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Breezy diet

A smart way to counteract the summer heat is to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits and to stay hydrated, writes Shilpi Madan
Last Updated : 17 April 2021, 19:30 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2021, 19:30 IST

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And the sweltering season has set in with a vengeance leaving you sapped and sweaty most of the time. Here are some ingenious ways to stay happy and hydrated while you pack in your day.

Watermelon waltz

Says Delhi-based nutritionist Lovneet Batra, “Watermelon, with its high water content, offers respite during the summer. You can eat chilled fruit chunks, convert the red goodness into a slushy sip, or even toss it up in salads.” You can rub the chilled peels of the watermelon on your skin for soothing and hydrating your skin before discarding them. Watermelon seeds make for a great munch when hunger pangs strike, and bring in the cooling effect as well.

Karishma Chawla, a Mumbai-based nutritionist, suggests consumption in the first half of the morning "as the fruit also contains lycopene which helps protect the skin cells from sun damage. Watermelon is a good source of the unique fibre pectin, and hence it can be used to prepare jams, jellies and marmalades,” she adds.

Oranges & lemons

The citrus rush brings in a juicy kiss. Begin your day with a glass of warm water, a dash of lime and a slash of honey as the first ingestion to kick off your metabolism for the day. Make the most of local variations available. Orange marinades give your taste buds an explosion of exotic barbecue flavours when you grill chicken or meats. Squeeze fresh and freeze in shot pots for a lip-curling team up with ice cream, or peel and shower with crunchy nuts and seeds to chomp with rocket leaves. “Oranges are seasonal in summer and also help tremendously in hydration,” says Karishma. You can squeeze in fresh lime and add mint leaves for preparing your pot of infused water. Dry and grind the peels to smear as a face pack for that unbeatable glow while the sun glows.

Home remedies for combating stress include a glass of warm water and fresh lime.

Zoom in the zucchini

This distant cousin of the cucumber, zucchini is the perfect vegetable for summer, as it has a water content of 94%. “High in antioxidants like vitamin C, zucchini helps to boost the immune system. Being high in potassium, it helps to keep your blood pressure in check,” explains Karishma. Convert it into spiral noodles (spaghetti) toss in olive oil as a mid-evening snack, or add to sautéed veggies or salad or have it as a side dish with a grilled fish or chicken for lunch or dinner. You can also add it to a smoothie, or combine it with sun-dried tomatoes and cottage cheese as a mid-meal filler.

Tom-tom them

Grill freshly sliced tomatoes, or sauté slightly before including them in a multigrain sandwich layered with cottage cheese. Cherry tomatoes amp up the palate. Streaking through cold soups with carrots, tomatoes make for an enriching intake. “The warrior antioxidants in Vitamin C and lycopene contribute to your overall good health and skin,” says Karishma. Eat chopped in tacos, mix into yoghurt spins for a yummy bite.

Sugarcane slurp

“The humble ganne ka ras hasn’t quite got its due,” says Lovneet. “This super drink is a brilliant coolant and fabulous natural diuretic that keeps your digestive system working fine. Its alkaline properties make it a great ninja to work upon acidity.” Add a dash of lime and cold water as you sip away during those hot afternoons.

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Published 17 April 2021, 19:25 IST

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