Dehydration is extremely common during the summer seasons. This is why experts suggest including green vegetables, colourful fruits and herbs that help the body maintain its hydration levels and also protect the skin. If you plan to tweak your diet to make it more summer-friendly, you are at the right place.
Mumbai-based certified nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla shares the ideal summer diet guide to keep the hydration levels intact. She also shares how these foods can be consumed in an innovative way.
*Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene which are beneficial for the overall health and also the skin.
— Can be eaten in salad mix, raita, sandwiches or lettuce wraps. Can also have it prepared in skewers, with cottage cheese.
*Watermelon is rich in water and helps in keeping the hydration high. It also contains lycopene which helps protect skin cells from sun damage. Watermelon is also a good source of pectin.
— The inner portion of the watermelon seeds is parched and eaten. The seeds are considered to have a cooling effect. They are best eaten in the first half of the morning by themselves or in a mixed fruit salad. The fruit can easily be made into jams, jellies and marmalades.
*Zucchini is composed of water (94 per cent of its weight) making it a perfect summer ingredient. Rich in vitamin C, it boosts the immune system and is also beneficial for skin and eye care. It has an anti-inflammatory property, and being high in potassium, helps to keep blood pressure in check
— How to best eat it:
Can be made like spiral noodles (spaghetti) tossed in olive oil as a mid-evening snack
Can be added to sauteed veggies or salad or a side dish with a grilled fish or chicken for lunch or dinner
Can be made as a smoothie and had for breakfast
Zucchini with sun-dried tomatoes with skim cottage cheese can be had as mid-meal filler or as an SOS food post two hours of dinner
Zucchini and bean salad
*Oranges are seasonal summer fruits known for their waiter content and vitamin C.
— Best eaten by itself or can be had as an orange shot.
*Leafy veggies like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber are high in water content.
— Best eaten as a vegetable, raita, salad, slipped in buttermilk or made as a smoothie in skim milk or almond milk
*Berries, being high in antioxidants, aid skin health during summers. They also add up to the fluid levels in the heat.
— Best eaten as a fruit or in a smoothie.
*Corn contains antioxidants that help protect from sun rays.
— Best eaten as sweet corn in vegetables or salads
*A herbal drink or shot made of water + lime + tekmeriya seeds help to keep the body cool
*A probiotc drink made with kefir mixed with milk or coconut water goes a long way to increase fluid levels and keep the body’s gut microbiome intact!
Food for thought
*Remember the uptake of water in the summer is imperative to avoid headaches and brain fog. Have at least 3-4 litres water to avoid water retention
Fluid add-ons like coconut water, kefir drink, smoothies, infused water, vegetable juices, dandelion tea and whey smoothies are a must.
Natural diuretics like asparagus and dandelion tea and probiotics such as skim curd, kefir, supplements must be consumed.
*Summer is known for some wonderful season fruits, but ensure eating them in the first half of the day to prevent fat gain. They are best had on an empty stomach to avoid indigestion.
*Lean proteins like fish and chicken being thermogenic in nature are usually preferred in the night in the summer. Lunch can take its protein sources from skim paneer or whey smoothies.
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