The summer season is here and many parts of the country have already started to experience heat waves. The scorching sun and warm winds drain our bodies of water and can cause heat stroke and, in some severe cases, even death. While many of us tend to gravitate towards chilled soft drinks, energy drinks and ice creams to beat the summer heat, there are healthier and natural options available that can help us stay cool during this time. Mentioned below are five such natural foods.
Green coconut water
Summer in India is unthinkable without fresh coconut water from partially ripened green coconuts and its soft white flesh. Coconut water has a mild salty and sweet taste. It is an excellent drink for rehydration and provides us with energy and essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, sodium, chloride and carbohydrates. It is also loaded with antioxidants which prevent oxidative damage and ageing caused by free radicals.
Pedestrians sipping chilled lemon water in summer sold by street vendors are a common sight in India. The drink can be prepared easily with fresh lemon juice, water, and salt and then sweetened with sugar, honey, or stevia. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and also potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium.
This sweet-tasting berry has above 90 percent fluid content and is one of the juiciest fruits to help us keep hydrated naturally in the summer. As for the health benefits, watermelon contains the amino acid named citrulline which is converted into an essential amino acid arginine in the body. Studies suggest that arginine has beneficial effects on our heart, immune functions and blood glucose levels.
Ripened mangoes contain about 83 percent water content and are thus an ideal natural food during summer. Mango smoothies are a popular summer beverage. Unripe and raw mangoes or green mangoes taste sour and are used to prepare chutneys and pickles.
Also known as Chaas and Ghol in India, among other names, this traditional drink is made using curd, water and salt. Unlike Lassi, this is a lighter drink and not sweetened. Apart from hydration, the drink is also good for digestion as it has probiotics.