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June 2011
Cool, Calming Diet
Dr Panchali Moitra
When the mercury rises, a light refreshing and cooling meal plan is what we all find inviting. Since dehydration reduces the general fitness levels and adversely affects the work performance, following certain basic diet rules can help to keep the body hydrated, oxygenate the cells optimally and keep one fit and alert throughout the day, irrespective of the scorching summer heat.

Cool Diet Tips
  • Maintaining an optimum fluid intake is vital during summers to avoid dehydration and to compensate for water lost through perspiration. Drinking soda with salt may help to replace the electrolytes that we lose in sweat during summers, but avoid caffeinated or carbonated beverages, alcoholic beverages, and those high in sugar.
  • The top recommended summer foods are cucumber and mint among vegetables; and watermelon, oranges, pineapple and sweet lime among fruits. Being low in sodium and calories, high in potassium and packed with vitamin C, A, and anti oxidants, these fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables easily qualify as good thirst quenchers and coolants.
  • Watermelon juice, coriander and mint juice, cucumber juice etc. are good beverage choices in summers, as they help in flushing out toxins from the body. The summer drinks help to fight fatigue and muscle weakness, with their high content of potassium, carotenoids and dietary fibre.
  • Brown rice, raw vegetables, moong sprout salad, alfalfa sprouts tossed in green salad, and low fat yoghurt promote easier digestion, better assimilation and are hence recommended in summers.
  • One tends to feel sluggish and lethargic, as the days get hotter; therefore it is wise to avoid red meats, fried foods, coffee, alcohol, whole milk and cigarettes.
  • Certain ingredients like onion, garlic, pepper, dried fruits, ghee, and chillies should be used sparingly whilst 'cool' ingredients such as kokum, yoghurt, dried coconut, small raw mangoes should be preferred. Raw foods tend to be stimulating and fasting once a week on fruit and vegetables tends to detoxify the system and reduce the heat condition.
  • Season foods with digestion promoting herbs such as jeera (cumin), fresh coriander, mint leaves and black salt.

Keep Cool This Summer

Day Breakfast Meals Beverages
DAY 1 Wheat bread sandwich with cucumber, tomato and mint chutney

Lunch:Whole wheat pasta salad

Dinner:Cold soup+ stir fried veggies+ pasta

Coconut water
DAY 2 Mixed fruit plate

Lunch:Yoghurt and brown rice

Dinner:Any veg curry(without potatoes)+dal

Fresh lime juice
DAY3 Oatmeal porridge

Lunch:Whole wheat sandwich with chicken breast

Dinner:Grilled fih+spinach

Fruit juices
DAY4 Cold milk+ cereal Noodles tossed with greens in vinaigrette Ginger ale
DAY5 Egg whites+ bread Moong dal khichdi with Buttermilk or chaas
DAY6 Fruit filled pancakes Brown rice+ lentil soup+ dudhi/parwal/cabbage Iced Tea
DAY7 Sprouts Wheat breads+ crisp salad in light yoghurt dressing Jal jeera

Dr. Panchali Moitra is a Nutrition Expert, Weight Management Consultant and Specialist in Alternative Medicine

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