As we all know the climate in most of the Middle East countries is pretty consistent which is referred to as hot and hotter. Summer temperature in the Middle East can reach up to 50 degree Celsius
And the hotter it gets, the lighter and cooler your summer eating plans should be to stay healthy. During summer we tend to lose lot of body water and electrolytes due to lots of sweating which can lead to dehydration and heat stroke.
It’s particularly important to eat foods that are high in water content and replenish your electrolyte balance. When you have depleted Sodium and Potassium, your blood pressure can drop down causing hypotension (low blood pressure) which causes dizziness & dis-orientation.
Best way to combat summer and the frequent heat wave is –
Have frequent meals that are light on stomach with high water content. Water is always a life saving element and is easily available and the best thing to consume. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Keep sipping small amount of water at regular intervals. Best way to do so is a keep a water bottle handy and during peak summer time one should consume on an average minimum 3 to 4 litres of water.
- Other fluids
Coconut water, chilled lemon juice, vegetable juice, buttermilk, smoothies which aid in hydration and keeps body temperature cooler.
- Chilled out veggies
There is an abundant supply of vegetable that can help lower body temperature when the heat soars. The best examples are cucumber, zucchini, leafy greens, bell peppers, lettuce which are cooling agent and also rich in Vitamin C,B,K. Various vegetable smoothies can be made using mint leaves, cucumber and tomatoes, etc. Best bet is sipping on mint leaves infused water throughout the day.
Fruits that have high water content and are loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants are your best bet for staying cool. These include apples, pears, peaches, pomegranates, melons, berries as well as citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, grapefruit, lemons and lime. Citrus is considered as a super food for healthy skin too due to its wide array of phytonutrients and also helps in digestion. Start every day with a glass of chilled lemon water. This slightly acidic drink helps to cleanse your system and energises your body.
- Carbohydrates & Proteins
Eat small portions of carbohydrate which provides good source of energy- Choose whole wheat foods over refined flours. Include legumes, pulses, chickpeas, lentils, shrimps which are good source of protein to counter the ravages of summer.
- Functional Seeds
Chia seeds and Sabja are highly recommend as these seeds have cooling effect and aid in digestion. This can be added in chilled water, milk, buttermilk, vegetable juice to curb the heat.
- Low fat yogurt
It is a delicious coolant. It contains power boosting whey protein which are excellent for muscle growth and repair. It is a natural probiotic and helps increasing the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. You can also enjoy it as a chilled buttermilk with a dash of cumin powder to stay hydrated.
You also need to pay attention to sinus issues and asthma which usually flare up during summer. Vitamin C plays a very important role- vit C rich foods include black currants, guava, spinach, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, kiwi, kale etc
It is not only important what you eat, but it is also important when you eat and how do you serve your food. Deserts can be served in earthen pots as it keeps nutrients of food intact for a longer duration and keeps food fresh and cool. It is important to eat fresh food as foods tend to get spoilt soon during summer.
Food items to avoid during summer
Avoid saturated fats, oily, spicy, fries, burgers, and pastries that stress out digestion.
For non-vegetarians keep the consumption of animal fats and red meat to the minimum. It is preferable to have sea food or lightly grilled chicken.
Summer cooler recipe
- 2 cucumber
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 handful Mint Leaves
- 2 cup low fat yoghurt (curd)
- 1 lemon
- 3-4 spinach leaves
- 8-10 basil leaves
- 1 tspn chia seeds
- 1/2 cup Ice cubes
Peel and grate the cucumbers.
Transfer to a blender
Add the ice cubes, yogurt, honey, spinach leaves, basil leaves, few mint leaves and lemon juice.
Blend well until smooth.
Pour into a glass, add chia seeds and garnish with mint leaves.
A Post Graduate in Dietetics is a highly passionate leading Nutrition Expert with proven experience in preventive and clinical nutrition. She specialises for Cardiovascular Diseases, Obesity, Diabetes, Kidney Dis-orders, Liver Disease, Anaemia, Cancer, Hormonal Disorders like PCOD & Thyroid etc…. She started her career in the year 2005, where she worked with renowned hospitals which included Cumballa Hill Hospital & Heart Institute, Hiranandani Hospital and Lilavati Hospital gaining much needed experience in Clinical Nutrition.