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Diet plan for summer season: Stay cool, Hydrated and Healthy

Preethi R. Nair, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

During summer, as the temperature rises, it is natural to crave lighter, fresher meals that fuel your body while keeping you feeling refreshed. Summer diseases like conjunctivitis, chicken pox and different viral fevers are common during the season. So now is the time to focus more on healthy diets in order to prevent those infections.

As the temperature increases, the risk of dehydration also increases. Drink water frequently without waiting for thirst. Drink 2 1/2 to 3 litres of water daily. Care should be taken to drink water that is rich in nutrients such as lemon water, porridge water, watered yogurt, tender coconut water and cumin water.

It is better to eat small meals at intervals rather than on a full stomach. Water-rich fruits and vegetables should be included in the daily diet. Fruits can be included in diet to protect against skin diseases and vitamin deficiency. Include citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, sweet lime or mosambi), watermelons, pomegranates, and muskmelons. Pineapple is a storehouse of vitamins and antioxidants. Mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, vitamins A and C. This will prevent summer diseases to a great extend. Papaya helps to reverse the tan caused by sun exposure.

Eating a vegetable salad every now and then is a must. Foods that contain too much fat should be avoided as much as possible. Avoid fast foods, packaged foods and artificial drinks to an extent. Use of spicy, tamarind and masala should be reduced. Excessive use of these can cause indigestion. Fruit juices or low-salt vegetable soups can be substituted for tea and coffee. Tender coconut water is the perfect refreshing drink to glow with energy in summer. It relieves thirst and fatigue. Fried meat and eggs should be avoided .

Personal hygiene is very important in summer. Bathing twice a day is mandatory. Wear loose cotton clothes. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and practice yoga and exercise to make summer healthy. Remember to listen to your body’s signals and adjust your diet accordingly to meet your individual needs.