10 must-eat foods to keep you cool this summer

The summer months can be very harsh on the body; the scorching heat can be dehydrating and exhausting. Eating well during the summer is all the more important to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Cooling foods are recommended to beat the heat on a hot summer day – they help hydrate the body and replenish lost minerals. This summer, stay healthy with these must-eat cooling foods

15 May 2019

1. Tomato

The versatile tomato packs quite a punch: it is rich in vitamins A, K, B5, B6, C, and minerals such as folate, potassium and magnesium. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene that is known to be effective against a host of diseases. Its high water content makes it the perfect summer food; grill it, bake it, cook it, juice it or even eat it raw – tomatoes are your best friend this summer.

2. Melons

Seasonal summer fruits like watermelon and musk melons make for a great evening snack or breakfast on the go. These fruits are high on hydration and can keep you fresh on a hot day. Watermelon is about 91 percent water and is one of the lowest calorie fruits available, followed closely by musk melon or cantaloupe.

Watermelon is not just full of water; it is packed with nutrients such as thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6 and lycopene. Musk melon is known to be one of the highest fruits sources of vitamin A and a rich source of vitamin C. When you are feeling hot and thirsty this summer, make sure you reach out for melons.

3. Yoghurt

Yoghurt or curds is a traditional cooling dish made by fermenting milk. It is highly recommended during the hot summer days for its inherent capacity to cool the body. Yoghurt is also a rich source of protein, calcium, potassium and is chock-a-bloc with probiotics that keep your digestive system happy. Yoghurt is very versatile and can be eaten in multiple ways – plain dahi, curd rice, smoothies, as salad dressing, mixed with fruit – the list goes on.

4. Celery and fennel

Celery and fennel are two great additions to your summer diet. These low -calorie vegetables are also diuretic; they stimulate the kidneys and remove excess water from your body without making you dehydrated. Dubbed as one of the world’s healthiest foods, celery is an excellent source of vitamins K and C. Add celery and fennel to your salads or soups this summer; a tasty way to keep cool.

5. Berries

Summer berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are excellent to eat when the weather is hot. Rich in micronutrients and antioxidants, berries are a tasty summer treat. They are full of flavonoids that help keep your skin fresh and glowing through the summer.

Sweet or tart, these berries make a delicious addition to any dish, be it a dessert, a salad, a smoothie or just on their own.

6. Leafy salads

When it is too hot to eat a heavy meal, a leafy salad fits the bill. Fresh raw spinach, kale, celery, fennel, arugula, and other leafy vegetables are good to eat during the summer. Dark green vegetables contain carotenoids which protect your skin from sun damage and keep it glowing.

Rustle up a green salad with other high-carotenoid food such as carrots, tomatoes, salmon, and egg yolks to make your meal healthier.

7. Fresh fruit salads

Who doesn’t love a good fruit salad? Combining mixed summer fruits like watermelon, pears, peaches, nectarines, mangoes, etc. is a tasty and delicious way of beating the heat when the temperature soars. Fruit salads make great evening snacks for the kids and the perfect low-calorie dessert for those with a sweet tooth.

Fruits are an excellent source of dietary fibre as well as micronutrients and antioxidants. They are perfect summer food also because they are hydrating and are great for the skin.

8. Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a Spanish delicacy that has become popular all over the world. A refreshing and cold soup, gazpacho is made by blending raw vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, and red pepper. Freshly made gazpacho is rich in nutrients like vitamin C and potassium, high in fibre and low in calories. Simple to make and incredibly delicious, this hearty cold soup is perfect for a summer weekend brunch with friends and family.

9. Grilled chicken

When the days are too hot to eat big meals, adding grilled chicken to your diet is an excellent way to maintain your protein intake. Grilled chicken is one of the healthiest forms of eating the meat, and the best thing about it is that it is effortless to make. You can instantly take care of your hunger pangs by whipping up a plate of grilled chicken. Pair it with a side of fresh vegetable salad and your summer meal can’t get any better.

10. Salmon

Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids and is high in B vitamins. A great source of protein, grilled salmon is a weight watcher’s delight. Salmon is versatile, and you can cook the fish in multiple ways – grilling, poaching, barbecuing, baking, steaming or roasting. Salmon is considered one of the most heart-healthy seafood and the omega 3 fatty acids in the fish will protect your skin from the harsh sun. A perfect summertime brunch is freshly grilled salmon paired with a summer vegetable salad, accompanied by mint ice tea.

Eating right during summer

Summer is a welcome season for many reasons, but the soaring temperatures make it one of the harshest as well. It is essential to eat right during the summer to stay healthy and fit. The unrelenting heat can lead to fatigue, dehydration, sunstroke, and heat exhaustion. Eating well and staying hydrated is the best way to keep healthy through summer. Your diet goes a long way in replenishing lost water in your body and eating hydrating and cooling foods will help you survive the sweltering heat.

Which other fruits or veggies would you stock up on this summer?

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