Summer Foods: Embracing the Yays and Steering Clear of the Nays
Updated: Apr 18
Discover insights from the top expert in holistic well-being, Neha Joshi Valvi, a seasoned dietitian and nutritionist. With her extensive experience, she has helped numerous individuals achieve their health goals. In this blog, she shares valuable tips to keep you healthy and comfortable during the summer season. Get ready to learn from the best and achieve your summer wellness goals.
As the temperature rises during the summer months, it's essential to tweak our diets accordingly to help our bodies adapt to the changing weather. In this blog, we'll explore food groups that are must-haves during the summer season and those that are best avoided to maintain overall health and wellness.
Must-Have Summer Foods
A) Refreshing Summer Drinks:
Increased sweating during summer often leaves us craving a cold fizzy drink. However, carbonated beverages and packaged fruit coolers contain excess sugar, artificial colors, and preservatives that can lead to dehydration and other health issues. Instead, try these healthy and revitalizing summer drinks:
Kokum Sharbet: Boosting anti-acidic and cooling properties, this drink is also effective against skin hives common in summer.
Jaljeera: A natural coolant and digestive aid, this beverage is perfect for hot days.
Aam Panna: Made with raw mango, jaggery, and seasoned with Saunf and jeera, this drink is loaded with Vitamin C, and antioxidants, and has a natural cooling effect on the body.
Limbu Pani: This homemade lemonade is an instant cooler packed with Vitamin C, but be cautious of consuming it from roadside vendors due to the risk of stomach infections from contaminated ice.
B) Juicy Summer Fruits:
Summer brings an abundance of seasonal fruits that not only tantalize your taste buds but also provide essential nutrients. Here are some must-have fruits for summer:
Watermelon: Packed with water, Lycopene, Vitamins A & C, and fiber, this low-calorie fruit is perfect for all ages and weight watchers.
Muskmelon: Rich in carotene, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A & C, this sweet fruit is a delight to the palate.
Mango: The King of fruits is a must-try this season, providing Vitamins A & C and a low glycemic index (GI) of 51, making it suitable for diabetics and weight watchers.
Ice Apple: Also known as Nungu or Tadgola, this water-rich fruit is low in calories, high in calcium, and has anti-inflammatory properties. However, consume in moderation to avoid stomach upset.
Jamun: This vibrant purple fruit is rich in phytochemicals and Vitamins A & C, offering numerous health benefits, including heat-beating properties and blood sugar regulation.
C) Probiotic Power:
Summer often brings about episodes of diarrhea or food poisoning, disrupting the gut microbiome. To maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria include natural probiotics like curd, lassi, or chaas in your diet, which also offer a soothing, cooling effect.
Foods to Avoid
Tea, Coffee, and Alcohol: Theophylline in tea and caffeine in coffee can dehydrate the body. Similarly, alcohol can also dehydrate cells and irritate the stomach lining.
Spicy and Oily Food: Consuming overly spicy and oily foods generates more body heat, so it's best to lower spice levels during summer.
High-Protein Foods (Meats): While proteins are essential macronutrients, high-protein foods like chicken, mutton, and beef require more water for digestion and can cause dehydration. Minimize or avoid these food groups during the hot months.
Adapting your diet to suit the changing seasons is crucial for maintaining overall health. By incorporating the must-have summer foods and avoiding those that can cause harm, you can enjoy sunny days without worrying about dehydration or other heat-related illnesses. Stay cool, hydrated, and healthy by making smart food choices and relishing the delicious seasonal offerings that summer has to offer.
Additional Tips for a Healthy Summer:
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to replenish the fluids lost through sweating. Aim for at least eight glasses of water daily and increase the intake if you're physically active or spending time outdoors.
Opt for Light Meals: Choose lighter meals with an emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Salads, smoothies, and cold soups can be nutritious and refreshing options during the hot months.
Practice Food Safety: Summer heat can encourage the growth of bacteria in food, increasing the risk of foodborne illnesses. Ensure proper food storage, wash your hands before handling food, and cook meat thoroughly to minimize the risk of food poisoning.
Limit Sun Exposure: Protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses, and seek shade whenever possible. Avoid being outdoors during peak sun hours (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.), when the sun's rays are strongest.
Get Adequate Rest: Sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being. Ensure you get enough rest each night to help your body recover from the day's activities and maintain a healthy immune system.
Exercise Early or Late: Physical activity is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but exercising during the hottest hours of the day can be dangerous. Schedule your workouts in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
By following these tips and making mindful food choices, you can ensure that your summer is full of fun, good health, and delicious seasonal treats. Stay cool, stay healthy, and enjoy the sunny season to the fullest!
In conclusion, summer is a time for fun and enjoying the outdoors, but it's also important to take care of our bodies by making smart food choices and adopting healthy habits. By incorporating must-have summer foods and avoiding those that can cause harm, staying hydrated, and practicing food safety, we can maintain overall health and wellness. So, go ahead and relish the delicious seasonal offerings that summer has to offer while staying cool, hydrated, and healthy.
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By incorporating these strategies, you can ensure that you're getting enough of this crucial nutrient to support your body's overall health and well-being. Stay hydrated, stay healthy, and enjoy the warm weather ahead! And remember, for personalized advice and guidance, consult with a qualified professional like Dietitian Neha Vijay Valvi, who can help you achieve your summer wellness goals.
Neha Joshi Valvi Nutritionist - Holistic Wellbeing
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