The summer season is almost here and it is time to change food. Eating very heavy meals can make you feel uneasy, tired, sluggish and lead to problems like indigestion as well. Eating seasonal food is important to keep us in good health. Though all food have their own set of benefits, there are some which you shouldn’t miss out especially during summers.
Cucumber - Cucumbers are your best bet in summers as they are 96 percent water and eaten in raw green state. They contain vitamin C and silica which are known for tissue growth and skin cleansing properties. Their high water content makes them ideal for summers. It is important to eat cucumbers with the skin because their outer skin is rich in potassium, magnesium and fibre which has tremendous health benefits for the body.
Brinjal - Brinjal is a common purple vegetable containing lots of dietary fibre and antioxidants. It is an excellent source of molybdenum, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin. It is known to have a dominant antioxidant which can also lower bad cholesterol. But if you already have kidney problems or gall bladder issues, you should avoid eating brinjal.
Bitter Gourd - Bitter gourds or karela are beneficial in lowering sugar levels, fighting cancer and a number of infections. It provides relief from constipation and helps in improving blood circulation along with being blood purifier too. In summers, when you face various eye and skin infections consuming bitter gourd will help.
Pumpkin - Pumpkin or kaddu possesses great cooling and diuretic properties. It is also good for digestion and eliminating intestinal worms from the digestive system as it is full of fibre. It contains potassium and also controls blood pressure and sugar as well as stimulates the pancreas. It is excellent in curing skin diseases. Extremely high in fibre and low in calories, pumpkin has disease-fighting nutrients like pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.
Bottle gourd - Bottle gourd or lauki is good for dealing with the summer heat. It keeps flatulence, constipation and acidity under control. Provides more nutrients and very less calories and fat. 96 % of this gourd is water. It provides vitamin C and some B vitamins, trace elements and minerals like iron, sodium and potassium. Bottle gourd has cooling and calming ability due to its good water content. It is absolutely helpful during summers and has the ability to prevent heat strokes and recover the water lost due to perspiration.
Green Beans - Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as bone-building vitamin K which is important for blood clotting too. They also have antioxidant vitamins that protect cells against oxidative damage and keep the immune system healthy. Vitamin A not only preserves night vision but also keeps skin and the cornea of the eye moist. Green beans are a good source of heart-healthy fibre that helps lower cholesterol levels. They also contain respectable amounts of potassium and magnesium, which help to normalize blood pressure. Green beans make for an excellent dish in the summers as they are light on the stomach. You can even include them in your salad.
Tomatoes - Listed both in the category of fruits as well as vegetables, the health benefits of tomatoes are splendid in summers. Tomatoes are considered to be helpful in reducing prostate cancer risk and are good for diabetics and heart patients. They are a wonderful source of vitamin C, A and K. Other important nutrients in tomatoes include lycopene, potassium, vitamin B6, folate, dietary fibre, manganese, magnesium, niacin, and vitamin E. They are great as coolers.
Celery - Celery acts as diuretics which helps in losing excess water weight without causing dehydration. It stimulates kidneys, easing them to flush waste and extra fluid from your body, which results in beating bloating.
Watermelon - Nothing screams summer-time like a big wedge of watermelon. A long-time child favorite, it’s time to bring this summer staple back into your diet. Watermelon is made up of 90 percent water, which assists in keeping you well-hydrated in the heat. In addition, watermelon contains loads of vitamins A and C, has no fat and is packed with lycopene, an antioxidant which may aid in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Mangoes - mangoes are high in fiber, vitamin C and E, beta carotene, calcium, flavonoids, and amino acids. The health benefits of mangos include everything from cancer prevention, to improved digestion, eye health and mangoes are also a rich source of pectin and when steamed and juiced with cumin (jeera) and salt, they provide an excellent remedy for heat strokes and exhaustion in summers.
Sweet Limes - helps fight dehydration, the most common health problem that surfaces in summer.
Curd - Curd is a great summer food as it has cooling properties. Curd can be had in various forms like raita, lassi, shrikhand, chass etc. South Indians have curd and rice, while north Indians prefer chilled lassi to beat the heat in summer.