Nutrition needs for summer
It's a natural trend to eat light during summer, and shift from high calorie food to things much lower. Dehydration is a common possibility due to excess perspiration and that's the time when people feel like reaching out for something cold like sodas, beverages or even cold water.
And this is also where people go wrong, as anything extremely low in temperature can constrict our blood vessels affecting the heat loss process from our body. The temperature of any drink should not be chillingly cold.
Summer is a great time to detox because of fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Also, when it is warm, it is easier for the body to go through the detox process which makes us healthy and energised.
TIPS FOR SUMMER
Increase the water intake. In high humidity, we do not sweat adequately due to which we cannot release heat efficiently from our body. So, why do we need to drink enough water at regular intervals even if we are not thirsty?
To cool our system!
Prefer naturally cooling beverages like coconut water, lemon juice, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, etc. which are rich in minerals, rather than soft drinks, caffeine, and other beverages as they contain sugar and other preservatives that act as diuretics (increase the flow of urine) and can cause loss of water from the body. Tulsi or mint can be added to the drinks for their cooling effect on the body.
Eat lots of fresh fruits, raw salads and lightly spiced foods. Fruits and veggies are easy to digest and high in water content which helps in hydration. Avoid fried and junk food as it takes time to digest and requires a lot of water. Spicy foods can also increase body heat.
Include at least two servings of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Watermelon is the number one food for summer detox. The fruit is extremely helpful to forming alkalines in the body; and is also high in dietary fibre and potassium.
Cucumbers help flush toxins from the body. The high water content in cucumbers gets our urinary system moving. Lemon helps restore balance to the body's pH. The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and helps cleanse the kidneys as a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons.
Raw mango is a special fruit in the summer season and is extremely good to prevent sunstrokes and weakness. It helps balance electrolytes in the body. Fresh salads with dressings made from lemons and olive oil is a lot healthier than a creamy, mayo dressing.
It is important to avoid heavy meals at one time as it can cause acidity and affect digestion. Rather, eat small meals to feel light.
Curd is excellent for summers as it increases friendly bacteria in the gut and improves digestion and boosts immunity. Having a glass of buttermilk just before stepping out into the sun helps prevent dehydration.
During summer, food gets spoilt more quickly. So, make sure to pay extra attention to the freshness of foods.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Chowdhury Tasneem Hasin
Chief Dietician, United Hospital Ltd.
Organizational and Press Secretary,
Association of Nutritionist and