In a tropical country like India, summers could lead to a heat stroke if you don’t hydrate yourself properly, and those with jobs that require a lot of field work are particularly at risk. So while some city-based nutrition experts caution against these hazards, there are some who feel that this is the season to drop those extra kilos.
“Often, people complain of loss of appetite, and don’t feel inclined to eat rich or heavy foods,” says consultant nutritionist Dr Niti Desai. “The best thing is to use this as an opportunity to watch your diet and lose weight,” adds the doctor.
But what one has to
guard against, according to Niti, is the intake of extra calories in drinks. “People use summer as an excuse to gulp down aerated drinks and sherbets. The sugar in them adds calories,” she says.
Tea, green tea or herbal tea are beverages that are preferable to coffee, which flushes out water from your system, she adds.
Her first recommendation is water, a zero-calorie drink. “But you could also opt for tender coconut water or nimbu pani which have high sodium and potassium content that replenish your electrolytes.”
Dr Sheela Krishnaswamy, nutrition and wellness consultant, recommends an Indian breakfast or cereal and fruits in the morning. Rice or vegetables with high water content are good options for lunch, she says. “The gourds — ridge-gourd or cucumbers — are great. For tea time you can opt for salads, soups or fresh fruits,” she says.
Along with advising against fatty and fried foods, Pinkiti Patel, a nadi doctor at Art Of Living, says that aam panna, recommended for its ‘heat resistant’ properties and rosewater too can be incorporated. “Adding jeera powder to buttermilk helps too,” she adds.
Both Patel and Dr V P Satish, director of Yoga and Naturopathy Centre, Ayush department (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoepathy), Government of Karnataka suggest that one should keep away from fried, fatty, pungent and spicy items as well as solid food.
“It’s better to have liquids and semi-solids,” says Satish. He also adds that fruit juices, especially ones prepared from citrus fruits like orange and mosambi, should be diluted with water.
“Then people won’t suffer from acidity. But don’t add sugar,” he says.