Summer is here and the temperatures are rising every day. The kind of negative effect that exposure to excessive heat can do to our bodies is high. Heat in the summer can make us uncomfortable and irritable too.
Humans are warm-blooded. This means that we maintain an inside body temperature of 98.4o Fahrenheit. A variance of more than a degree indicates sickness or fever due to a virus, inflammation or bacteria. When we are exposed to hot climates, our body pumps extra blood to the skin to increase the level of sweat that we produce. As the sweat evaporates, the body cools down. This thermostat works well till the time we sweat enough to manage the increase in heat inside the body.
General issues created due to excessive heat in the environment include irritability, lack of concentration, inability to carry out heavy work, fatigue, nausea and sleepiness. Some of the illnesses that heat can cause are heat edema, rashes, cramps, exhaustion, syncope and heat stroke.
While we can plant more tress and help the environment get cooler over the years, we need an immediate fix to handle the hot temperatures that ail us during the summer months.
Drinking adequate amounts of water is the most important thing during summer. Sweating means that we lose our body water at a faster rate than normal. It is, therefore, important to replenish the lost water properly. Add a couple of litres to your daily consumption in the summer months. This helps in eliminating toxins, keeping us cool and providing the required levels of suppleness to the skin too.
Drinking only water does not provide the nutrition that we need. So, we need to add foods that are nutritious, and cooling is important. Nature has ensured that these cooling foods are seasonally available during the summer.
Best Foods for Summer
Getting your hands on the foods mentioned below that help in maintaining internal body temperatures is easy.
Watermelon and melon
These summer season fruits are more than 90% water. Not only do they provide the required water for the body, they also provide fiber. Cut and chill the watermelon or melon and refrigerate for an hour. Consume it chilled for the most soothing effect. If you are not so keen on eating this fruit, churn the whole fruit in a blender. Make sure that you do not strain and remove the fiber in the process. Chill and consume it after an hour. You will literally feel your entire body cooling.
Crunchy and delicious, this green fruit packs in a lot of punch with vitamins and minerals. Sprinkle some black salt or rock salt on it to make it extra special and palatable.
Delicious and cheap, this drink is welcome all through the year and especially during the summer months. Not only will this vitamin packed drink help you cool down, it has also been known to fight cancer.
Known as yogurt in some places, curd contains lots of probiotics. It also cools the stomach and intestines, keeping internal inflammations at bay. Add a strawberry crush or blueberry sauce to make it yummier.
Lemon and mint
A great combination of foods that are both beneficial in summers. A few mint leaves in lime water and ice is the best refresher you can ever have. You can also use mint alone and make a mint chutney to be consumed in sandwiches.
Make one meal a day into a salad and add in loads of green leafy vegetables to it. Not only do they contain high quantities of water, they are also high in vitamins and minerals. Cool, fibrous, nutritious, leafy vegetables are a boon to summers.
Foods to Avoid in Summer
While nature has provided us with the right fruits and vegetables apt for the season, we have made sure that almost all fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year. Some of the specific foods to avoid during summer include the following:
- Fried foods – Almost all kinds of fried foods should be avoided in summer. Typically, being high on fat and salt, they encourage water imbalance and are therefore extremely harmful during summer.
- Red meat – This can cause the internal body temperatures to rise and will negate the good work that melons and curds are doing for your body.
- Cocktails – Options like daiquiris may feel refreshing and cooling but they heat up the internal body system. Alcohol also causes dehydration, something that you should avoid completely.
Eating right for the season is a good way to maintain balance in the system. You will be able to ensure good physical and mental health. Keep a cool head this summer so you can function efficiently and complete work as always without letting the sun burn you down.