Summer Staples

yellow-vegetable

As fun as summer is, it can be a tiring season. The heat takes a toll on your body and mood, so it’s important to take care of yourself as best you can. What you consume this summer will play a vital role in how your body and mind act (or react). We all know that the biggest danger is dehydration, so foods with high water content are a must. Include something with some natural sugar to keep your energy levels up and fight the fatigue that summer brings; fruits and vegetables are your best bets. Go for the foods listed below, and you won’t pack on the pounds, allowing you to enjoy the weather in swimsuits and sundresses.    

  • Sweet Corn- Though India associates corn with the monsoon, it’s great for the summer as well. Sweet corn will energise you, delivering vital antioxidants your body needs.
     
  • Watermelon- It is both delicious and healthy; every juicy bite reminds you how full of water it is, making it an essential in the heat. Sugar and lycopene revitalise the body, and the calorie count in watermelon is very low. Though we usually eat the flesh and discard the rind, the latter can be added to salad or pickled after grating.

  • Cucumbers- Yet another water-rich food, cucumbers are a superb summer snack, and light too! Along with the benefits of hydration, cucumber will keep your skin feeling supple and glowing. A couple of slices on the eyes can soothe tired peepers and give you a quick boost of energy.

  • Zucchini- Though easily confused with cucumber, zucchini is quite different. Both are great for the summer, but the latter is packed with vitamin C, which has myriad benefits.
     
  • Strawberries- Who doesn’t love strawberries? This juicy red fruit (like most berries) can stop dehydration from setting in while keeping you cool. The fruit’s natural sweetness makes it an ideal smoothie ingredient and a great way to nip those sugar cravings.
     

  • Broccoli- broccoli is one of the healthiest foods around, as it is packed with a multitude of nutrients. This cruciferous veggie is also high on water and fibre, while the sulforaphane keeps your body in shape to fight potentially harmful diseases.
     
  • Coconut water- The water inside is extremely effective in preventing and treating dehydration thanks to its nutritious nature (it’s overflowing with minerals and electrolytes). Coconut water is also a great natural substitute for energy drinks, replenishing what the body needs, sans artificial sugar.
     
  • Celery- Celery is an excellent summer staple, so include it in your diet as an excellent way to fight dehydration while getting your daily dose of some important vitamins.
     
  • Mangoes- There aren’t many things that are more delicious in summer than mangoes, this fruit is rich in vitamins A and C. The vitamins boost your immunity and can keep you from catching that pesky summer cold.

  • Orange- The juicy, citric orange is perfect on a hot summer’s day. It’s packed with potassium and water, which is especially great if you’re working out or spending time outdoors. Muscle cramps are common in both situations, and oranges can prevent/remedy them.
     
  • Guavas- Aside from being absolutely delicious, guavas are an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals. The best part is they’re perfectly fine for diabetes patients.

  • Spinach- Add spinach to the list. This nutritious green, leafy vegetable protects you from heat stroke, but it also packs antioxidants that strengthen your body. Remember how it was Popeye’s go-to for strength? Make it yours, too!

For an enjoyable twist, you can try all of these fruits and vegetables as natural juices or as smoothie ingredients. So sip them or eat them; either way, they’re bound to keep you cool and feeling great in the summer heat!

– Saloni