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The Summer Diet: Foods to Keep the Heat Away

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The summer of 2018 is one of the hottest yet, which means that body heat, and the prospect of heat-related illnesses is on a rapid incline. And while the relentless sun’s rays are usually to blame, the food we eat is also a major, yet oft ignored culprit. So here are a few foods to keep the heat away and normalize body temperature; along with a host of other health benefits:

1- Berries

From strawberries and falsa to blueberries and blackberries, these traditional Chinese medicine staples generate cold energy in the body and are excellent for replenishing body water stores due to their 92% water content. Moreover, the vitamin C and phytonutrient content makes for an excellent natural sunblock.

2- Lemons

With an over 80% water content, not only do lemons and other citrus fruits provide an excellent rehydrating solution, but added in water and taken multiple times a day can also help reduce hypertension, mental stress and high cholesterol levels due to rich stores of vitamin C.

3- Gourds

With the highest water content among fruits and large antioxidant stores, cool watermelons provide an instant rehydrating effect and act as an anti-cancer measure by reducing the number of UV-radiations penetrating the body. Melons provide an energizing and comparatively lower calorie rehydrating alternative to watermelons. Cucumbers, on the other hand, rehydrate and reduce skin oil; leaving you feeling fresh and cool, while also increasing skin, fingernail, and joint elasticity.

4- Mint

This is one of the best foods to keep the heat away. Consumed on its own or mixed into a fruity beverage or dish, these small herbs can help reduce body heat, while also aiding in treating asthma, digestive problems, nausea and headaches. It can also be mixed with tamarind (imli), mango powder (aamchoor), cumin, and coriander for an extra cooling effect.

5- Tomatoes

Raw tomatoes act as skin hydrants and UV protectors due to a high lycopene, vitamin C, and antioxidant content, respectively. However, cooked tomatoes provide these nutrients in a greater amount, particularly lycopene, which also aids in diabetes prevention and heart health improvement.

6- Leafy Green Vegetables

The vitamin A content in spinach, lettuce, and other dark, leafy vegetables reduces skin dryness and irritation, while also aiding in UV protection. Moreover, the 80-95% water content aids in cooling and makes them easy to digest. Carrots are another vitamin A-rich food that help reduce reactions to sunburn.

7- Spicy Peppers

While cool to taste foods, like the ones on this list, are go-to options for body heat reduction and rehydration, hot, spicy foods like chilies and other peppers can also help normalize body temperatures by stimulating heat receptors in the mouth and enhancing blood circulation, which makes the body sweat in order to reduce the increased body temperature, hence cooling down the body.

8- Oral Rehydration Solutions

Certain situations, such as when you are outdoors, may make the ingredients listed above inaccessible. For this purpose, making and carrying an oral rehydration solution can effectively replenish body water and salts lost to heat and humidity. Simply mix two pinches of salt, one teaspoon sugar, and one pinch baking soda into 200-300 ml water. This powdered mixture can also be added to fresh fruit juices for added flavour and benefits.

9- Summer Salads

One of the best ways to make your body cool, feel light and full and keep your taste buds going is to have fresh and healthy summer salads. Make them using cucumber, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cottage cheese. Then add flavor using salt, pepper and a touch of homemade cream cheese and pomegranate. Salads like these have been known to be eaten in 7 seconds, which is record time. One must give it a try.

10- Soup

Soups always hint toward the cold weather of winter days, when on a rainy day you are sitting on the sofa in your cozy blanket and having a mixture of chicken and mushroom soup. Recipes that have a high fluid content are always helpful towards the hydration levels of the body. Therefore, soup becomes a recurring option, rather than just a winter thing, if a lighter vegetable soup is used instead of a heavy meaty soup.

11- Broccoli

Whether you like it or not, broccoli is an excellent food. Its high fiber content aids in digestion, sustain low blood sugar and helps avoid constipation. It is well known as a smart carb. Even though this leafy vegetable looks dense, 91 percent of it is really water. Although many people still argue that a glass of water is more flavorful than this veggie.

12- Coconut Water

Drinking plenty of water is essential for the body during the scorching heat of summers. It should be a vital part of one’s diet. However, drinking plain water can sometimes get boring as it is tasteless. An alternative can be coconut water. One glass of coconut water daily can help your body stay hydrated, keep it cool and safeguard against heat waves.

While all of the above ingredients are completely safe to use, remember to check with your doctor on possible reactions with your medications, if any. You can also book an appointment with a top General Physician in Lahore, Karachi and Multan through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health-related concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

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