Summer is here in full swing, and if the blazing heat is anything to go by, we are in for soaring temperatures later this year. The hot summer is perfect for downing those refreshing cool drinks, which you can learn about here. Keeping your system cool is imperative if you don’t want an upset stomach. During summers, if you want to feel free and light, it is better to stay away from foods that heat your system.
During summers, more internal heat is generated in the body, which can make a person feel irritable, tired and restless. Drinking enough water is crucial, but that won’t help bring down your body temperature if you are eating foods that raise body heat.
A classic example would be meat. Now, consuming meat isn’t bad for health. However, in summer, it is advisable to cut down on your meat consumption for several reasons. One reason is that eating meat generates a lot of body heat. Another reason is that meat spoils easier during summer. You might have a state-of-the-art fridge, but how do you know where your meat has been stored, and or how long before it reached you?
Here are some foods, that you should include in your diet simply because they are nutritious and will keep you cool.
You may recognise the omnipresent Nutrela packets on supermarket shelves. Soybean meals are a significant and cheap source of protein and other nutrients including dietary minerals, and vitamin B. Soy is often used as a meat substitute and for a good reason–it provides the nutritional equivalent of meat, eggs and casein for human growth and health. So, ditch the regular meat, and cook up a yummy soybean feast to stay fuelled, yet cool this summer.
Rajma-chawal is famous for being a comfort dish. Kidney beans are nutritious and contain a host of essential vitamins and minerals like Thiamine, Riboflavin, Calcium, Zinc, Potassium, Iron and Magnesium, as well as high amounts of protein and essential carbohydrates. What’s more, rajma tastes great and is quite light on the stomach. You get all your essential nutrients, without the internal body heat!
This famous vegetable is loaded with essential nutrients, and packs the most nutritional punch, amongst other vegetables. Broccoli shares cancer-fighting and immune-boosting capabilities with other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflowers and cabbages. Broccoli binds with bile acids in the digestive tract, thus helping excrete cholesterol out of our body. A study conducted by the Institute of Food Research shows that a certain kind of broccoli can reduce blood cholesterol levels by around 6%.
Paneer needs no introduction. Every vegetarian has probably heard the taunt, “eat chicken, and pretend it is paneer”. Well, you’d rather eat the paneer directly, seeing as it is loaded with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients–around 18 grams of protein in every 100 grams of paneer. Apart from protein, paneer also provides valuable calcium. No wonder, this food is famous amongst people of all ages in India.
Dal, as it is colloquially known, is an excellent source of proteins, vitamins and minerals. A dietary staple in India, there are many varieties of lentils. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, 100 g of raw lentils provides a good dose of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fibre. Lentils are an excellent source of phosphorus, iron, zinc and other minerals. What’s more, lentils have low levels of readily-digestible starch, which is excellent for those suffering from diabetes. Digesting lentils is also easy, and seeing as dal is delicious, you should be stocking up on lentils already.
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There are also innumerable dishes that you can make, using the above foods and surprise your taste buds with something different! Also, remember to stay well hydrated throughout and avoid aerated drinks, as they can dehydrate your system. Eat healthy, and have a stress-free and joyous summer.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)