Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Our Top 10 foods and drinks to keep you cool

Drinking warm chai, slurping hot curry or getting that kick of spicy salsa will surely make you sweat during summer. While you might rather opt for a chilled lassi or aam panna come summer, eating hot or spicy foods can actually cool you down on a warm day — if the conditions are right. Don’t freak out just yet! This is what research and many studies say — It’s all about keeping the balance. Our body is well-equipped to balance the heat.  We create heat by metabolic processes (eating) with mechanisms which keep us cool if we are in a hot environment, or it will retain that heat if we feel relatively cold.

The logic of eating hot food during summer

Spikes in temperature, whether internally or in the external environment, make us sweat rapidly. When you consume hot (as in chilli) food and drinks, the sweat response is triggered from thermoreceptors in and around the stomach that notice the additional heat; an increase of your deep-body temperature between 0.2-0.5°C is all that is required.

“The main thing is that our bodies shut sweating down when drinking a cold drink – so you are actually no better off with a 1.5°C drink than you are with a 37°C drink,” says the Australian study. However, if you can’t stomach spicy and steaming drinks or foods this summer, studies suggest you avoid ice-cold drinks on a hot day or when exercising intensely and instead, drinking fluid at a palatable temperature will likely cool you down.

The verdict

It does make sense that a lot of us get a cold in summer because of over doing the cooling foods and ice. So, while you can still enjoy the curries and keep cool by sweating it out, we also suggest high hydrating foods and drinks that replenish minerals and vitamins lost due to the heat. During a heatwave, digestion slows down a bit, so avoid heavy carbs and heavy foods, which will make you feel sluggish.  Give yourself an edge by eating light, cool and if you wish to heed the advice of the study — a dash of chilli inspired foods — like; a Tom Yum soup. Eat plenty of raw, dark green salads and vegetables. Treat yourself to some delicious summer fruits like mangoes.

Here are 10 of our favourites are based on no sugar (you can use sugar substitutes) and high nutrition:

  1. Water

water seniors today

The numero uno hydrator like no other! Drink up and avoid too much ice in your water. Add some lemon, cucumber slices and mint to a jug of water and keeping sipping it to keep you refreshed.

2. Nimbu Pani

nimbu pani seniors today

Because it is the best panacea for almost everything. Add a dash of rock salt (kala namak), mint leaves and enjoy a glass everyday.

3. Chaas or spiced buttermilk

buttermilk seniors today

Now you know why the spices in chaas are good for you!

4. Coconut water

coconut water seniors today

This bountiful gift from nature delivers minerals, vitamins and helps in weight loss.

5. Kokum drink

kokum sarbat seniors today

Replenish your Vitamin C levels and rev up your energy with kokum juice. Popular ways to drink kokum, are the clear juice (either made sweet or spicy, with the pulp of fresh berries or dried kokum) and sol kadhi – dried kokum juice with coconut milk. 

6. Aam panna

aam panna seniors today

Nowadays, aam panna, our summer favourite is made with stevia, jaggery and other sugar substitutes. We enjoy it once a year cheers!

7. Watermelon

watermelon juice seniors today

A super summer best friend. Make sure you top up on watermelon this summer.

8. Cucumber

cucumber seniors today

It’s great for you; whichever way you choose to have it, include cucumber in your daily menu.

9. Sabja or sweet basil seeds

sabja seniors today

Sabja seeds are added to falooda, juices, lemon, coconut milk etc.  Sabja seeds work well as a body cooling tonic plus they have huge health benefits.

10. Salads

salad seniors today


Experiment with varieties of  green salad and toppings of fresh seasonal fruits like mangoes, watermelon, apple, pomegranate, fresh veggies of your choice, crumbled feta or goat cheese, parmesan cheese, avocado slices, bacon bits, roast chicken slivers, microgreens, sprinkle of walnuts or almonds… and the list goes on. Salads are fun and creative to make, light on your tummy and  versatile in choice of ingredients plus they are so full of nutrition adding up to be a meal in itself. Pledge to try a new salad every week of summer chances are you won’t regret it.

Seniors Today Network
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