The summer season is here and the mercury is going to rise rapidlywith passing days. The heat can affect your body in various ways and lead to heat stroke and other health issues. So, it becomes crucial to take care of yourself, be mindful of your food and water intake. Consume summer foods and drinks which are hydrating, electrolyte-rich, and cooling for the digestive system. Curd, onions, mint, watermelon, cucumber, fenugreek and coconut water are some of the best options when it comes to summer foods. The nutritionists share how you can keep your body hydrated and mind fresh in the hot weather. Celebrity & Sports Nutritionist Ryan Fernando says staying hydrated is the key. “Consume fruit-infused water and green tea lemonade. To prepare the fruit-infused water cut the orange, strawberry, papaya, mosambi, watermelon, apple or pears into cubes or slices and mix it in two litres of chilled water and leave it for some time as the fruit infuses its flavour into the water and you can enjoy better-tasting water. Green tea lemonade is a concoction of concentrated green tea mixed with sweet or salty iced lemonade. Don’t forget to add watermelon and cucumber to your diet as these have high water content,” he mentions.
Talking about how ACs impact air’s humidity, Ryan points out, “During summer, people use AC but it strips the air of all its humidity and water content. If you are in a room with the AC on and a humidifier is measuring the humidity, it will be below 40% but when the AC is not on it will be 60%. So when you sleep or work in an AC room, you are losing valuable water from your body. During the day if you are sitting with the AC on, keep a water bottle or jug near you to stay hydrated. Before sleeping keep a water bottle at the bedside table to sip from it in case you get up in the night or have a glass of water before going to bed. Also, you can keep a wet towel or use a humidifier to ensure higher water content in the room.”
SIMPLE WAYS TO INCREASE FLUID INTAKE
Staying hydrated with busy schedules is tough. We all know we need to drink more water but how much is enough? What if you don’t like the taste of water? Celebrity Dietician Shweta Shah replies, “The temperature is rising and you may be tempted with ice creams, sodas, juices but infused water with herbs, fruits, spices is a much healthier way to cool down your body. Detox water is not merely about good taste it’s much more than that. They not only energise you but helps in lifting mood, detoxify, and cleanse toxins. Lemon, mint, fennel, apple, cinnamon, cucumber, celery are some popular detox waters to beat the heat in busy schedules.”
Clinical Nutritionist Dr Megha Jaina believes it’s very important to keep yourself hydrated during summer as it can keep you mentally cool and physically refreshed. She says, “You can drink water-based beverages with every meal. It is recommended to consume fluids before you feel thirsty. Adding a slice of lemon to water may improve your immune system and promotes hydration.”
Dr Megha shares two healthy, easy and refreshing summer drinks:
Melon & Grape juice
Melon has a high content of water, which helps in hydrating our body.
Black Grapes are known for their antioxidants content.
Take one cup of muskmelon cubes, one cup of black grapes and two cups of water. Blend till smooth and the drink is ready.
Detoxifying Green Smoothie
Take one-third cup of spinach leaves, one apple, half teaspoon roasted jeera powder, juice of half lemon and one glass of water. Grind all and the drink is ready.
TIPS TO NATURALLY BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
With the surge in Covid-19 cases, you should continue working towards strengthening your immunity. Whole food nutritionist Kajal Bhatia tells us some of the immunity-boosting foods you can have in summer. She says immunity and micronutrients are closely linked as they build gut strength and that’s what is needed for the body this summer. Kajal adds, “Increase the intake of plant foods especially antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables in their whole form or smoothies, chutneys, salads dips etc. Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C are great immunity boosters such as mangoes, grapes, papaya, kiwis, and dark green leafies especially spinach, lemons, bell peppers, and broccoli (if you don’t prefer taking broccoli raw saute or steam it).”
She emphasises increased liquid intake and consumption of fermented kanji and kombucha which are mineral-rich probiotic boosters. Foods rich in zinc and magnesium including sprouts, nuts, and seeds should be included in the diet.
Holistic nutritionist and founder of Saurasya Teas Vriti Srivastav, shares simple ways to boost immunity this summer :
Hydration: The very first step is to stay hydrated which most people struggle to keep up. In this pandemic time, we don’t want our organs to focus more on surviving in a dehydrated body than working on immunity. Drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water. Also, prepare kadhas made from natural herbs and spices to boost immunity.
Eat natural to strengthen the gut: Your gut influences your immunity, emotional well-being, hormones and hence overall health. Consume a wide variety of nutrients by including colourful vegetables and fruits along with whole grains and pulses. The need for supplements arises today as all the processed foods and irregular lifestyle has hampered the absorption of nutrients in the gut. Squeeze fresh lime on your meals to add a dose of vitamin C. Give the gut a break from digestion by having an early dinner by 8 pm.
Here’s my mantra to a strong gut: fixed meal timings, eat natural, balance sleep-wake cycle, meditate and chant, exercise, hydrate, and include fibre.