Thursday, May 23, 2024

20 Things to Avoid Eating During the Scorching Indian Summer

Summers in India can be brutal, with temperatures soaring to unbearable heights. During this time, our bodies undergo immense stress, and the foods we consume can either help us cope or exacerbate the situation. Certain foods and beverages can increase body heat, dehydration, and digestive issues, making the summer months even more challenging. To help you beat the heat and stay healthy, here are 20 foods and beverages that you should avoid consuming during the Indian summer.

  1. Spicy and Fried Foods: Spicy and fried foods can cause acidity, heartburn, and digestive discomfort in the summer heat. They can also dehydrate the body and increase body temperature, making you feel hotter and more uncomfortable.

  1. Alcohol: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it promotes water loss from the body, leading to dehydration. Consuming alcohol during the summer can cause heat exhaustion, dizziness, and even heat stroke.



  1. Caffeinated Beverages: Drinks like coffee, tea, and sodas contain caffeine, which is a diuretic and can contribute to dehydration. Try cutting back on the cold coffees and instead, opt for hydrating beverages like coconut water, buttermilk, or nimbu pani.

  2. Raw or Undercooked Meat and Seafood: The risk of food poisoning increases during the summer months as bacteria thrive in warm temperatures. Consuming raw or undercooked meat and seafood can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues.

  1. Stale or Spoiled Food: High temperatures provide an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, making stale or spoiled food even more dangerous during the summer. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming any food.



  1. High-Protein Foods: Proteins are difficult to digest and can generate more metabolic heat, making the body feel hotter. Limit your intake of high-protein foods like red meat, eggs, and legumes during the summer.



  1. Packaged and Processed Foods: Many packaged and processed foods contain preservatives, artificial colours, and additives that can be harmful when consumed in excessive amounts, especially during the hot summer months.


  1. Sugary Desserts and Sweets: While they may seem tempting, sugary desserts and sweets can contribute to dehydration and provide empty calories without any nutritional value.


  1. Raw or Undercooked Eggs: The risk of salmonella and other bacterial infections is higher during the summer months, making it essential to avoid consuming raw or undercooked eggs.

10. Leftovers: If not stored and reheated properly, leftovers can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria during the summer. It’s best to consume freshly prepared meals whenever possible.

  1. Dairy Products: Dairy products like milk and cheese can be difficult to digest during the summer, leading to digestive issues and discomfort.
  2. Fried and Oily Street Foods: Street foods like samosas, vadas, and pakoras are often deep-fried and high in oil, making them difficult to digest in the summer heat.
  1. Frozen Desserts and Ice Creams: While they may seem refreshing, frozen desserts and ice creams can cause throat irritation and digestive problems if consumed in excess.

  1. Carbonated Beverages: Carbonated beverages like sodas and aerated drinks can contribute to bloating, gas, and discomfort during the summer months.

  1. Fatty and Heavy Meals: Heavy meals that are high in fat and carbohydrates (think; mutton ghee roast and ghee parathas, French fries and burgers), can be challenging to digest during the summer, leading to lethargy and discomfort.

  2. Canned Foods: Canned foods often contain preservatives and additives that can be difficult to process in the summer heat.
  3. Dried Fruits and Nuts: While nutritious, dried fruits and nuts can be dehydrating and should be consumed in moderation during the summer months.
  4. Excessive Salt: Consuming excessive amounts of salt can lead to water retention and bloating, making the summer heat even more unbearable.
  5. Fermented Foods: Fermented foods like pickles (save the fresh mango and amla pickles for the monsoon), chutneys, and certain types of cheese can be difficult to digest and cause digestive issues during the summer.
  6. Alcohol-Based Energy Drinks: Alcohol-based energy drinks can dehydrate the body and increase the risk of heat-related illnesses, making them a poor choice during the summer months.

    Instead of consuming these foods and beverages, focus on staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, coconut water, buttermilk, and fresh fruit juices. Opt for light, fresh, and easily digestible foods like interesting salads, fruits (enjoy mangoes while they are in season), vegetables like cucumber, pumpkin, zucchini, spinach, and whole grains. Additionally, try to avoid spending excessive time outdoors during the peak heat hours, and stay in cool well-ventilated environments whenever possible.

    Remember, staying healthy during the Indian summer requires mindful choices and a balanced diet. By avoiding the foods and beverages listed above, you can help your body cope better with the scorching heat and maintain your overall well-being.
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