Summer is the hottest season of the year with longer days and shorter nights. Extreme temperatures and dry conditions contribute to heat-related illnesses and also deaths. Being outdoors more often in summer increases the risk of dehydration, skin allergies and nutrient deficiencies. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables can offer protection from the Sun as their nutrient contents are high during the summer.
Eating seasonally available foods is a way to stay in balance with the environment. Nature produces foods in each season that have this effect. Most of the foods that are produced in the summer can be eaten raw.
Foods have a more warming effect when they are cooked for a longer time. Foods can have a cooling effect when they are eaten raw or briefly cooked. Drinking plenty of water will help prevent dehydration and keep the body cool.
The high water content of watermelon helps to stay hydrated and lowers the body temperature. It has fewer calories and helps in weight loss by keeping hunger at bay.
Watermelon contains lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage. Lycopene improves blood flow and also lowers low-density lipoprotein (LD) or bad cholesterol levels.
Watermelons contain several phenolic compounds that help reduce inflammation in the body. The fruit can be added to salads or can be consumed in the form of juice.
Oranges are rich in potassium, a nutrient that is crucial in summer. Potassium is lost in the form of sweat, which increases the risk for muscle cramps.
Oranges replenish lost nutrients and keep muscle cramps away.
Oranges are high in water content and help stay hydrated during the summer.
Lemon is easily available at affordable prices during summer. Drinking lemon water (lemon squeezed in a glass of water) is beneficial for summer weather problems like nausea, heartburn, and dehydration.
Lemon water enhances the taste and increases the water intake during the summer season.
It is considered as a summer superfood as it significantly decreases the risk of many serious medical conditions.
The yellow-orange colored succulent fruit is a good source of beta-carotene, folic acid, potassium, vitamins A and C.
Muskmelon soothes the digestive system by relieving the symptoms of indigestion and acidity.
This fruit is low in calories and offers a refreshing and sweet taste. Muskmelon acts as a diuretic by eliminating toxins and excess fluids from the body.
Muskmelon contains zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, which protects the eyes from harmful UV radiation, preventing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) in the elderly.
Yogurt with Berries
Frozen protein-rich yogurt is ideal to eat during the summer. The protein satisfies hunger and prevents from overloading on high-calorie snacks.
It also adds a dash of probiotics, beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus that keep the digestive system healthy.
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries can be added to the yogurt to make it more nutritious.
Gut-friendly bacteria in yogurt protect against food poisoning, which is more common during hot temperatures as it's difficult to keep the foods fresh.
Tender Coconut Water
Dubbed as nature's energy drink, tender coconut water contains electrolytes including calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus in their natural form.
Tender coconut water replenishes the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes lost from the body due to dehydration.
Tender coconut water is an ideal drink instead of any other soft drink beverages available in the market to address dehydration conditions.
It also moisturizes the skin from within when consumed orally and eliminates excess secretion of oil.
Tomatoes offer extra protection from the sun as they contain lycopene, which protects the skin from sunburn.
Studies have shown that consumption of 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato puree for 10 to 12 weeks reduced the reddening of the skin by 50%.
Tomatoes prevent the sebaceous glands from producing excess oils on the facial skin that causes acne breakouts.
Tomatoes can be consumed in the form of juice or can be added to foods to increase its intake.
Aloe vera is best known for its skin healing properties, especially during the summer.
Sun exposure affects the skin and causes wrinkles. Aloe vera contains antioxidants like carotene, which promote firm skin and maintain moisture.
High temperatures during summer cause sunburns and blisters. Topical application of aloe vera gel causes immediate relief and soothes the skin, accelerating skin's healing process.
Consumption of aloe vera in the form of juice during summer aids digestion and also provides relief from heartburn and soothes an upset stomach.
The palmyra fruit, also known as sugar palm fruit is a jelly-like fruit which has a cooling effect on the body.
It is ideal for treating burning sensation in the stomach and also helps keep the body hydrated.
Consumption of palmyra fruit helps prevent painful urination during summer.
The fruit contains vitamin A, B, C and minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. Thus, this fruit is beneficial to restore the essential nutrients that are lost due to perspiration.
It is important to maintain body's water levels during summer, but not just by drinking plenty of fluids, but also choosing foods that are high in water content.
Vegetables are high in water content. But, prolonged cooking depletes the water and nutrients. Opt for foods that are high in water content and require minimal cooking.
Cucumbers contain 96% of water and can be eaten raw. They contain vitamin C, which is known for tissue growth and skin cleansing properties.
Pumpkin and bottle gourd are good to deal with the summer heat. It keeps flatulence, constipation and acidity under control. It also helps prevent heat strokes during summer.
Celery helps eliminate excess water without causing dehydration. It stimulates kidneys to flush waste and extra fluid from your body, which results in beating bloating.
Drinking a cup of iced coffee every day may lower the risk of developing skin cancer. Exposure to sun causes most of the skin damages, which increase the risk of skin cancer.
A study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention found that people who drank one cup of iced coffee a day reduced their risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer by about 10%. The more the coffee they drank, the lower their risk.
Green tea is a good source of polyphenol, an antioxidant that offers protection against free radical damage.
A study claims that drinking two cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer by 30%.
Green tea also helps in weight loss by burning fat and helps maintain fit and healthy lifestyle.
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