Summer brings with it soaring temperatures and high humidity, which can cause dehydration and heat exhaustion. It is essential to keep your body hydrated and cool during the hot months to prevent heat-related illnesses. One of the best ways to beat the heat is by consuming cooling foods that can lower your body temperature, provide vital nutrients, and keep you hydrated. Cooling foods can also help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and provide relief from hot flashes and night sweats. In this article, we will discuss the importance of the best Indian summer foods to beat the heat.
Watermelon is a refreshing and delicious fruit that is perfect for the summer months. It is rich in water, which helps to keep the body hydrated and contains essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. Watermelon also contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from UV damage.
2. Coconut water
Coconut water is a popular summer drink in India, known for its cooling properties. It is a natural electrolyte and an excellent source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Coconut water also contains antioxidants that help to protect the body against free radicals.
Cucumber is a cooling and hydrating vegetable that is perfect for the summer months. It is rich in water, which helps to keep the body hydrated and contains essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. Cucumber also contains silica, which is essential for healthy skin.
Mint is a refreshing herb that can help to cool the body during the summer months. It contains menthol, which has a cooling effect on the body and can also help to improve digestion. Mint can be added to drinks, salads, and chutneys to add a refreshing flavor.
Yogurt is a cooling and probiotic food that is perfect for the summer months. It contains live bacteria that help to promote gut health, and its cooling properties can help to reduce body heat. Yogurt can be consumed as a snack or added to smoothies and lassi for a refreshing drink.
6. Aam Panna
Aam Panna is a traditional Indian summer drink made from raw mangoes. It is a refreshing and cooling drink that is perfect for the hot summer months. Aam Panna is rich in vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity, and is also an excellent source of potassium, iron, and other essential nutrients.
7. Sabja seeds
Sabja seeds, also known as basil seeds, are a popular summer ingredient in India. They are rich in fiber and help to keep the body hydrated. Sabja seeds also contain cooling properties that can help to reduce body heat. They can be added to drinks or desserts to add a refreshing flavor.
Buttermilk is a refreshing and cooling drink that is perfect for the summer months. It is a natural probiotic and an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and other essential nutrients. Buttermilk can be consumed as a drink or added to dishes to add a refreshing flavor.
Kokum is a traditional Indian fruit that is rich in antioxidants and has cooling properties. It is often used to make drinks and can also be added to curries and chutneys to add a refreshing flavor. Kokum is an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity.
Lauki, also known as bottle gourd, is a cooling and hydrating vegetable that is perfect for the summer months. It is rich in water, which helps to keep the body hydrated and contains essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. Lauki can be added to curries, soups, and salads for a refreshing flavor.
Indian summers can be harsh, but consuming cooling foods can help beat the heat and prevent heat-related illnesses. Hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumber, herbs and spices like mint and fennel, and light meals like salads and yogurt-based drinks are all great options to keep cool. Additionally, foods rich in electrolytes like coconut water and buttermilk can help replenish essential nutrients lost through sweating.
Jayti Shah is a Clinical Nutritionist with a master's degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a member of the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA). Over the last 9 years, she has helped 400 clients in their clinical and weight loss journeys. She works with SocialBoat as a nutrition consultant.
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