How to beat the heat with summer diet?

(Representative image)

CHANDIGARH: If you have been gulping down scoops of ice creams daily to beat the heat, cut down the amount as it can make you sluggish. Dieticians recommend low-fat diet as summers make one lethargic and it slows down the metabolism. Also, as the summer heat rapidly peaks up, dermatologists often come across various skin problems.
In fact, doctors say this is the best time to shed down extra calories as this watery vegetables and fruits are found during this season which plays a major role in weight loss and to fight with the heated sun above. “Outdoor cardiovascular activities like swimming help in weight reduction which is possible during summers,” said Sonia Gandhi, a clinical nutritionist based in a private hospital in Mohali.

Doctors advise that staying well hydrated is essential in maintaining adequate blood volume, energy levels & body functions. Most people consume at least 8-12 cups/day. However, the exact amount depends on your activity level, the outdoor temperature & your body composition. One quick estimation of dehydration is to check the colour of your urine. You want it to be pale to colourless. Along with the fluid intake, certain dietary modifications are required to beat the sunny heat of summers.
Diet tips for summers (as recommended by Sonia Gandhi, a clinical nutritionist based in a private hospital in Mohali)
1. Adequate intake of fluids helps in hydrating the body & rejuvenating. It helps in removal of toxins, drugs & other metabolites.
2. All soft drinks that are rich in sugar, preservatives & colours should be avoided. Dilute phosphoric acid is seen in many cold drinks. They damage the gastrointestinal lining & cause calcium leaching from the bones. Carbonated, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks cause a lot of water loss through urination. As the temperature around you soar, cool with these summer drinks like spiced lemonade, fruit cocktails, puréed melon drink & the all-time favourites refreshing drink diluted lassi.
3. It is common practice to drink chilled liquids which should be avoided as chilled liquids tighten or constrict blood vessels and reduce body heat loss.
4. Go with seasonal fruits & vegetables & say no to winter vegetables in spite of their availability. The seasonal fruits (melons) & vegetables (gourd family), onions and cucumber are easy to digest, has the better taste & great nutritional value.
5. Dried fruits are restricted & should be replaced by fresh fruits, as they supply a good amount of water, in addition to vitamins & minerals. Besides easy to digest, these fruits and vegetables help in reducing our body temperature.
6. Cut down on fried, spicy & fatty foods such as French fries, chips, samosas, kachori, puris etc as they produce heat due to the thermal effect of fat. Opt for non-stick vessels to get your nutritious low-fat meal.
7. Introduce some homemade appetizers in your meal to make it more palatable. These appetizers in a way will help you to reduce the number of spices & fat you add in your food to make it more delicious, as they take over the role of spices.
8. Appetizers like dhania-pudina chutneys, amla chutney, table vinegar, lemon, green mango &carrots murabba. Panna & kanjis are best thirst quenchers, to keep the body metabolism in balance.
9. Go slow with high calories, chilled puddings. Instead of preferring homemade cold puddings like fruit smoothies, yoghurt, cold seasonal fruits with jelly which are better options.