It is a known fact that around 60 per cent of our body weight is water. If two percentage or more of water is lost from the body, it could lead to severe health problems. The functioning of the internal organs depends up on the water content in our body. If the body is not replenished with enough water, it may affect the health and general well being.
The body heat may increase making us exhausted and tired always. Besides, it disrupts the digestive process as well. All these may lead to many diseases and other severe health problems. A healthy person should drink at least 1.5 litres to 3 litres water every day. Make sure that you drink clean water, preferably boiled and cooled.
Tender coconut water, buttermilk, rice water and salted lemon water are some of the healthy drinks that could replenish your body. These are loaded with minerals and electrolytes that give you energy. Besides, it helps in keeping your body well hydrated as well.
If you have to drink tea, do not drink more than two cups a day. Light tea with less sugar could be consumed. However, if you prefer milk, it is better not to drink more than one glass a day. You could also enjoy a cup of fresh curd that is loaded with vitamins and calcium. These are essential to protect the body from the scorching heat and to have during the present day coronavirus scare to boost your immunity.
Food items that are easy to digest and get absorbed into the body are ideal. Easily digestible foods can satiate your hunger and thirst as well. Local foods made using simple ingredients are nutritious and digest easily.
Food that is store houses of vitamins should be included in the diet during the summers. Food items that contain vitamins A, B6, C, D and E are excellent for health. Carrots, beetroots, milk, leafy greens, egg, fruits and gooseberries are loaded with these essential vitamins. The protein in the pulses can improve the immunity power of the body.
Fruits and vegetables
Vegetables, fruits and leafy greens should be strictly consumed as the vitamins and anti oxidants in it improve immunity. Meanwhile, the healthy fibres in the fruits would propagate the good bacteria which would fight infections. Moreover, the water content in the fruits would hydrate the body. Mangoes, pineapple, papaya, orange, guava and passion fruit are excellent fruits to be had during the summer. You could have a refreshing salad with some yoghurt 1–2 hours before lunch. Make sure that vegetables like onions, tomatoes and cucumbers that have high water content are included in the salad. It is better to consume them raw or lightly cooked as overcooking the vegetables may lose its vital nutrients.
The good old kanji or rice gruel is lighter on the stomach and is easily digestible. It could be combined with protein-rich green gram curry, tapioca, yam and puzhukku (vegetables cooked with spiced coconut paste) for a light and healthy dinner. Toasted papads and coconut or mango chutney too are classic combinations with kanji. Medicinal kanji made with pepper corns, coriander seeds, dried ginger, cumin and ajwain are excellent to prevent diseases.
Including food items cooked with rice for breakfast would help you begin the day on an energetic note. Traditional breakfast dishes like dosa, idli and puttu are ideal. Try to include lots of vegetarian dishes for lunch. You could have local snacks with the evening tea. However, try to avoid snacks that are oil fried.
Eat it hot
Make it a habit to eat hot and freshly cooked food. Bacteria could grow on food items that are moist and could make you sick. Foods that have been stored in the fridge for days should be avoided.
Goodness of spices
Experts of ayurveda say that the traditional spices and aromatics have the ability to increase the immunity power of the body. Turmeric powder, cumin and pepper corns have high medicinal values. Consuming milk with a pinch of turmeric powder added in it would ease cold and cough. Besides, it fights bacteria and fungus as well. Cumin water can flush out toxins from the body and improve the production of bile in the liver. Pepper, meanwhile, is loaded with vitamins A, C and anti oxidants. It is an excellent remedy for viral infections and cold.
Say ‘no’ to these
Among the things that need to be strictly avoided, carbonated soft drinks tops the list. Juices available in tins and tetra packs are not actual fruits juices or extracts. These juices have no nutritional values at all. It may temporarily satiate your thirst, but it would further lead to thirst and fatigue. The high sugar content in such juices is not good for health. Similarly, the high fructose corn syrup that is added in these drinks can increase the sweetness up to four times. This severely affects the proper functioning of the liver. Moreover, such drinks have high caffeine content as well. High amount of urine would be produced resulting in the loss of essential minerals from the body. You may even experience stomach distress as well. When carbon dioxide is trapped inside the stomach, it may lead to lack of appetite, stomach aches and other gastric problems.
Here is a menu that suits the summer season
Begin the day with a glass of light tea with less sugar.
Idli/appam/ dosa or puttu for breakfast.
You could drink lemon water/ tender coconut water/ butter milk or fruit juices 2 hours after breakfast.
Rice, curd, vegetable stir fry and salad for lunch.
You could have light tea with local snacks that are not oil fried.
Kanji (rice gruel) and green gram curry for dinner.
Rene Medicity, Kochi