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Eat for the heat

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The rains are almost upon us, but Mumbai is still burning. Sonia Narang has some suggestions on the right foods for the season

W hen your skin loses its moisture and feels parched, hair turns lustre-less and boils often erupt all over the body, you know the days are unbearably hot. This is the time of the year when your body craves cooling foods to stay hydrated and fight against the sweltering heat. It is quite common for people to feel dehydrated and low on energy levels during the summer season. But, instead of resorting to sugary snacks or fizzy drinks to gain back the lost energy, reach out for food items that can fight against the hot climate effectively. Foods like watermelon, melons, cucumber, curd, buttermilk, coconut water and green leafy vegetables keep your body cool from within. Given below is a list of all the food items to avoid during the hot months and stay healthy all season long:

1 Cut down on spice intake in foods While spices enhance the flavour of a meal and tempt us to go for an additional serving, in summers, certain spices like red chillies, ginger and pepper generate more heat in the body. An increase in the spice levels of food during summer can be quite toxic for the body. The metabolism rate in the body shoots up and may stimulate thermogenesis, i.e., generate more heat in the body so avoid spicy foods at all costs.

2 Avoid non-veg food Summer is the time when you’re in a holiday mood and are eager to pack your bags and head to a resort to relax and unwind. On a holiday, you definitely do not want to give up on the grand non-veg spread served in a buffet. But this season is not the right time to gorge on tandoori chicken, meat gravies and seafood. Meat gets stale faster and becomes the perfect place for bacteria and molecular insects to thrive. To make the most of your holidays in summer, avoid non-veg food or limit your portion sizes. Excessive indulgence can result in diarrhea, a bloated stomach and even nausea.

3 Eat fewer mangoes In the summer season, the most-awaited delight is mangoes. Young and old alike eagerly wait to bite into the sweet and juicy fruit. The king of fruits, whether eaten raw or infused in salads and curries, can make the most delicious summertime treat. But, anything in excess is bad. Excessive consumption of mangoes tends to produce heat in the body and result in further ailments like acnes, boils, rashes and even acidity.

4 Don’t drink too much tea and coffee Multiple cups of tea and coffee in the summer season generate a lot of excess heat in the body. While these hot beverages may ease you from stress, they can be the cause of acidity and stomach upset during the summer months. They also cause dehydration, further sapping your energy levels over the longer run. Instead, drink water or lime juice or try iced tea.

5 Control your ice cream and soft drink cravings Who would not like to enjoy scoops of ice cream or gulp down a bottle of cold drink to quench the thirst during the hot season?  In summer, as the weather gets hotter, ice creams and cold drinks become the favourite of many people. While they are cool from outside, they make the stomach hotter when consumed and only provide temporary relief from the scorching heat.

6 Cut down intake of oily and junk food Whatever be the season, it is difficult to resist the temptation of junk food. Foods like pizzas, burgers, samosas and French fries are some delectable treats you want to enjoy during a get-together with old friends or while hosting a party at home. Apart from adding inches to your waistline, overeating fried and junk foods in the summer season can hamper digestion and also result in food poisoning. Avoid oily foods to keep energy drains at bay and instead opt for lighter snacks such as cheese and olives, salads and tapas.

7 Minimise the intake of dry fruits Dry fruits in your daily diet make for a healthy and delicious snack. However, excessive intake of dry fruits, especially cashews, walnuts, almonds, and raisins can increase the body heat. Bring down the intake of dry fruits in the summer season to avoid nasty pimples and rashes.

Sonia Narang is Wellness Expert, Oriflame India

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