Importance of Spices in the Diet
Summer heat can drain your energy levels and lead to irritation, fatigue, sweating, heat stroke and rashes. To keep your body cool during the hot summer days adding spices to your daily diet can keep your system cool and prevent the ill effects of scorching heat too.
Spices are not just taste-enhancing food ingredients. They contain several bioactive compounds and antioxidants that help in maintaining your inner body temperature when the outer environmental temperature becomes unbearable. Here are 6 incredible spices that you should include in your diet to feel fresh:
Active compounds present in cardamom have the ability to detoxify unwanted chemicals and toxins from the body. This tones down the body heat from within. It also aids in digestion, fights nausea and heartburn, which further helps the body to relax and cool down.
2. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seed is a cooling spice, which can guard you against heat. Hence, drinking a glass of fennel water before you go out in the hot sun can prevent heat stroke and keep your body cool.
Indigestion or heartburn may be a contributing factor to body heat. Fennel seeds promote proper digestion of food prevent hyperacidity and stimulate the production of intestinal juices, which help in the breakdown and digestion of foods we eat. Fennel seeds not only keep the gut healthy, but also help in cooling down the body.
Cumin water is hydrating and it protects against the negative effects of heat stroke. Cumin seeds are a great remedy for flatulence and bloating. It makes you feel lighter and refreshes your body, making you feel better even on a hot day. Drink a glass of cumin water every morning or add cumin powder to a glass of buttermilk to cool your system down
Coriander helps the body to get rid of excess heat and toxins. It detoxifies the body and keeps the body cool and fresh. It soothes the digestive tract, and fights inflammation. Eating coriander encourages sweating. Coriander also relieves fever or high body temperature via its diaphoretic properties, which induces perspiration and reduces the inner body temperature. Both fresh coriander leaves and coriander seeds are commonly added to Indian food preparations.
5. Fenugreek Seeds
Heat stress may affect your body and cause nausea, rashes, boils and a feeling of discomfort and uneasiness. To combat such a feeling, add fenugreek seeds to your summer diet. It also helps in getting rid of flatulence, which can be an outcome of excess heat. Drinking fenugreek seed tea or its water during summer days may help you stay cool and refreshed.
Many of you may think that ginger is not the right spice for summers, but this is not true. Having fresh ginger tea during summer has a cooling effect via various mechanisms:
- High environmental temperature increases the susceptibility to oxidative stress. The body then produces free radicals to maintain normal physiological functions. Therefore,
during the hot summer days your body needs a cooling spice like "ginger" that can combat heat stressas well as fight against oxidative stress.
- Essential oils present in ginger improve the antioxidant status as well as reduce the body temperature. Gingerol the active constituent of ginger interferes with the mechanism underlying body temperature regulation and causes a drop in the body temperature.
Ginger tea also boosts your appetite and relieves nausea and dizziness, which are common during summers.
Are you bored with drinking plain water during summer? Here are some recipes to spice up your plain and boring water.
1. Herbal Water
Soak one teaspoon of any one of the herbs (fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds) in half a liter of water for 4-5 hours or overnight.
Strain the water and drink it all throughout the day along with your regular water.
2. Herbal Tea
This recipe works best when you drink it on an empty stomach in the morning or before your meals.
To make this tea, boil one teaspoon of grated ginger or 8-10 mint leaves or 8-10 basil leaves or one teaspoon coriander seeds in a cup of water. Bring it to a boil and strain the tea.
You can even club 2 spices together, for example -
- Ginger + basil tea
- Mint + coriander tea
- Fennel + cardamom tea
During summer, the external environmental temperature is already high and at this point in time, your body needs foods that keep your inner body temperature cool and prevent heat stress.
The above mentioned 6 spices will have a refreshing effect on your body. They not only reduce body heat, but also improve your appetite and relieve nausea, flatulence and bloating. Besides this, it is suggested to drink more water and stay hydrated during the hot summer days.
- Modulation of Thermoreceptor TRPM8 by Cooling Compounds - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3369806/)
- For a Refreshing Summer - Ayurveda health tips - (http://wiki.auroville.org.in/wiki/News_%26_Notes_643:For_a_Refreshing_Summer_%E2%80%93_Ayurveda_health_tips)
- Effects of menthol on thermoregulatory responses after exercise-induced hyperthermia - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4580847/)
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