As the mercury shoots up, we look for options to cool down. Rest assured that there are many simple ways to cool down during the summer. You could choose to turn up the AC or explore some eco-friendly cooling methods to keep the home cool. However, diet helps a lot in cooling down the body during summers. Most of us know about the summer fruits that help keep us hydrated and cool. Especially the various melon varieties available during summer are great in taste and keep us cool as well.
Simple techniques like using matka water (water in an earthen pot) at home during summers help in many ways. However, there are a few other foods that help hydrate us and also keep us cool during summers. Here is a rundown on a few of those foods.
- Kokum water
Kokum or Cocum is very popular in the Konkan region and is used in cuisine like tamarind. It is also called Malabar tamarind, though the variety used in Malabar is slightly different. It is a fruit also locally called Birnda in Konkani. Apart from using in cuisine, this fruit is mainly used to make juices or sherbet to beat the heat. It can be dried and then used for such purposes.
Kokum juice or water prevents dehydration and keeps the body cool. Kokum can also be infused into buttermilk and had. This preparation is called Kokum kadi. One can use Kokum syrup or dried rinds can be used to prepare juice, water, or kadi. Additionally, kokum helps with digestive health and skin moisturising as well. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help fight infections.
- Sabja seeds
These little black seeds are also called Tukmaria or basil seeds. Apart from having a high nutritional value and being beneficial to health, these are one of the best natural cooling agents. They reduce our body heat and also soothe our stomach. The best part is that they can be mixed with various foods and drinks. They are used after soaking in water for a while. They develop a translucent coating and increase in size when soaked. They regulate blood sugar, help relieve constipation, and have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- Tender coconut
Tender coconut water is a natural coolant with many health benefits. They help hydrate the body as they have electrolytes and have a naturally sweet taste that appeals.
- Coriander water
We may be using coriander leaves in our daily cuisine without knowing their immense health benefits. That they cool down our body heat is one of those benefits. Ayurveda uses coriander leaves in water to treat heat strokes. You may also just make chutney and consume coriander during summers to beat the heat.
- Mint leaves
Mint has a refreshing flavour and taste that is always appealing in summers. It is because they are highly useful to immediately bring down the body heat. It also helps beat summer headaches and skin and stomach issues. In addition, mint has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help. You could try mint juice (Pudina sherbet), mint tea, or chutney. You could also mix a bunch of mint leaves into other fresh fruit juices to avail of its benefits.
This is one veggie that can be eaten anytime but refreshes greatly during summers. It helps keep you hydrated and also has other health benefits. Cucumber can be eaten raw or beaten into a juice with mint leaves and a dash of lemon juice for immediate refreshing energy. It is great for the skin and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a nutritional powerhouse with antioxidants aiding overall health.
- Barley water
Barley is a cereal grain that can be cooked just like rice. However, it also has high medicinal value. Barley water helps regulate blood sugars and lowers cholesterol. It also regulates bowel movement as it contains high fibre content. It is mostly used as a coolant and detoxifying drink during summers. Barley water can be had as is, or mixed up with Kokum, mint or lemon juice, etc., for maximum refreshing benefits.
Tough to believe, but our everyday onion does have immense cooling capabilities. They contain volatile oils that cool down the body temperature. As a result, they help prevent heat strokes and also rejuvenate our bodies during the summers. They also are highly beneficial to health as they boost our immunity to help fight infections.
Did you know that radish brings down heat and stress in our bodies? Yes, it tastes pungent and is known as a winter vegetable. However, it is mainly made up of water and has an immediate cooling effect on our bodies. It also has high amounts of Vitamin C, which are good for summer. Additionally, it offers a few other health benefits as well.
This fruit, also known as butter fruit in India is a good summer coolant. It contains mono-saturated fatty acids that help eliminate heat from the body. It also helps remove toxins and lower energy consumption, thus keeping it cool. They are easily digested and are one of the best foods to keep you cool during summers. They can be had with a spoon of sugar, or you can blend its pulp into a juice.