Unlike other times of the year, during the summer we naturally lose our appetite and need extra fluid to hydrate the body. It is a common to resort to cooling drinks such as lime juice, Chaas, Nira water or something that we feel cooler.
It is extremely important for us to know this body language and get into a proper dietary habit so that we don't tax our body even more and at the same time support our body's tissues and cells with a nourishing diet to escape from the scorching heat. With a planned diet consisting of a range of refreshing drinks and fruit, we can cool down and face summer heat.
Consuming summer fruits and drinks is one of the easiest ways to lower the body heat and protect our body. The summer diet must also provide energy and help reduce tiredness and fatigue, something many of us experience during the summer season. Let the sun's hotness be dealt with easily with a few of the following dietary tips.
Wake Up Routine
During summer, we tend to sleep under a fan or in an air-conditioned room. This can further dry up the skin and throat and when you wake up it is quite natural to feel the dryness of the throat, eye irritations or skin dryness.
Start your morning with 2-3 glasses of water even. If required one can also use lime juice or cinnamon soaked in the water. Following this, a cooling drink is highly recommended like Ashguard juice with a few drops of lime and Amla juice.
This is highly beneficial to health in keeping the blood glucose in check and also to regularize your weight. Ash gourd juice can be replaced by wheatgrass juice, moringa juice, celery and cucumber juice or even coconut water.
Breakfast During Summer
It is important to consume at least 4-5 handfuls of fruits and vegetables during the day in summer. Breakfast should always start with a bowl of healthy seasonal fruits such as melons, papaya, mangoes, lychees, plums etc.
Following this one can have either a miller porridge or smoothie bowl consisting of coconut milk along with sabja, seeds, chia seeds, buts and a few dry fruits. Dry breakfast such as bread or other fermented grain items can cause indigestion if eaten on a fresh stomach. Also, reduce the number of grains and other preparations for breakfast.
Depending on your hunger levels, one can either go for buttermilk with a pinch of cumin powder and ginger or hing around midmorning time. You can also opt to have a bowl of salad at your convenience or even coconut water.
The meal that you have at lunch also should have abundant vegetables. If you prefer to consume carbs this is the meal you can try adding carbs along with plenty of vegetables. Make it mandatory to include a soup for lunch. Reduce the macronutrients such as carbs, proteins and fats to only half of the lunch portion.
Towards the evening, you may consider taking a bowl of summer fruits and can also include a few soaked nuts along with this. This can give you good energy towards the latter part of the day and prevent any form of fatigue or tiredness after a full day's work.
Night meals are better to be kept as light as possible. It is preferred to have a "Budha bowl" with lots of cooked vegetables ï¿½ sauteed, braised, grilled or boiled along with a protein option. Include a soup before the meals and a herbal tea post-dinner. Some of the great cooling teas are chamomile tea, hibiscus tea or even mint tea.
Hydration During The Day
One has to consume at least 3-litres of water during the day to keep the body cool. Besides drinking water, herbal teas, soups, infused water etc are great ways to combat body heat. Water infused with vegetables like celery, parsley, lemon, orange, cucumber, kale etc is great during this time. (Dr. Manoj Kutteri, Wellness Director, Atmantan Wellness Centre)
Read More► Boost Your Physical And Mental Health
You are what you eat! The secret to good health often lies in one's reach in one's own kitchen, if only one remembers to look. From nutrient-dense and healthy lentils and flours to natural alternatives to calorie-heavy processed foods, kitchen shelves are full of ingredients that are both healthy and delicious if whipped up the correct way.
Here are some foods suggested by Jyothi Sri Pappu, CEO and Founder of Nutreat Life that help you boost your physical and mental health if consumed regularly:
A staple in south Indian households, Ragi is not only high in protein but is also packed with nutrients like vitamins C, B-Complex, and E, iron and calcium, making it good for your hair and skin. Ragi is a wonderful breakfast food that also helps relax nerves and induce sleep naturally.
