Know the difference between the best and worst summer foods to stay healthy. Eat foods for the best health that also help you to stay cool during summers.
It’s summer again! The season of juicy fruits, icy drinks, and chilled foods like custards and fruit creams. You are all set to enjoy delicious foods and a vast variety of cold drinks. But before you set on the feasting spree, know the best and worst foods to have in summers. At the same time, you have to remember that several infections, diseases, and dehydration hit you in the summers. Soaring temperatures can put your health at risk. As health comes first, you have to refrain from foods that have hazardous effects. Choose better foods, enjoy seasonal fare, and with wise nutritional choices avoid dangerous food items. So, here are some of the best and worst foods to consume in summer.
The Best Summer Foods
Fresh fruits and veggies are summer’s gifts to us. We can happily relish their refreshing flavors for that cooling effect. Here are the top 7 summer foods that you must include in your diet this season.
1. Watermelon: A Tasty Way to Stay Hydrated
Having 92% water, watermelons are not just delicious and refreshing but also energizing. These are wonder fruits that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that protect your body from dehydration. Additionally, the fruit is loaded with antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanins. These antioxidants play an important role in boosting immunity and fighting diseases. It is also a superb coolant for the stomach.
And what’s more? Watermelon is also great for the heart and skin. It slows the skin aging process, brightens up the complexion, and clears up acne. The fruit also aids healthy hair. So, don’t overlook the importance of adding watermelon to your daily summer diet.
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2. Coconut Water: The Magic Potion
A magic potion, which coconut water is, works wonders to address several problems related to your health. With its incredible cooling properties, coconut water is laden with nutrients. It comprises vitamins and easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes. Acid levels in your stomach are also neutralized by coconut water, thanks to its alkaline nature. Its sweet, nutty taste is good for keeping you hydrated and rejuvenated when the summer sun shines. Coconut water also serves as a natural sports drink that is high in electrolytes, packed with potassium, and low on calories.
Apart from these chock-a-block-full qualities, coconut water aids in weight loss when consumed the first thing in the morning. It is also great for skin and hair, owing to its antioxidants. The wonder potion also alleviates muscle cramps because of its generous electrolytes. The naturally refreshing drink also has benefits against diabetes. It is also believed to be good for those having kidney stones, supports heart health, and reduces blood pressure. Although such benefits might vary from person to person and shouldn’t be taken as an alternative to medical treatment.
3. Onions: Layers of Goodness
People think that it is just an old wives’ tale that lists onions among heat-fighting foods. But surprisingly, this is true. It helps you stay clear of several diseases and infections. Onions are packed with nutrients that help you beat the heat. Especially, red onion has quercetin that fights diseases and boosts your immunity. Onions are also a sure-shot way of keeping sunburns at bay. Just apply its juice topically on the burnt skin. It has volatile oils and histamine that safeguard you against heat. To avoid heat strokes, you should consume onions on daily basis. If unfortunately, anyone is hit by a heat stroke, onion juice is the best Ayurvedic approach to treat it.
To improve your digestive system, eat onion in the salad. Onions have the properties to cure any digestion issues during summers by releasing their digestive juices. Consume onions daily to handle bad cholesterol that results in heart problems. Thus, onions help you stay cool and fit during summers in numerous ways.
4. Zucchini: The Surprising Summer Squash
No matter how boring and bland zucchini looks, you have to be best friends with it. And why not? Its nutritional value makes it a superstar among the best summer foods. Categorized as a form of summer squash, zucchini is free from starch. This super-friendly veggie has 35% of the recommended amount of Vitamin C and only 20 calories per cup as well as zero cholesterol and fat. And a lot of fiber content.
The veggie is known to improve your vision and boosts your immunity. Most especially, if you want to shed some pounds, this vegetable is the perfect pick for you. It also keeps your blood sugar stable. Additionally, it improves your gut health and regulates bowels. The best way to consume it is with its skin that is loaded with vitamins. Slice it, grill it, dice it, or roll it; zucchini generously imparts its health benefits to you and maintains your health in summer.
5. Fruit Salad: Health Blessings from Salad Dressings
Ah! Fruit salad! The name itself brings a refreshing feel. Fresh cut colorful fruits – juicy, tangy, sweet, and sour; sprinkled with condiments of your choice make a delicious platter. Summers bring a lot of nutritious and tasty fruits that are light and filling. Having these fruits treats your skin and overall health with fruity benefits.
Mangoes, melons, grapes, berries, pineapple, and various other berry variants; summer fruits give one or the other reason to munch on. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, these fruits prove to be a healthy way of summer. Summer pudding is an irresistible way to stay healthy! If you want to know how to keep your body cool in summer naturally, grab your favorite fruit now and gorge on it.
6. Bottle Gourd: Love the Green
Many of you might push this name to the end of the veggie’s list but this one of the gourd family has some surprising health benefits. Incredibly cooling and hydrating, bottle gourd (or lauki) makes a superb summer food. It replenishes electrolytes in your body that are lost when you sweat in the heat. For instant hydration, juice a bottle gourd and gulp on immediately. Always consume its juice fresh. For added health benefits, top up your bottle gourd juice with lemon, ginger, amla, or a few mint leaves.
