Go light this summer!

Fruit street

Go light this summer!

Summer is upon us and the heat in the city is slowly becoming unbearable. While it is always tempting to indulge in some snacks and junk food after college or work, it is also important to understand that one’s stomach needs to be kept healthy, especially during this season. Indulging in really spicy and heavy food may wreak havoc on the digestive system and also invite other ailments during this time. The key, as many suggest, is eating light.

Bijal Kapasi, academic head of a pre-school chain, says, “I consume a lot of juices, water and citrus fruits to keep myself hydrated. During summer, the mechanism of digestion slows down due to the heat and heavy food takes time to get digested. I prefer to eat curd rice for lunch and soups and salads for dinner. If I am more hungry, I add a ‘roti’ with a lightly spiced ‘subzi’ to my meal.” She adds that for snacking, she usually takes slices of cucumber, roasted peanuts with jaggery and homemade energy bars. “These fill up your tummy and also energise you.”

Dr Deepak Shah, MD (Homeopathy) and director of ‘Sattvam’ Speciality Clinic for Women and Children, feels that the best thing is to eat local. “I strongly recommend one to eat food that is available during this season. Since it is available in large quantities, chances of chemicals being used for ripening and other reasons are less. This itself reduces the chances of infection. Also, your body is suited for it and it is healthier for you.”

He adds that liquid intake is equally important. “For people who are highly diabetic, it’s best to eat a whole fruit rather than have the juice. The fruit has fibre and content in its natural form. Intake of greens is necessary as they have a high content of micronutrients and antioxidants.”

He also shares some important tips for the season. “Avoid heavy, fried food, especially at night. Go for an early morning walk in the sun. Drink plenty of water and go for swimming as that has a good effect on the body. Having a bath at night with cold water also helps.”

Naini Setalvad, a nutritionist, says it’s nice to have tasty and tangy foods that are easy to digest during the summer. “The simplest thing is to have water-based foods. One can begin their day with mango or melon and either tea or coffee with less milk. For lunch, any vegetable from the gourd family works well along with curd ‘raita’, ‘roti’ or rice. It is cooling too.

In the evening, one can make a fruit ‘chaat’ with rock salt, ‘aloo chaat’ or ‘murmura chaat’ with onions and tomatoes. A light curry or ‘sambhar’ with rice is suitable for dinner. Sipping on coconut water, buttermilk or ‘jaljeera’ is recommended to keep yourself hydrated,” she states.

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