5 Foods to include this summer
While the air is still chilly and nights are cooler, the day temperature is increasing daily giving us a hint that the summer's on its way.
When you feel like switching on the fans and sipping a glass of cool water/drinks, it is an indication that our body is getting ready to get adapted to this weather change.
With change in season, comes a change in seasonal produce, blossoms on mango trees to the jackfruit trees showing huge delectable spiky fruits hanging atop.
It is necessary to include foods that can help our body to adapt to these seasonal changes.
Below are top 5 foods to be included this summer -
A drink that will give you energy, protein, good bacteria for the gut and the fluid, all of which are required in the Summer. Buttermilk is also a coolant. It will keep the digestive system functioning normally if spices like asafetida, ginger, black pepper and black salt are also added to the buttermilk.
Sabja seeds are our desi chia seeds, although both are very different in their properties, but they tend to form a gel when soaked in water. Sabja is also known as tukmaria seeds or basil seeds and is widely used in the Indian desserts like faluda during summer.
Sabja seeds are full of fiber and can prevent constipation which is a common complaint during summer. These seeds are also rich in phenolic compounds and flavonoids that are rich in antioxidants.
A good way of using sabja seeds is adding 1-2 tsp to a glass of lemon juice/buttermilk/kokum juice and having it during mid morning.
Nature provides us with an abundance of fruits and vegetables that protects our gut health, keeps our body cool and boosts our immunity. Mangoes, watermelon, cantaloupe are not only high in water content, but are also good sources of Vitamins like C, Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and of course fiber.
These fruits are easy to digest, full of minerals to prevent any electrolyte imbalance. However it is recommended to eat fruits along with their fibre and not in the form of juice to get the maximum health benefit.
A good way to get the fussy kids to eat fruits, is by converting the fruit to pulp and freezing them to get popsicles. Either a mixture of fruits can be used or a single fruit can be used to make popsicles. Chopped fruits like strawberry, mangoes, watermelon can also be frozen by adding lemon juice and honey. This is a much healthier alternative to the commercial ice cream available in the markets.
Sattu is most popular in the North and is generally consumed during summer. It is made from many roasted grains, but the most common is flour of roasted black channa. The sattu flour can be mixed with water/ buttermilk and spices can be added to it. This makes for an amazing evening/morning drink when you feel it is too hot for tea/coffee. Sattu can also be used as a filling to make parathas. It is high in protein, fiber and cooling to the body. It is easily digestible and acts as prebiotic for our gut bacteria.
Ragi/Nachni is popular in the south. Not only is it good for Diabetic, it is also a cooling millet that protects our body from heat. It is a good source of calcium, potassium and other minerals. Ragi flour can be had in the form of porridge/ambli. It can be made into roti or in the form of balls to be had with curries.
Mindful eating is required to understand our body needs and give it the right kind of food. Sensible eating and selecting the right kinds of food during summer, staying away from very spicy and fried foods can ensure that you enjoy the season in good health and happiness!
- Rohini Prasad