The best part? Ragi is a versatile ingredient that can not only be part of many recipes but can be prepared for babies to adults alike, whether in the form of baby cereal, piping hot porridge, or yummy pancakes.
A great alternative to empty-calories sweeteners like sugar, jaggery, or gur is high on nutritional value, containing within itself a fair amount of antioxidants and minerals. Jaggery is an ingredient that can be eaten raw, or put in meals to improve its flavour. Along with boosting immunity, jaggery has great purification properties for your entire body, especially the liver and blood.
Another food that is great for diabetics, along with jaggery, is the date fruit. This precious brown dry fruit contains loads and loads of nutrients, including potassium and antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid. High in fibre and easy to add to dishes, dates are also great for brain health.
As per research, a diet rich in date palm fruits improves memory, learning and reduces the risk for Alzheimer's disease. Dates and jaggery instant mixes, such as the one by NutrEatLife, can be added in place of sugar in dishes and beverages to sweeten them, minus the health disadvantages of sugar.
Another traditionally available superfood is coconut, which is full of nutrients, whether one has coconut water, raw coconut, milk or even its oil! From manganese to magnesium, copper and potassium, consuming coconut can help you increase the intake of the micronutrients each day. Sipping coconut water could also have the same effect as an activity designed to reduce anxiety, and research shows that coconut water may have an antidepressant effect.
Add them to your desserts, or have a handful of them after soaking in water, nuts are wonder foods that are proven to be transformative for both physical and mental health. Along with improving brain function, almonds and walnuts are energy-boosting foods that are a great snacking option in between meals.
Pistachios, similarly, improve function in the brain and eyes and are a blessing for hair and skin health. Peanuts, too, make for a great snacking option and a nutrition powerhouse as well with 17 grams of protein in every half a cup (73 grams). (Agency)
Read More► Benefits of Spiced Tea in Winter
Because they keep the body warm from within, hot beverages are synonymous with winter. Wearing your cosiest woollens and sipping a steaming hot beverage on a bright and sunny day is the order of the day this season. Did you know that adding a few spices to your tea can be extremely beneficial to your health?
In the winter, a hot cup of spiced tea can provide your body with much-needed warmth to combat the bone-chilling cold. Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, saffron and ginger warm the body while also increasing metabolism and immunity.
Spices have been used in tea for nearly as long as tea has been consumed, and there are many different spiced tea drinks to choose from. Three of the most well-known spiced teas that should not be overlooked in the winter are:
Masala Chai, also known as "chai tea", is a popular spiced beverage. It can be made with a single spice (such as ginger or cloves) or with a combination of spices. Despite its origins in northern India, chai is now consumed in a wide range of locations worldwide.
Ginger Tea, many spiced tea blends and freshly brewed spicy teas contain ginger tea. Green tea, black tea, puerh tea, and even oolong tea complement ginger well. It gives teas a warming, tangy, slightly sweet flavour. Ginger has been used in tea since antiquity and can now be found in teas all over the world.
Cinnamon Tea, Cinnamon is usually used to flavour black teas, but it can also be used to flavour green, oolong, or puerh teas. It has a sweet, warming taste that goes well with fruit ingredients in tea drinks.
Some of the few benefits of having spiced tea in winter season are:
Boosts Immunity: Antioxidants in spiced tea help to boost the body's immune system and fight cold and flu symptoms.
Inflammation: Warm blends aid in the reduction of inflammation and pain. It is said that drinking saffron-infused tea or putting a few cloves in a boiling kettle of drinking water can help relieve pain by lowering inflammation in the body.
Weight Loss: Because spiced teas are low in calories but high in nutritional value, they are an ideal beverage for anyone looking to lose weight. Squeezing a few drops of lemon juice into your tea acts as an excellent body tonic and aids in hunger control.
Blood Circulation: Due to a lack of activity, our bodies stiffen and blood circulation weakens during the winter months. Cinnamon tea improves blood circulation while also controlling blood sugar levels.
