Ditch oily food and alcohol for cold soups, sorbets and fresh vegetables to combat the harsh effects of summer on your body, say experts. Pooja Makhija, celebrity nutritionist, and Govindrajan, Head, Research and Development, Sugar Free, have suggested a few dos and don'ts to combat the harsh summer heat.
Fresh fruits, vegetables and salads: Summer heat could lead to dehydration and dehydration could lead to electrolyte loss, which could leave you feeling lethargic, nauseous, exhausted and may even cause diarrhoea and constipation. Up your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables in ways that are creative and yum like finger foods or fun salads so that you beat the heat.
* Liquids and sorbets: Invite divine drinks into your life like kokum water, coconut water, chaas, fruit slushes and also frozen iced sorbets - the healthiest way to make this is to simply slush your fruit by lightly beating it and then freezing it. These foods work well to restore electrolyte balance and also provide healthy and interesting ways to pack in those nutrients.
* Water and infused water: Apart from increasing your water consumption to about 10-12 glasses per day, why not try killing two birds with one glass by infusing your water? Take care of both dehydration and nutrition by adding a small piece of fresh fruit like kiwi or strawberry or even basil to your water with a pinch of Sugar Free Green.
* Sauteed greens: Give a nod to sauteed greens this season because these are light, can be made very entertaining and always bring nice gifts with them like reduced cholesterol, cancer-fighting abilities, anti-ageing benefits, powerful vitamins and tons of energy.
* Cold soups: Team up fresh salads with the perfect escort: hearty cold soups that include gazpachos, cold cucumber soups, tomato soups for that full flavour and for that feeling of being full.
* Excess protein: Proteins are harder to digest in general and coupled with heat and dehydration, could leave you feeling uncomfortable and possibly nauseous if consumed in excess. The recommended daily intake of protein is one gram per kilo of ideal body weight (the appropriate weight for your height). So, no matter what you currently weigh, if your ideal body weight is supposed to be 57-58 kilos, your protein intake should not exceed 57-58 grams per day.
* Alcohol: Nothing looks more tempting and refreshing than a cool cocktail, all frosty and pink, beckoning you to drink it. The harsh reality is that alcohol adds to more heat; alcohol is a vasodilator, which means that more blood gushes through your system leaving you feeling hotter and sweatier. Alcohol is also extremely dehydrating.
* Oily food: When bodies are not hydrated, they are not always able to expel all by-products of heavier, oilier foods through the kidney, which is why urination is not as frequent when you are dehydrated. To counter this, the load of excreting oily food comes on to the skin - the second largest excretory organ - which will make you sweat more, dehydrate you further, kick-starting a vicious cycle.