Healthy Eating

Traditional summer chillers to beat the heat

 As the mercury increases there is a greater risk of dehydration and illness. During summers the exposure to the scorching heat may lead to fatigue, heat exhaustion, dizziness, vomiting, headaches or heat stroke if proper care is not taken.

Dehydration is caused due to excessive sweating wherein there is a loss of nutrients from the body. While you cannot prevent yourself from stepping out, you can protect yourself from dehydration by consuming water at regular intervals.

To keep cool during the summer increasing your water intake is imperative. It is important to ensure that you have had water before exposing yourself to the sun. The minimum amount of water that will help prevent dehydration for adults should be 3 litres a day, whereas for children it is 2 to 2.5 litres per day. Here are some recommended steps which should be followed that will help prevent dehydration:-

Always drink water or a beverage before going outdoors.

It is essential that you carry a bottle of water so which is easily accessible when you feel parched. To protect yourself from getting a heatstroke, it is suggested that you wear a cap or carry an umbrella to keep you head shielded from the sun’s harmful rays.

It is advised that it is important to cool off the sweat before consuming water, hence after 15-20 minutes of retuning water should be consumed.

You can also increase the water intake by adding healthy and nutritious beverages to your daily routine. Fresh juices such as watermelon or sweet lime is the preferred summer cooler but in case making fresh juice is inconvenient, beverages packed in Tetra Pak carton is a recommended thirst quencher. These beverages which are aseptically packaged are protected from light, air and bacteria and external contamination.

There is a plethora of traditional beverages (commonly found in Indian households) that are available in the market namely in the form of Chaas (buttermilk), Lassi, Aam Panna, Jaljeera etc. These are a tastier and healthier alternative to carbonated soft drinks. Know your beverages:

Chaach: This is the liquid that is obtained from the churning of butter or cream and is packed with a mix of household spices and condiments such jeera, ginger, salt, black pepper, etc. This drink should be consumed after meals as it aids in digestion and cools the stomach as well.

Lassi: This yogurt based drink cools the stomach and disperses body heat and is an apt drink to prevent heat strokes. It can be had any time during the day.

Aam Panna: This mango based cooler is made of raw mangoes which keeps the stomach cool, helps in fighting dehydration and is rich in Vitamin C which boosts the immune system. It should be had to refresh your body after being exposed to the heat.

Jaljeera: This lemonade based drink includes a range of spices such as cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt and chilli powder. It should be had before a meal as it will help induce an appetite. This concoction refreshes the body and helps in preventing dehydration.

Being of Indian descent most of the summer vacations include visits to our grandmother’s house where we indulged in refreshing home-made drinks which helped cool us off. So this summer, relive your childhood days with a variety of rejuvenating traditional beverages that will help you stay cool and healthy!

Contributed by Nutritionist Venu Adhiya Hirani

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