The temperature across the country is rising high and in this scorching weather appropriate food choices is necessary to make in order to stay hydrated. I believe nature is the best medicine and we should eat to the season. Fortunately, seasonal foods works wonders for us when it comes to making best choices. They bring antioxidants, vitamin c, fiber and most importantly Hydration.
- Cucumber- Cucumber is a summer superfood. It has super powers to keep us hydrated. It has 96% water. It also has small amount of carbohydrate and has very few calories. It is therefore, great for diabetes and for losing weight simultaneously. Approximately, 1 cup of cucumber is 16 calories which is equivalent to 1 slice of bread. Cucumbers can be used in infused water, salads, and juices and can also be added as garnishes.
- Kokum- This is often called as Malabar fruit or mangos teen. It is traditionally used as a weight loss remedy in south Asians countries. It has excellent antioxidant properties. It is used to treat digestive issues like dysentery and also protects us from heat. It has moderate amounts of potassium, vitamin c and all other trace elements. This fruit can be used in sherbet, eaten raw or can be used in jams and marmalades.
- Mint Leaves- Mint leaves is one of the most widely used herbs across the continent. It has properties to calm and soothe dry skin and add glow. Due to its high Vitamin C content it can also be used for iron deficiency. Yes! You read it right. Adding vitamin c to your meals increases iron absorption from your meals by 30%. Mint adds flavor to most of our summer dishes including drinks, salads, chutneys and used as a garnish.
- Raw Mango – Raw mango is one of the most awaited fruit in summer. It provides fiber, vitamins and minerals to our diet. It should be consumed at least 2-3 times a week.
- Holy Basil seeds/ sabja/ Falooda seeds- Sabja seeds or Holy basil seeds should be added to our diet in most of the days. These seeds have water holding capacity. Therefore, it prevents use from dehydration. They also has soluble fiber. This means that they also help in reducing bad cholesterol, reduce constipation, bloating and can control weight. You can mix them with milk, sprinkle on salads or just eat them raw.
- Watermelon- In summers love for watermelon always remains. It is an excellent source of weight loss 91% of it is water. It has trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. However, because of its high Glycemic value I advise people with diabetes to avoid this fruit as much as possible.
- Chia seeds- This is my favorite of all the superfoods. It has similar properties to sabja seeds however, it has protein and its omega 3 content is much higher. These seeds assist in lowering cholesterol, control blood sugars, arthritis, piles and anemia. Did you know Mayans used chia seeds prior to going on a war. These seeds are good source of protein, fiber, omega 3, iron and many minerals. You can use them in puddings, salads add them to your meals.
- Curd- Curd is one of the best food available to mankind. It has probiotics which aids in digestion, it is rich in protein, vitamin B 12, calcium, phosphorus and all essential amino acid. In India it is used as buttermilk, lassi, smoothies, raita and many more. Woman if you are requiring any dietary tips from smooth and glowing skin then add curd to your meals.
- Coconut water- Coconut water is a good substitute for high calorie snacks in summer. A glass of coconut water is only 50 calories. It also has vitamin c, magnesium, potassium and sodium in small amounts.
- Bael / Wood Apple- This fruit has all the nutrients in trace amounts. It is a summer elixir. It should be used throughout summer season.
- Aloe Vera- The super powers of aloe vera is known to many of us. Aloe Vera can assist us with sun burns and sun tan when applied on the skin. It is also eaten raw. Aloe Vera can benefit from blood sugars, cholesterol, acne, pcos and many more health issues.
I highly recommend to drink water from earthen pots and not from the refrigerators. Stay indoors during peak temperatures of the day and always make sure you use sunscreen and have sunglasses on when going out.