Now that the summer is ready to burn us out, we also need to get ready to counter the burn. We all know, how hard it is to keep cool in the summer heat. However, if we get ready before the summers with our food choices, we will be well prepared to beat the heat.
Summers are also the months for holidays with schools closed for vacation and children at home. It is why it becomes all the more important that we stay prepared to enjoy our beach holidays with full throttle and yet not letting the heat mellow us down. The good news – summers also brings us a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy. And, most of these foods are low in calorie and nutrient dense.
Let’s take a look at some of the foods that we should start eating right away before the summers are in here with full force.
While it is essential to stay hydrated always during the summer months by drinking water, but it isn’t the only way to get water. It is also crucial that we eat foods that are nutrient dense and also high in water contents so that our metabolism is working fine, body temperatures are regulated and other biological activities of the body are functioning optimally.
- Make a great start with cucumbers
Cucumber is 96% water and eating it is drinking almost one full glass of water. This watery vegetable is best eaten peeled or unpeeled and raw. Its high electrolyte and potassium content helps in counteracting damaging toxins in the body and purifying the blood. The potassium along with sodium together helps in maintaining healthy fluid levels in the body, regulates its circulation and maintains a proper heartbeat. It also helps to counteract the effects of the sun – dark circles and sunburn. The anti-inflammatory properties of the vegetable are just good enough for optimal heart health.
- Get more water with watermelons
Enriched with the goodness of vitamin, it is another fruit that has very high water contents of almost 95%. You can address it as a thirst quencher. Being mildly diuretic, it is a great aid against kidney problems, edema and other gall bladder issues, along with flushing out all the toxins from our body. Watermelons also have the capability to treat conditions of depression. The lycopene in watermelons is just like a medicine protecting our skins from skin damages because of the glowing sun.
- Do it the with lettuce and dark leafy greens
High in hydration, lettuce has almost 95% water contents. It contains minerals, chlorophyll, fibres and cellulose. It is a great source of vitamin A and potassium. Other leafy greens like spinach, collard and kale are great for summers, as these aids in skin protection, helps in cases of inflammation and removes toxins from the body. Remember, the greener they are the better. Include them as part of your daily diet in salads and other vegetable preparations.
- Keep your summer blues at bay with blueberries
Rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, blueberries have as high as 95% water content. They help in the renewal of liver cells and the resveratrol content in blueberries, it is great for your skin too in summers – anti-ageing, self-healing and skin generation. Get a sharp memory this summer with these small blue coloured fruits from the berries family as they help in boosting memory and brain functioning. Blueberry smoothies are something that you cannot miss in summers.
- Keep it red with tomatoes
One vegetable which is used extensively in almost every cuisine and in every family. This delicious and beautiful looking vegetable has almost 94% water contents and is a rich source of the antioxidant – lycopene. It is a must to build blood, control and cure high blood pressure issues an helps in liver functioning. Whether you eat it raw in salads or cook them in vegetables or even add some to your omelette for breakfast, tomatoes are never going to let you down. Be summer ready with summer super food.
- Brighten up with oranges
Full of nutrients and low in calories, oranges are just good enough for healthy and glowing skin, along with many other health benefits. Stroke, blood pressure, heart health, skin health, diabetes – you name it and oranges are there with you in all. It is a fact that a single orange has more than 170 different variety of phytochemicals and more than 60 odd varieties of flavonoids. And. almost all of these two have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It won’t be wrong if we say that orange a day can keep the summer heat away.
A bit of common sense, careful selection and a diet enriched with proven cooling foods can help us stay comfortable this summer. Do remember to wear your sunscreen and enjoy these lazy hazy days!
This article has been contributed by an acclaimed dietician & nutritionist, Ashu Gupta- founder of Ashu Gupta’s Diet Clinic.