Summer is officially here, which means another season filled with scorching heat, warm winds, high humidity, among many others. In fact, summer, especially in most parts of India, turn into a working sauna for most of the day. And with the temperature soaring to the highs, people become restless, dehydrated and low on energy, and constantly looking for ways to cool off. The heat hampers a lot of our works and affects our eating habits as well. However, it is important to know that the foods we consume during this season can play an important role in our health.
While most fruits and vegetables, in general, are beneficial for health, certain foods are more nutritious than others. And the best thing about summer is that you get to enjoy the abundance of nature. We are blessed with easy access to certain seasonal fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients and incredible health benefits, such as mangoes, watermelons, cucumbers, and many more. One can also find lots of fresh produce during this time. Hence, summer is the perfect time to focus on your overall health and wellness by packing your diet with these top summer superfoods.
So if you're looking to boost your energy, protect your immune system or get some much-needed nutrients into your body, here are some healthy recommendations you should consider for the summer season:
Tomatoes may be the next best thing after sunscreen when it comes to sunburn protection. Lycopene, the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red colour is known to help protect our skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, which can cause sunburn and cells damage. Apart from this, tomatoes are also rich in nutrients such as potassium, vitamin B and E, which are known to help lower blood pressure.
Just as it is with its name, watermelon contains 92% water. This makes it an excellent food for hydration, especially during the summer season. It provides a great healthy solution to keep you cool and hydrated. Additionally, watermelon, like tomatoes, also contains heart and skin-protecting compound called lycopene. Apart from these, watermelon, due to its high water content, can help support weight loss effectively by making you feel full for a longer period.
One of the best things about summer is the abundance of mangoes. Be it ripe or ripened, mangoes have immense health benefits. They contain over 20 health benefitting minerals and vitamins, including fibre, sodium, folate, sugar, vitamins A, B6 and C, which are essential for preventing heart diseases, obesity, controlling diabetes and improving digestive issues. It is also rich in antioxidants the can help protect against skin and eyes degeneration.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Besides being a popular summertime street food, sweet potatoes, whether baked or steamed, are a rich source of calcium, potassium, vitamins B6 and C as well as beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A once inside the body. They are also rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial for boosting immunity, digestion, managing type-2 diabetes as well as lowering the risk of cancer.
Summer is a great time to consume a cool and refreshing curd or yoghurt. Besides being a wonderful coolant, they are packed with probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help keep the digestive system healthy and run smoothly. Healthy and low-fat yoghurts are also a great source of proteins, which are also essential for building muscles and supporting overall health.
Apart from being a great addition to salads, cucumber also provides a great coolant and hydration needed during the summer heat. It is a great source of water and essential fibre, which are helpful when it comes to tackling digestive issues, such as constipation. Due to their low-calorie content, cucumbers are also perfect when it comes to managing weight. Additionally, cucumbers are also rich in inflammation-fighting antioxidants and are also known to be beneficial in reducing hypertension and high blood pressure risk.
Even though high in carbs, this summer food is healthier than you think. Corns contains a whole lot of fibre, vitamins and minerals, essential for health. The great thing about corn is that it is a great source of antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin that can lower the risk of cataract and age-related macular degeneration. It is also relatively low in fat which makes it an excellent summertime snack or side dish.
Summer is a great time to munch on juicy berries. Besides their low sugar and calorie content, they are also rich in fibre and flavonoids which can help prevent the body from many serious illnesses. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are known for their health benefiting properties that can help increase blood circulation, regenerating skin and reducing sensitivity to light, making the skin look radiant and healthy.
This nutritious cucumber-shaped veggie is considered a summer-friendly food not only due to its low-calorie content but also due to its low fat, carb, sodium and cholesterol content. It is also amazingly high in antioxidants and water content, making it a great food for hydration. It is also an excellent weight loss help as it slows down food digestion and helps keep you feel full for hours.
10. Iced Tea
Tea, in general, has immense health benefits, and refreshing iced tea is no exception. Herbal teas, in particular, are not only rich in flavour and aroma, but they are also a great source of disease-fighting antioxidants. Studies have also shown that drinking tea regularly may help reduce diabetes and Alzheimer’s risk. Certain teas are also known to help boosts immunity, protects skin, strengthen bones, improves teeth and gums, among many others.
If you are looking for unique and healthy tea blends to try during this summer season, check out Preserva’s wide range of Curcumin Teas made using wide arrays of health-boosting potent Ayurvedic herbs and spices that will leave you refreshed and summer-ready. Their benefits ranges from boosting immunity, improving the respiratory system, managing weight, detoxing, boosting energy and many more. Lastly, the best thing about these teas is that one can enjoy them either hot or cold, based on their likings.
It is a common scenario during the hot summer season to want to reach out for refreshing coke, sugary icecreams and unhealthy takeouts but it is important to know that while they may be delicious, these foods can be threatening to health in the long run. Therefore, it is advised that one eat as many seasonal fruits and vegetables as possible, like the one mentioned above, as they are not only healthy but also packs almost twice as many vitamins and minerals as regular fruits and vegetables. Lastly, not everyone may not have access to these foods or simply not a fan of some of them, but you can always select your favourite food items from here and eat them either in combination with each other or separately, as per the recipe you wish to cook.