This veggie also helps you keep tummy troubles away. Your digestive tract stays healthy and functions optimally, thanks to its fiber and water content. It not only promotes weight loss but also has Vitamins A & C as well as calcium and magnesium. Those having blood pressure or heart problems can count on bottle gourd as a resort. It also purifies the blood. So, included this veggie as much as in your summer diet, or at least thrice a week.
7. Tomatoes: Fiery Color, Cool Effect
These vegetables that you already eat all through the year are especially beneficial during summer. It is an extremely rich source of Vitamin A and C along with folic acid. Tomatoes have a good taste as well, helping those who gobble it easily who have flavor tantrums. Important antioxidants, beta-carotene, lutein, and choline enhance the nutrition power of tomatoes.
Its lycopene content – an antioxidant, which imparts red color to it makes it a summer-friendly food. As per studies, regular consumption of lycopene reduces the chances of your skin by 50% from getting tanned or burned in sun. And this factor is quite important to keep going with tomatoes. After all, who wants to get a suntan or a painful sunburn?
Worst Food for Summers
There are some foods you already know are best avoided in this season. Many that seem to be light are actually bloat-inducing and digestion-disrupting. Other suspects are filled with sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fat. Many are just calories. Here are the 6 foods that you should avoid in summers.
1. Junk Food: ‘Junk’ for a Reason
You should refrain from eating junk food. There is a reason that certain food items are categorized as ‘junk food’. Avoiding these in summers is a good health idea as most of these are deep-fried and greasy. Thus, manifold the chances of indigestion and even food poisoning! Go for healthier alternatives such as natural fruit shakes, milkshakes, and steamed food.
2. Meat: Don’t Meet It
Meat is a good source of certain essential nutrients but having much of it in summers might be harmful. Whether chicken or mutton, both have a thermogenic effect on the body. Simply put, these animal-based food items increase heat in your body. Even if you go for chicken, thinking it is lean meat. Think again. As a matter of fact, lean protein sources generate more heat in your body. So, stop yourself from picking up meat for a meal in summer.
3. Chips: Choose to Chuck
Steer clear from having chips in summers. No matter, how light you find them to pop in your mouth, these fried foods will be heavy in your stomach. Don’t fall for the ‘baked’ bait. Chips are flavored with ingredients and condiments that are far from healthy eating. There are several chips brands that use trans fats and genetically modified oils in their products.
What you are finding as a cool answer to your cravings or hunger pangs can be hot and troublesome later. Furthermore, its high-temperature cooking process is combined with the high starch content that releases a toxic chemical called acrylamide. Studies reveal that acrylamide affects the nervous system. Such effects create health havoc as muscle weakness, sweating, unsteadiness, numbness in hands and feet, clumsiness, and at times, even cancer.
4. Frozen Margaritas and Pina Coladas: Freeze Your Craving
A summer evening, clinking Margarita glasses feels great. But what after the drinks are over? A huge lot of calories and sugar have entered your body with a whopping amount of alcohol. It slackens your metabolism and increases your cravings. A simple Margarita from the scratch shoots 200 calories in your body, whereas if you order a tall glass of Margarita in a restaurant or hotel, be prepared to consume over 500 calories. And if you are thinking fruits add a dash of health to it, you are mistaken. Fruits like mango, strawberry, and peach worsen it.
Now, about Pina Coladas. If this is your favorite, sorry to break the bad news. Don’t fall for its most healthy ingredients – coconut milk, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and rum. The drink serves you a lot of calories, sugar, and fat. Pay attention to the delicious coconut cream here. it is laden with saturated fat.
So, say a big “no” to frozen cocktails.
5. Snow Cones: Say S”no”w
No matter how much these tempting cones allure you, resist. Snow cones are generous servings of shaved ice and sugar syrup that curbs your appetite. As these syrups are loaded with artificial ingredients, your system is at stake. Also, the ice used is also of compromised quality.
So when the sun makes you crave for something cool and sweet, grab a popsicle that contains natural ingredients.
6. Spicy Food: Not in Mood
Many people love to have spicy food. It gives them a feeling of having a lavish and delicious meal. But spices that are believed to enhance flavors of foods also enhance body heat. Nutmeg, pepper, chili, and ginger are among the spices that should be avoided during summers. Health experts suggest including spices with cooling properties such as coriander, cilantro, fennel seeds, and cardamom.
Therefore, stick to healthy food to eat in summer. Some foods are delicious to eat but their effects are unpalatable. There are reasons when our mothers and grandmothers loved a seemingly boring fruit or vegetable. All of us have memories of being fed food we used to hate. But now, we realize that those were the best foods for our health. You can also try some sumptuous summer recipes. The thumb rule is to eat seasonal and fresh foods. Avoid eatables that are full of sugar, salt, and fats. And keep yourself hydrated. By doing so, you will stay cool, hydrated, and healthy in the summer heat.