Improved Digestion: During the winter, heavier foods, as well as a tendency to sit and avoid movement, increase the risk of digestive problems. Tea steeped with ginger, mint or star anise can aid digestion and relieve gastric distress, especially when consumed after or in between meals.
Boosts Energy: Because energy drinks frequently contain high amounts of caffeine, which can be harmful to one's health, spiced tea can be used as a natural energy booster with few to no negative side effects because it is high in critical nutrients and minerals. (Bala Sarda, Founder & CEO, VAHDAM India)
Read More► Eating Seasonal Food Is Good For You
To meet our dietary needs, nutritionists throughout the country have begun looking at substances accessible in India. They're looking at ancient wisdom and seasonal local possibilities, which is unsurprising. These solutions are not only environmentally friendly, but they also help the local economy!
"Each season offers an array of gorgeous fresh vegetables, each rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in their own way," explains Dr. Rajyalakshmi Devi of Lovlife Hospital. Furthermore, the climate provided by each season makes seasonal produce easily edible and absorbable by our bodies."
It's crucial to note, however, that these indigenous fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides to prevent insects and pests from spoiling them. "Always choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as they are filled with the nutrients needed to aid you during that time," says Chef Kunal Kapur, who promotes eating seasonal cuisine.
However, keep in mind that these pass through numerous hands, potentially transferring germs. So wash your food with a natural action fruit and vegetable wash like Nimwash, which removes chemicals and pathogens while ensuring that it is safe to eat."
Further, he also shares his expertise on the various benefits of consuming seasonal food:
Seasonal Food Offers High Nutritional Value: Fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen taste better, are fresh and offer the highest amount of nutrients as compared to those that are preserved.
Seasonal Food is Cheaper: Crops produced seasonally are cost effective since farmers invest and harvest them in bulk. Sourcing of local stock also reduces the cost of logistics drastically.
Seasonal Food is Ecological: Eating seasonal food decreases the demand of out-of-season produce, increases the consumption of local farming and more importantly lessens the time for refrigeration, decreases the cost involved in transportation and irrigation of the crops.
Seasonal Food Tastes Better: Since the food produced in a particular season is fresh, it tastes better, sweeter and is perfectly ripened. When fruits and vegetables are harvested at the right time, it will be more flavourful.
Read More► Superfoods for Healthy Skin During Winters
Your food habits have a huge impact on your energy levels and even show on your skin. The dietary choices we make every day can either make us feel energetic and look good or can make us look older than our actual age.
Healthy eating is beneficial for maintaining proper body weight as well as boosting the immune system. It rejuvenates your skin and improves your hair quality, thereby leaving you with glowing skin and reduced hair fall. Apart from that, it also helps to smoothen the skin, curb wrinkles and strengthen nails. Skin, during winters, can become dry, and one might not be able to protect it in the right manner despite moisturizers. Certain superfoods can help healthily protect the skin-
Water: This one is one of the most important elements in our daily diet. Water gives our body and skin the much-needed boost of hydration. Consuming ample water makes the skin soft, smooth and supple. If the opposite is done, it can lead to dryness, clogged pores, wrinkles and blemishes. Further, drinking less water leaves you dehydrated that can trigger fatigue and make you look older.
Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts, flax seeds, and fish like Salmon and Mackerel help in keeping the skin nourished. These polyunsaturated fats accelerate the production of the skin's natural oil barrier, which is critical in keeping your skin hydrated. It even makes it plumper, and younger-looking.
Carrots: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene and lycopene that protect skin from UV damage. Although the sun is not too bright in winters, UV rays are still present all around us. Carrots are also packed with Vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants that keep dry skin and uneven skin tone issues at bay.
Citrus Fruits: Winters are the time when fresh juicy and refreshing citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerine, grapefruit, and lime are available in abundance. These vitamin C rich fruits can be excellent winter superfoods.
Some common benefits provided are - Vitamin C can help boost immunity, the water content can help keep the body hydrated, and fibre can help improve digestion.
