoothie, ice tea to name a few.
This dairy product is literally the fuel your body needs in summers. Curd or dahi not only helps you stay hydrated but is also loaded with benefits. Those include strengthening the immune system because of the good bacteria which is popularly known as probiotics, improving gut activity and cardiovascular health. Tadka dahi raita (you can also add beetroot/cucumber/lauki), chaach, lassi, kadhi or curd rice are a few ways to give a spin to the usual dahi.
Sabja or Basil Seeds
These little wonders are a great body coolant and help reducing body heat. They are high in fibre, good source of minerals, rich in fibre and antioxidants, and are known to help boost immunity and improve blood quality. They also aid in maintaining blood sugar levels. However, many also get confused between sabja and chia seeds. So, what one needs to know is that these super seeds may share similar nature but are packed with different nutrients. The easiest way to incorporate them in your diet is to soak one tablespoon (or as per your requirement) in water for 15 minutes to make it gelatinous and then it can be added to your smoothies, puddings, coolers and kulfis.
(With inputs from chef Manoj Rawat , executive chef, Hilton Garden Inn, Gurgaon, Baani Square)
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