Āyuḥ-sattva-balārogya – Sukha-prīti-vivardhanāḥ rasyāḥ snigdhāḥ sthirā hṛdyā āhārāḥ sāttvika-priyāḥ – Bhagavad Gita 17.8
Keeping our body cool is the aim during summer so that the heat in the body can be balanced. It’s common knowledge that having a lot of water in summer keeps you hydrated but did you know that multiple fruits, greens, and natural seasonal fruits also provide hydration to the human body?
Foods can play a great role in providing a long-lasting cooling effect if we understand what to eat throughout the day. Foods that are easily digestible, with high water content, and are alkalizing in nature are highly suggestible during summer. Though hunger pangs are less during summer, starving is a bad idea and these foods can keep you alive, energetic, and kicking through summer.
Watermelons / Melons
Watermelon, the fruit of the season, has about 92% water concentration making it a perfect fruit to consume on hot summer days, so your body stays hydrated. When eating watermelons, you are not just consuming natural fruit water, but a combination of water and fiber, making it the perfect fruit for summer.
Nutritional Value – B vitamins, such as thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, manganese, selenium, fluoride, and other essential minerals, tryptophan, leucine, lysine, arginine and other antioxidants.
Nature-made Glucose is a steal deal in summers and is a staple in many Indian homes. Starting the day with a glass of coconut water has more benefits than you can imagine and is always available at street corners during summer wherever you go.
Nutritional Value – it’s packed with vitamins, electrolytes, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, phytohormones & cytokines. It has more potassium than four bananas; is fat-free, anti-bacterial, and diuretic.
Kokum / Garcinia indica
This fruit is part of the kokum plant and is a must-have ingredient at home, especially during summers. This is made into a drink with various recipes, a superfood and it’s also an antioxidant. Ayurveda too has a mentioned kokum being instrumental in controlling pitta levels in our body, which is body heat/acidity. This special and popular summer drink is served with almost every meal in the coastal region
Nutritional Value – Acetic Acid, Ascorbic acid, Manganese, Hydroxycitric Acid, high nutrition, anti-inflammatory, a good diet food.
The magic of probiotics is made tasty with a lip-smacking desi punch to it! The taste buds love the flavor, and it’s an ancient cooling food.
Butter Milk is considered as nectar during the summer season. It is full of many nutritional properties. calcium,
Nutritional Value – Buttermilk is rich in Protein, Vitamin B, and Potassium, which are considered good for the body.
It’s bright, it’s crunchy, it’s hydrating: it works for summer, with a water content of 95 percent and celery also contains essential nutrients that keep you going during the hot weather. Throw a celery stick in all your juices to blend or chew on it. Boom! A power food right there!
Nutritional Value – Celery is also loaded with sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
Rich in multiple vitamins, it comes with a pack of so many health benefits that it seems almost unbelievable! Even though eating spicy food can make you feel warm, it also helps to lower your body temperature. That is because the capsaicin in chilies sends messages to the brain to signal that your body is overheated. This causes you to sweat more than normal and brings on a cooling effect.
Nutritional Value – rich in Vitamin K, Loaded with Vitamin C and beta-carotene,
In addition to the above-mentioned foods, mint, lemon, and cucumbers can also be called superfoods of summer. Heard the phrase ‘Cool as a cucumber? It’s because these everyday foods found easily in our kitchens are full of natural water, packed with nutrition, alkaline, and hydration power. Cucumber is also loaded with fiber, so eating it during summer also helps in keeping constipation at bay.
Due to the heat of summer, our bodies generally go through inflammation, constipation, ulcers, dehydration, low energy, lethargy, irritation, and mood swings. All of the foods mentioned above take care of many of these issues, adding immense nutrition, and hydration to our daily meals and energy needs.
By Yashaswini R
Image Credits – Stock Images
Cover Photo by Susanne Jutzeler