Summer is here! This year India experienced longer than expected winter and thanks to western disturbances, the weather was pleasant till the month of May and we did not experience the real summer of India till then. Sadly, the pleasant weather was short – lived and here we are battling the scorching heat of the typical summer days in June and looks like it is here to stay.
Most of us avoid the hot sun by staying indoors but it is not viable for some of us as our work makes it necessary for us to leave the cozy environment of home and go out. After all nothing should stop us from achieving our goals! But this comes at a prize of battling the sweltering heat, dehydration, heat stroke, low energy levels, upset tummy and scorched skin!
So, when we experience unbearable heat, we go for readily available unhealthy foods and drinks like aerated, sugar – laden juices and mocktails, calorie – dense ice creams, etc to keep going. But these, like pain killers, give us temporary relief and leaves us with more health problems like more calories, wait gain, sugar rush, etc.
Sugar rush is caused by a sudden high consumption of sugar where the symptoms include craving for more sugar, sudden spike in energy which hardly lasts for 30 – 40 minutes, increase in hunger as the sudden increment of sugar caused the body to produce more insulin which eventually resulted in low blood sugar after the sugar rush is over, leaving you hungry all over again and last but not the least, your body is left with no energy eventually as it requires more energy to digest sugary products.
Scared? Well fret not!
The good thing about Mother Nature is if there are problems, we also have solutions to solve those problems! We are blessed with foods which help us soothe our sun burnt skin and which keep us cool and hydrated along with revving up the digestive system. Not just that! You do not have to punish yourself to improve your health in summer. These foods are tasty and healthy, both! So Let’s get started!
There are three kinds of foods you can have – fruits and vegetables, dairy products and herbs.
Fruits and Vegetables
It is a general belief that watermelon is just sugar and water, but, it is a powerhouse of nutrients!
- Hydration – It contains 90 percent water, so it can help you keep hydrated.
- Prevents Asthma – It contains a high amount of vitamin C, which plays a pivotal role in preventing asthma.
- Reduces blood pressure – It contains an amino acid called citrulline, which helps in the reduction of high blood pressure. It also reduces bad cholesterol.
- Keeps your weight in check – You can feel full of a small serving. A 2-cup serving gives you 1 gram of fiber, which slows digestion and keeps you feeling full longer.
- Gives you good amount of nutrients – You also get important nutrients along with adequate hydration, like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B- 6, calcium, iron and potassium.
- Reduces soreness – People who work out will maintain lower heart rate and will experience less muscle soreness if they have approximately 500 ml before working out.
- Improves digestion – Its rich water and fiber content helps prevent constipation.
- Good for skin and hair – Vitamin A found in watermelon promotes healthy growth of skin and hair tissues. Vitamin C helps build collagen, which gives structure to skin and hair.
- Inflammation – This is the cause for many diseases. Watermelon contains anti – inflammatory antioxidants lycopene and vitamin C, which help lower inflammation and oxidative damage.
- Hydration – Cucumbers are 95.2 percent water and hence not just helps in hydration but also detoxification of the body.
- Coolant – Besides acting as a coolant, it prevents constipation and boosts immunity.
- Anti – inflammatory – Cucumber juice applied topically is used to treat skin inflammation along with burns and dermatitis.
- Hair growth – Its sulphur and silicon content promote hair growth.
- Hydration – It is a naturally delicious drink with no added preservatives and loads of vitamins and minerals that bottled beverages do not have.
- Gastric problems – It helps cure diarrhea, besides giving relief in indigestion and acid reflux.
- Anti – ageing – Cytokinins present in it prevent aging. It also makes your skin more radiant and firm.
- Hair growth – It promotes hair growth, moisturizes your hair and makes it dandruff and live free.
- Weight loss – Boosts metabolism and makes you feel full.
- Healthy heart – Magnesium and sulphur content keeps your heart healthy.
- Boosts immunity – Its anti – viral and anti – fungal properties strengthens your immune system.
- Skin problems – Reduces acne and treats eczema when applied and kept overnight.
- Prevents cancer – inhibits tumor growth and mutagenesis and prevents free radical formation.
- Skin / hair problems – Onions are high in vitamin C, which is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
- Depression – Folate found in onions might help fight depression.
- Heart problem – Reduces high blood pressure and decreases cholesterol levels. It reduces blood sugar.
- Anti – bacterial – Inhibits the growth of potentially harmful bacteria like E. coli and S. aureus. Helps maintain bacterial balance in your gut.
Its antiviral properties stimulate the immune system.
- Reduces blood sugar levels – It contains insulin-like protein called polypeptide P that mimics the action of insulin and lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
- Reduces bad cholesterol – This of bitter gourd property also prevents heart attack and stroke.
- Skin problems -bitter gourd juice has powerful antioxidants along with vitamin A and C which prevent premature skin ageing and diminishes wrinkles. It also reduces acne, aids in treating eczema and psoriasis, as well as protects the skin from harmful UV rays.
- Cures liver problems – It strengthens antioxidant activity of the enzymes in the liver. It also boosts the functioning of your bladder.
It can also be consumed by people with lactose intolerance as the lactose in milk gets converted to lactic acid in the buttermilk formation process, which aids in digestion and promotes better absorption of protein and calcium among other minerals. Loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients, it also soothes the intestinal tract.
It is full of calcium, vitamin D, protein and healthy gut bacteria. It soothes intestinal tract, reduces blood pressure and strengthens immunity.
It fights allergies, soothes headache and cleanses liver
Treats skin inflammation, high cholesterol levels, diarrhea, mouth ulcers, anemia, and indigestion. It is also useful for smallpox, conjunctivitis, skin disorders, blood sugar disorders and also vision.