Cool it off with these Summer foods!
Created by Tanuja Sodhi Updated on May 11, 2017
Indian summer can be very harsh and unsparing for all,especially for our young ones. The sweltering heat and irksome sweat could rankle them no end. While the summer cannot be wished away before it has spouted its fire conclusively, we can at least make young lives easier in other ways. One way would be by offering them foods that are light on their tiny tummies, foods that are known to have cooling effect on the body and which keep them energized in this sapping weather.
Foods that are acclaimed for alleviating the summer stress are:
•Fruits:While all fruits provide energy, fruits that pack a punch in beating the heat are:
1.Watermelon: It is the best thirst quencher and acts as a coolant for the body with 92% water content. It isgood for the heart, immunity, bone health and detoxificationby virtue of being a rich source of lycopene, vitamins C & A.
2.Cantaloupe (Kharbuja):Thisjuicy and pulpy fruit is ideal for summers. It helps maintain electrolyte balance in the body. It is also good for the eyesight, immunity, heart and nervous health. A repository of phytonutrients like vitamins A, B, C & K, potassium, magnesium, fiber and omega 3.
3.Grapes:They increase the blood volume in the body banishing weakness that is caused due to heat. They’re good for boosting immunity and nervous health.They contain vitamins B, C & K, manganese and potassium.
4.Sweet lime (Mausambi):This citrus and juicy fruit peps up the energy levels. It also helps overcome indigestion, irregular bowel movement, and other gastrointestinal problems. It has antioxidant properties that boost the immune system. Sweet lime is a major source of vitamin C, but also contains potassium, copper, calcium, iron and phosphorus.
5.Mango:The undisputed favorite of kids and adults alike is brimming with natural sugars and hence, is a great source of energy for our little ones. Besides, it is great for vision, skin health, immune system, tissue repair and wound healing. It contains vitamins A, B & C, folate, potassium, and omega-3 and 6.
6.Orange:This juicy fruit is a major thirst quencher. It is a great energy-booster for the little ones who need to refuel themselves after a good amount of physical activity every day. An immunity booster, it also helps maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, and is essential for vision, helps against oral & lung cancer risk, reduces blood cholesterol. An excellent source of vitamin C and agood source of vitamins A & B, fiber, potassium and calcium.
7.Coconut Meat (Nariyal Malai): Is a greatenergy booster which is very good for the skin especially during harsh summers. It is a finesource of fiber, potassium, manganese and copper.
Light to digest, water-based vegetables are recommended for the summer, such as:
1.Tomato:A powerhouse of nutrients, tomatoes are easy on the stomach during sapping summers by virtue of its juicy nature. It helps maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, builds immunity and bone health, and protects from lung and oral cavity cancers. It is a rich source of lycopene, vitamin A & Cand potassium,
2.Bottle Gourd (lauki): Light on the stomach, good for digestion & for diabetes, this vegetable is a good source of iron, vitamins C & A.
3.Bitter Gourd (Karela): Is known to cure blood disorders such as boils, rashes, fungal infections and ring-worm. It also helps control hypertension and diabetes,and increases immunity. Karela is a repository of Iron, vitamins A, B1, B2 & C.
4.Pumpkin (kaddu):It is a coolant, regulatesblood sugar and is good for stomach ailments. It is a rich repository of beta-carotene, calcium, potassium and fiber.
5.Cucumber: Keeps the body cool, protects against colon cancer and high BP. It is an excellent source of vitamins B, C & K, potassium and fiber. Cabbage: It is a light food which aids in digestion. It protects against colon and prostate cancers and helps reduce bad cholesterol and BP, and builds immunity. Apowerhouse of vitamin K. Good source of vitamins C, B6, folate, fiber, manganese and potassium.
6.Mint Leaves: It is again a great cooling food.An amazing source of vitamins A& C. They’re high on fiber, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. They have a cooling effect on body. They alsoreduce the severity of irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and constipation. Mintchutney makes for a great sandwich spread and is a healthy alternative toketchup, coconut chutney, pickle, mayonnaise, etc.
7.Coriander leaves: Good source of vitamins K & A. They have a cooling effect on body and help in blood clotting, bone formation and in reducing high BP.
8.Some other summer vegetables with similar nutrient profile are:Baby Squash (Tinda), Ridged Gourd (Torai), Snake Gourd (Chichinda), Ash Gourd (Petha), Wax Gourd (Parwal), Chinese Spinach (Chaulai), etc:They are natural sources of iron, vitamins A, C & B complex, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. They are easy to digest, control blood sugar and are excellent for anaemia.
1.Aam Panna (made of raw mangoes): This lip-smacking drink is an excellent source of vitamins C, B2& niacin.It is considered as a preventive drink for heat stroke, curative for blood disorders and gastro-intestinal disorders. It increases body resistance against tuberculosis. It also prevents the loss of excessive sodium chloride and iron from the body during summer due to sweating.
2.Bel Juice (Wood Apple Juice):Wood apple fruit is high in oxalic, malic, citric and tannic acid. It also has vitamins like carotene, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin, and minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorus. Bel is an extremely therapeutic fruit that relieves digestive issues like chronic diarrhea, dysentery and peptic ulcer. It is a coolant that treats heat stroke and indigestion. It is great for relieving sore throats and chronic cough, and is beneficial for eye health.
3.Fresh Lime Juice: This tarty fruit is brimming with potassium, vitamin C & folate. Since it is an antioxidant, it helps form collagen. It is essential for heart function; instructuring of bones, teeth and blood vessels; andin aiding red blood cell formation.
4.Buttermilk (Chhach):It is an excellent source of probiotics and hence, is helpful in maintaining general gastrointestinal health and reducing symptoms of chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. It has a cooling effect on body. One cup of low-fat buttermilk provides about 28 percent of your daily calcium requirements. Buttermilk is also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B12 and zinc. It provides 8 g of protein per cup or about 16 percent of your daily needs.
5.Lassi/Curd:Yogurt is a major source of calcium and protein. Live cultures in yogurt aid digestion, improve digestibility of lactose and strengthen the immune system.Calcium in yogurt is essential for strong bones.
6.Coconut Water:Coconut water is nature’s most refreshing drink. It is rich in potassium, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and sodium. It has 5 mg of natural sugars that help ward off fatigue by providing energy & rehydration after physical effort. A great electrolyte replacement,it lowers bad cholesterol and helps against eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma.
1.Curd Rice:This south-Indian delicacy is loved by one and all. Dahi-chaawal, as is known in north-India, figures on most kids’ list of favorite foods. It has all the goodness of curd, i.e. calcium, protein & probiotics, with the correct measure of carbohydrates found in rice for the growing children.
2.Fruit Smoothies:Fruits are full of nutrients and a fruit smoothie is a delicious way to incorporate fruit into your child’s daily diet. Fruits are high in vitamins C, A, B, fiber and folic acid.
3.Cold Soups:They provide a nutritious base for the meal without adding heat to your body. They are light on the stomach, and hence, aid in digestion.
4.Grilled Veggies: Grilled platter is healthier and lighter on your stomach than fried dishes. Grill vegetables such as eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, baby corn, etc.
Summer is the time of year when fresh produce swarms the markets. There’s an abundance of fresh, delicious and nutritiousfoods bursting with benefits for healthy living during harsh summer months. So, go on and devour these savory foods while they’re still around.
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