Summer comes in with a lot of green vegetables, colourful fruits and herbs essentially leading to good hydration and protection of skin. It is preferred to use these herbs to flavour your foods rather than spices which create more heat in the body.
While everyone has started bingeing on summer and water based-fruits andveggies while consuming a lot of beverages too, we further breaks down the summer diet one must keep in mind this season to keep the hydration levels intact and how these ingredients can be used in an innovative way.
Foods To Include In Your Summer Diet
Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene will help contribute good health and skin. They can be eaten in salad mix or raita or in sandwiches or lettuce wraps. You can also prepare it in skewers, with cottage cheese
It is high in water content and helps in keeping your hydrated. It also contains lycopene which helps protect skin cells from sun damage. Watermelon is a good source of pectin. Hence the fruit can easily be made into jams, jellies and marmalades.
The inner portion of the dark coloured water-melon seeds are dried and eaten. The seeds are considered to have a cooling effect. Is best eaten in the first half of the morning by itself or in a mixed fruit salad.
94% of a zucchini’s weight is water, making it a perfect ingredient in summer. It is a great source of antioxidants like vitamin C helps to boost the immune system, and it helps in skin and eye care, with anti-inflammatory properties. Being high in potassium, it helps to keep blood pressure in check.
Ways to eat zucchini:
– It can be made like spiral noodles (spaghetti) tossed in olive oil as a mid-evening snack
– It can be added to sautéd veggies or salad or a side dish with a grilled fish or chicken for lunch or dinner
– It can be made as a smoothie had for breakfast
– Zucchini with sun dried tomatoes with skimmed cottage cheese, can be had as a mid-meal filler or as an SOS food two hours post dinner
Leafy And Green Veggies
Those like spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber are high in moisture and can be had as a veggie or raita, salad or made as a smoothie in skim milk or almond milk. They can also be had by themselves.
Being high in antioxidants, berries help the skin in summer. They also keep fluid levels high in the heat. Eat as is or have a smoothie!
It contains antioxidants that help protect from sun rays. You can add sweet corn to vegetables or salads.
Food For Thought
1. Remember to up the intake of water in summer is imperative to avoid headaches and brain fog. About 3-4 litres of water is necessary to avoid water retention.
– Fluid add-ons: coconut water, kefir drinks, smoothies, infused water, vegetable juices, dandelion tea and whey smoothies
– Natural diuretics like asparagus and dandelion tea should be had
– Probiotics like skim yoghurt and kefir or supplements can be had.
2. As much as summer brings in a higher consumption of fruits, ensure eating them in the first half of the day to prevent fat gain and best on an empty stomach to avoid indigestion.
3. Lean proteins like fish and chicken being thermogenic in nature are usually preferred in the night in the summer. Nonetheless during lunch, you can indulge in protein sources like skimmed paneer or whey smoothies.
4. Avoid bajra (winter food) and replace this with jowar rotis.
5. Since the heat prevents consumption of solid meals, the fillers can be vegetable juices, whey smoothies, buttermilk and cold salads to ensure adequate consumption of foods.
6. Summer can create a lot of heat in the body, leading to bloating and acidity. Hence coolers like sabja seed (tekmeriya) shots, kefir drink and lime water can help!