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Combating heatwave with these summer foods

M3 India Newsdesk May 14, 2022

The article elaborates on the 10 summer foods along with their nutrient composition and roles in our bodies to survive the summer heatwave. It also throws light on the common heat-related illnesses.

Key takeaways

  • Summer foods that will help survive this summer
  • Main constituents and compositions of summer foods
  • Heat-related illnesses that can be fatal if not treated on time

The global temperature has been rising with every coming year. Extreme exposure to heat is increasing due to climate change. Globally, the extreme temperature is observed to be increasing in frequency, duration, and magnitude. Heatstroke is a common health condition which may aggravate serious life-threatening conditions.

While staying indoors in cooler environments helps to protect from the heatwave, food and drinks play an important role in keeping the body hydrated and cool from the inside. The main constituents of summer foods are:

  • High water content
  • Natural sugars
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fibre

Heat-related illnesses

Some of the common heat-related illnesses are as follows:

1. Heatstroke

  • Sudden rise in body temperature >40°C
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Profuse sweating

Heatstrokes can be fatal if timely emergency treatment is not provided.

2. Heat exhaustion

  • Excessive loss of water and electrolytes
  • Tachycardia
  •  Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache and weakness

3. Rhabdomyolysis

  • Prolonged physical exertion causes breakdown and death of muscle cells
  • Muscle cramps and pain
  • Intolerance to exercise

10 summer foods to include in your daily regime

Here are 10 foods which can help regulate the body's hydration and help you survive this summer.

1. Coconut Water

Unlike sports drinks, which are added with artificial sugars, coconut water contains natural carbohydrates and sugars. It is a low-calorie drink rich in potassium, sodium and magnesium. It helps to restore the electrolyte balance ad hydration levels as well as keep you energetic and hydrated.

2. Sattu Drink 

This is a drink most popularly made in northern India. It is a drink made from powdered roasted gram. It is rich in calcium and helps in increasing blood circulation and reducing inflammation. It is a refreshing low glycemic hydrating drink recommended especially for diabetics.

3. Watermelons

Watermelons consist of 92% water and hence can be consumed to stay hydrated. In addition to this, it is also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which is proven to reduce inflammation. Watermelons are also rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A and C, potassium and magnesium.

4. Cucumbers

These contain almost 95% water and help in hydration. It also contains nutrients such as vitamin C and K, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Cucumbers are also rich in fibre content hence it allows for smooth bowel movements and prevents constipation.

5. Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons are a rich source of Vitamin C. They help in refreshing and hydrating when eaten alone or as juices. Oranges contain almost 80% water and are a good hydrating fruit to consume in summers.

6. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe contains 90% water and is as juicy and hydrating as watermelons. It is a low glycemic fruit rich in Vitamin C and K, antioxidants, calcium, zinc, copper, iron, folic acid and niacin.

7. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in flavonoids, which are proven to have rejuvenating effects on the skin and help to prevent skin damage due to heat. Water content in green tea adds up to overall hydration.

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes also have potassium, vitamins B and E, and other nutrients. They are rich in Lycopene and a great source of antioxidants for the skin in the summers. Lycopene helps to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of stomach and prostate cancer. It helps to reduce the levels LDL and cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure.

9. Yoghurt

Yoghurt contains 75% water and is rich in proteins, vitamins and calcium. It is a rich source of probiotics which helps keep the gut microbiota at bay and keep constipation and bloating under check. It also helps to keep the skin healthy as well.

10. Buttermilk

Buttermilk helps to keep us hydrated and refreshed. It boosts energy, prevents dehydration and acts as a natural coolant for the body. It is rich in probiotics hence it also maintains gut health. It is also rich in calcium and other vitamins. It helps to boost immunity and keeps blood pressure and cholesterol levels under check.

Click here to see references


Disclaimer- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of M3 India.

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