Hello, Health

10 foods to eat in summer to beat heatstroke and more

Stay healthy and disease-free.

 |  Hello, Health  |  4-minute read |   29-05-2018
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Summer months are very difficult to bear as the heat gets to everyone. Heatstroke, dehydration and summer infections are very common and lot of people fall prey to them. It’s important to know the signs. An early sign of dehydration is feeling light-headed upon standing up.

Dry lips and tongue, headache, extreme fatigue, nausea and muscle cramps are some more tell-tale signs.

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Symptoms of heatstroke include painful muscle spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen, faintness or dizziness, weakness, and profuse sweating. Right food can play an important role in keeping these at bay.

But instead of getting tempted to down another chilled drink to beat the heat, the focus should be on eating foods that are intrinsically cooling, that is they cool from inside, and also strengthen the body to help keep seasonal viruses at bay.

This is a list of foods everyone must include in their diet during these hot months to stay well and disease-free.

1. Green moong sprouts 

This lentil is an extremely cooling food. Try a cool potato chat mixed with a handful of sprouts and a few slices of cucumber.

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It’s a perfect summer snack. Also, drink the water in which green moong dal has been soaked overnight; it is a cooling masterstroke.

2. Kokum

Used extensively in Gujarat and Konkan, it has great cooling benefits. So, all through the summers, use it as a substitute for tamarind in your food.

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It’ll add a fabulous taste to your dishes and keep you cool from inside too.

3. Fresh coconut water 

Make this natural drink your best friend in the summers, as besides hydrating it is also loaded with essential minerals which help the body maintain its electrolyte balance.

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4. Bitter gourd (karela)

This humble vegetable not liked by many can be your saviour during summers as it takes away the heat from the body, even if you indulge in heating foods occasionally.

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So try to have it two to three times a week, or incorporate a tablespoon of karela juice in your diet everyday.

5. Bottle gourd

Delivers lots of water (is 96 per cent water), is inherently cooling, loaded with potassium that helps keep the blood pressure down and electrolyte balance maintained, prevents fatigue and keeps the body cool and refreshed during summers. 

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6. Watermelon

Totally fat-free sweet, the juicy watermelon is packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. It provides vitamin C, beta-carotene, B vitamins necessary for energy production, magnesium, and potassium, among other nutrients.

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As it has has higher water content and lower calorie content than many other fruits (a whole cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories), it delivers more nutrients per calorie — an outstanding benefit!

7. Gulkand

This preserve made from rose petals not just keeps the body cool, it also helps alleviate all heat-related problems like tiredness, lethargy, itching, aches and pains. It’s a great digestive tonic too and helps with digestion by reducing stomach heat and acidity.

It also purifies the blood, and helps remove toxins from the body, besides helping reduce excessive perspiration and foul body odour, both common problems during summers.

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Try this: Banana gulkand shake. To make, blend 1 banana, 1 tbsp gulkand, 1 tsp sugar and 2 cups milk to a smooth puree. Top with ice cubes and sip cold.

8. Barley

Switch to barley during these months (barley flour, pearls, barley water) as not only is the grain an excellent diuretic that helps flush out toxins from the intestine, but also helps keep the body cool during the summers.

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To make barley water, boil barley for 20-25 minutes, strain the water, cool it, squeeze a lemon in it and drink it up.

9. Pineapple

Not only is pineapple crammed with water, nutrients and antioxidants that have restorative and free radical fighting properties, it also has the perfect enzyme known as bromelain that helps in reducing body inflammation in summer.

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Potassium and enzymes in it also help cut the bloat and detoxify the body.

Try this simple smoothie (from my book Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People): Cut 1/2 cup pineapple, 1/2 cup papaya, 1 frozen banana, 1/4 cucumber (with skin) into small pieces, add 1 cup chilled coconut water; mix, whirl and sip.

10. Cooling spices

Opt for fresh ginger, marjoram, cilantro, lemon balm, peppermint, and white peppercorn as they are cooling; avoid cinnamon and dry ginger as they are warming.

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Also read: Why we must all learn to love the lauki

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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