TOP 10 HEALTHY “SUPER-COOLERS” FOR SUMMER!
“Summer”- doesn’t it bring in a déjà vu of the endless play hours, picnics, ice creams, ice lollies & family holidays?? However, with the endless time spent with our families & friends, we generally tend to stuff ourselves with more of sugary drinks, colas, fried & junk foods. People very commonly believe the myth- “Our body increases its metabolism in summers & we lose weight faster. However a review article by Baranowski et al (Childhood Obesity, 2014) indicates the increased obesity rates in children during summer months due to high calorie food choices. Similarly, with the increasing obesity rates in India, it’s the need of time we choose healthy food options! Here’s a check list of top ten healthy & cooling summer foods you should include in your diet-
1.Cucumber– The good old “cooling cucumber” is the Nutritionist’s top picks in summer since it contains high water content & is super low in calories. Cucumber is rich source of vitamin C & minerals. So have “a cucumber every day” as salads or as a cooling smoothie!
2.Coconut water– It the best “cleansing & cooling” low calorie drink. Coconut water not only helps us replenish our body’s water but also helps correct the electrolyte balance. It’s also the best pick as sports drink for health & fitness enthusiasts, due to the negligible sugar content.
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3.Melons- These naturally sweet fruits are ideal to curb your sweet cravings! Melons have 90% water content, are natural coolers & are ideal in weight loss diet due to the low calorie content. Toss them in a fruit salad or a melon smoothie/ lassi for a sweet & tasty delicacy!
4.Lemons– The best “Vitamin C shot”, lemons also contain high water content & are super-low in calories too! Hot water with lemon & honey early mornings, is the Nutritionist’s pick to boost metabolism, cleanse our body from toxins & also a fix for managing acidity. So have your daily dose of lemon or lemon juice in salads, dals or as the classic low sugar lemonade.
5.Kokum (garcinia indica) – is very commonly used in coastal food preparations. Kokum variations right from dried kokum, fresh pulps, sherbets or dried candies are popularly used in Maharashtrian cusine. Kokum is rich in antioxidants, is a natural cooler & is very effective in reducing acidity, improving digestion. Add in kokum in your daily diet by making a kokum cooler drink or simply adding in your daily dals.
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6.Curd– The perfect snack to beat the heat! Low fat & non-flavoured curds are low-cal & have “good bacteria” which help improve our immunity; have loads of B-complex vitamins & calcium. Raitas, chaas, smoothies are best ways of incorporating curd in your daily diet.
7.Subja seeds-Commonly known as “falooda seeds” or “basil seeds”, are known to control body heat. Subja seeds are low-cal, manage blood sugars & also help in weight loss. Toss up a teaspoon soaked subja seeds in your oats porridge or fruit smoothies or even in your daily glass of milk.
8.Bottle gourd– Commonly called as “dudhi” or “lauki” is packed with plenty of fiber & is a rich source of many nutrients like Vit. C, B-complex vitamins & minerals magnesium & potassium. It has a very high water content which makes it the best pick for a low-cal cooling food. Try healthy puddings or stuffed rotis to incorporate it in your diet.
9.Mint leaves– The ever-refreshing & aromatic mint leaves or “pudina”, have a cooling effect in our body. Mint leaves are rich in many antioxidants which cleanse & detox our system; they are also rich in many vitamins & minerals. Toss them in your raitas or salads or make a daily detox drink of lemon-mint to cool your body down!
10.Tomatoes– are excellent in summers as they have a very high water content of 95%. It is an excellent low calorie fruit which is also rich in Vit C, folate, potassium & an important antioxidant lycopene. So add this “super-food” to your diet by tossing in salads, cold soups, subjis, etc.
So gear up this summer with your best picks of healthy summer foods & enjoy holidays in a healthy way!!
An Article by
Mrs. Maithili Pashtekar-Kelkar
Post-graduation in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics; with specialization in Diabetes and Cardiac care; from SNDT University Mumbai, in 2007.
Registered Dietician (R.D.) in 2008, conducted by Indian Dietetic Association.