Pioneer Health

Summer no-nos

Summer no-nos

With the mercury hovering around 43 degree Celsius in major parts of north India, nutritionist Saumya Shatakshi lists a few foods that one should avoid

Sports drinks: Full of sugar and empty calories, sports drinks may give you relief for a few minutes but harm you more than you realise. Though they are easily available and packed very attractively, becoming the first choice of all, they are a big no as they contain a high amount of sodium, artificial flavours and food colouring which leads to various health problems like allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children and numerous forms of cancer. As it is high in citric acid it harms our tooth enamel also.

Cold coffee: Coffee is packed with caffeine and has diuretic properties. A glass of cold coffee has the power to create havoc in your digestive system, triggering bloating and indigestion. It will also raise LDL cholesterol levels. It also causes insomnia and restlessness. Opt for a glass of lassi instead.

No to spice: Spice powders make our dishes more palatable. When we plan ourmeals during summer, always try to use less of spices as they are difficult to digest. Light, fresh food should be your first choice during summers.

Tea: While this may be a little difficult to avoid since for Indians the day starts with a cup. Instead of drinking your regular milk tea in summers opt for ice tea or lemon teas since your regular tea generates more heat in the body and can cause dehydration, making our face dull and low.

Avoid nuts: Though nuts are very good health food, one should aovid eating them in summers. This is because they take longer to digest and generate more heat in the body which can make you uncomfortable. Instead, opt for soaked dried fruits in summers.

Junk food: French fries, burgers, patties, samosas, papad, pakoras are rich in trans- fat and high in salt. Oily fried foods heat up our body and lower digestion and can also lead to food poisoning in the summer. Fried foods can make our skin more oily and difficult to manage in summers.

Ice-creams and cold drinks: It is a myth that having cool things in summers keeps the body cool. Believe it or not, both ice-creams and cold drinks are body warming foods. They can make our stomach feel hotter instead of providing relief from the heat.

Non-vegetarian food: They are difficult to digest in summers and has a lot of heat, which is not good for our body. It can make a person sweat more and cause digestive problems. Avoid curries, cream- based chicken, meat and fish dishes. It is best to go vegetarian to stay healthy.

Salad dressings and sauces: Sauces contains too much of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) and salt. They are high in calories, which makes us feel sluggish and bloated. Instead, make fresh dips and dressings using tomatoes, curd and mint.

Alcohol: What is the most common side-effect of alcohol that you have experienced or heard of? The short-term issues are bloating, increased thirst levels and belly pouches. The reason for the same is that alcoholic beverages are loaded with calories and make us feel dehydrated. They also develop a risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and kidney disease in the long run. So it is best to avoid alcohol or limit their intake in summers.

— The writer is a senior nutritionist, Healthians



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