As the Indian summer peaks, we turn up the air conditioning at home, wear lighter clothing, and take a dip in the pool whenever we can. While these are extremely effective ways to stay cool this summer, one of the easiest ways to beat the heat is by eating cooling foods.
With the rising temperatures, it is important to stay cool and hydrated, especially for seniors. If If you are someone who is struggling to stay healthy and hydrated this summer, here are seven foods that can help you cool down.
Watermelon is made up of 90% water and also contains vitamins A and C, antioxidants and potassium, making it an extremely hydrating and healthy food option. This fresh and juicy fruit is also known to help lower blood pressure and aids digestion.
You can cut the fruit up and serve it as a snack on a hot day or toss it into your favourite summer salad for a light meal. A glass of fresh watermelon juice can be a real hydrating thirst quencher too. So, the next time you’re looking for something sweet but healthy to keep you cool in the summers, grab a watermelon wedge!
The common phrase “cool as a cucumber” didn’t just come out of nowhere. Cucumbers come from the same family as watermelons, which means they are high in water content. They are also a good source of vitamin K and contain electrolyte-balancing minerals such as potassium and magnesium.
As an ingredient, cucumber is very versatile and can be savoured in a variety of ways. Throw some salad leaves with diced cucumber, tomatoes, and olive oil; finish it off with a sprinkle of dried herbs and parmesan cheese for a delicious and healthy salad. You can also grate the cucumber into raita as a side dish for your Indian meals. Or you can muddle some sliced cucumber, mint leaves and lemon for a refreshing summer cooler.
Not a fan of cucumbers as food? Place a few slices on your skin and eyes for an instant cool-down on a hot day. You can also freeze cucumber juice and use it to ice your face.
Coconut water is the go-to drink in hot summers for a reason. It is full of electrolytes that’ll keep you hydrated and helps balance water and mineral levels within the body. Rich in nutrients and antioxidants, this healthy summer drink is also known to lower blood pressure and aid weight loss. When you’re exhausted from the heat on a summer day, a glass of chilled coconut water can taste like heaven.
Tart and packed with antioxidants, berries are perfect bite-sized fruits that you can snack on to get some respite from the heat. Its alkaline nature helps balance the pH levels of the body and is known to have a cooling effect. They also contain high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre. Freeze some berries and blend them with some yoghurt for a yummy smoothie to cool you down on a hot summer afternoon
When life gives you lemons, make yourself a refreshing lemonade, or a bottle of infused water. Lemon and the other members of the citrus family are not only packed with vitamin C but are also known to be cooling in the summers. Like berries, citrus fruits are alkaline in nature, helping in digestion. Chilled lemonade or orange juice is a great pick me up in the summer months.
One of the most common ingredients in an Indian kitchen, curd or yoghurt is known for its cooling effect on the body. As a probiotic, it improves digestion, is great for gut health, and even helps your bones get stronger.
In North India, the curd is served popularly as a beverage in the form of lassi (sweet yoghurt) and spiced buttermilk. Just plain curd and rice is also very cooling, in fact, curd-rice is a very popular dish down in South India. You can also use curd to whip up a mango smoothie or even a fruit and seed smoothie bowl.
Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are composed of 80 to 95% water and are known to aid the body’s temperature regulation. These greens are rich in carotenoids, antioxidants, and folates. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, and bok choy also protect you from sun damage by strengthening the skin’s defences against damaging rays.