Sweet Potatoes: A winter special is loaded with tons of benefits. Sweet Potatoes are loaded with fibre which keeps the stomach full for a longer time. The high levels of beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes not only nourish the skin but also makes it glow from within. They are essential to boost immunity and help in safeguarding the body against minor ailments.
The change in weather demands a change in diet. With Covid cases on a rise again, it poses a lot of health problems as we continue to work from home and there is less physical activity. Joint problems, weight gain, vitamin D deficiency, constipation are some of the common problems people are facing during self-quarantine.
With winter stepping in, dry skin and hair fall also become a cause of concern. Enriching your diet with nutrient-rich foods may help deal with all these problems and let you enjoy good immunity, good skin and overall good health. (Rohit Shelatkar, VP at Vitabiotics, Fitness & Nutrition Expert)
Read More► Make Your Kids Morning Happy With These Healthy Breakfast Foods
Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day, and starting your day without one is like trying to fly a kite without wind. A nutritious breakfast is essential for children not just to give them a powerful start to the day, but also to refuel their bodies after sleep, as their brains and bodies are still developing.
The most difficult task for parents is to ensure that their children have a nutritious breakfast. About 20-30 per cent of youngsters miss meals, therefore a breakfast for them should be quick, easy, filling, and, most importantly, delicious.
Aditya Bagri, Director at Bagrry's shares delicious and healthy breakfast options for your kids:
Wheat Bran Pancakes: Pancakes and waffles are the breakfast of champions (when it comes to fixing our tastebuds), but it doesn't need to be all unhealthy. Wheat bran, along with atta and oats, is a great substitute for maida.
Just change the grain and add a lot more fibre and protein to your kid's breakfast. You can sweeten the batter with honey, jaggery, and bananas instead of sugar as well, along with some cocoa powder.
Quinoa Upma: Like a veggie breakfast -why not add quinoa instead of suji to your kids' Upma? It packs a lot more protein and fibre along with Omega 3 fatty acids.
Peanut Butter & Wholegrain Toast: A easy peasy peanut butter and toast combo are great for kids. Be sure to use actual wholegrain toast and unsweetened peanut butter, topped with some bananas for sweetness. You can even sprinkle some honey or chia seeds for more crunch.
Oats Idli: Idli's are an all-time breakfast favourite - why not change the base from white rice to Oats along with dal, adding more fibre, more protein and better energy.
Chocolate Muesli: Chocolate cereals are often laden with sugar. For older kids, muesli is a much better choice, laden with whole grains, nuts, berries and much less sugar. It gives energy for the whole day and needs no preparation time.
Banana Berry Smoothie: In case parents are short on time to cook breakfast, portable breakfasts for eating on the go act as an exceptional option. The simplest sugar-free, on-the-go meal for kids is a simple blend of bananas, berries, oats, and a dash of milk. Just blend it all together and it's got the fuel needed to start your day.
Overnight Oats: These are easy to prepare and way to healthy. Make them in Mason jars the night prior, and let your child customise this dish with their preferred toppings. You need to mix about 1/4 cup (26 grams) of rolled oats and 1/2 cup (120 ml) of your choice of milk in a small Mason jar.
Garnish with nuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, and dried or fresh fruits. As an alternative to cooking them, leave the jar in the fridge and allow the oats to soften overnight.
Pumpkin-Quinoa Porridge: Quinoa is a quick-cooking, gluten-free grain, and this breakfast porridge packs a punch of vitamin A. Boil one part of quinoa with two parts of milk of any type and let it cook for 10 minutes on a medium-low flame. Stir in some pumpkin, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg and allow it to simmer. Top it with brown sugar, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut before you serve it.
Berry Yoghurt Parfaits: Layer high-protein Greek yoghurt with fresh berries and a sprinkle of granola for an easy and on-the-go meal.
Read More► 68% of Indian Ultra-Processed Food Products Have Excess Salt, Sugar
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