Battle the Blaze with some really ‘cool’ foods and drinks this summer!
As an expecting mother, your body is working doubly hard to beat the heat this summer. Keep yourself cool by making sure that you include ‘cool’ foods and drinks in your diet.
Here’s what I suggest to all moms-to-be:
Pregnant women need to take care of their nutritional requirements and look out for various healthy and refreshing fluids to make it easy to digest during the season and also obtain sufficient amount of calories which is crucial for the mother and the proper development of the baby.
Drink atleast 6-8 glasses of water a day to keep yourself hydrated. Yes, this is going to be difficult because obviously, this will increase your trips to the loo. If you are not a great fan of plain water, you can always substitute that with juices or high water content fruits like watermelon, cucumber or coconut water. This will help those who want to throw away the water bottles. It is very important for your baby to be hydrated otherwise it may lead to symptoms like dizziness, nausea, dry lips and mouth, yellow-colored urine or less urine.
Here are some refreshing yet nutritious food options that you can go for:
Commonly available anywhere in India, it can be consumed in various forms like Raita, chhas (buttermilk), shrikand, lassi etc, or even curd rice. Curd contains proteins which keep allergies and ulcers away. Any curd based dish is effective to keep you cool in summers.
Buttermilk is one of the healthiest drink in hot summer months as it is the residue left behind after the fat in milk has been churned to produce butter. Glug a glass a day to keep dehydration and digestion troubles at bay.
Dry fruits are packed with energy and nutrients. Having soaked almonds crushed with chilled milk as a daily drink can work wonders in summers!
Look no further than your cup of elaichi chai for an instant cool down. Cardamom, a common Indian spice, is commonly used in Ayurveda for almost any ailment from halitosis to digestion and has wonderful detoxifying properties to effectively cool down even on the most hot days.
Watery broth soups are an excellent inclusion in your summer diet. Popular soups made of tomatoes or mixed vegetables serve the purpose of cooling your body from within. Adding cool herbs such as mint or coriander to the soups is another way of ensuring that your piping hot soup cools you down from within.
Coconut water is a super drink, especially during summers. It is rich in minerals and replenishes the essential salts that are lost while sweating in the extreme summer season. This sweet-tasting drink has the same electrolyte concentration as our blood and so it gets absorbed very fast too.
Another common household drink, Nimbu Pani is also a savior. It is rich in Vitamin C and boosts the absorption of iron in the body. Lime Water is a great option for all those pregnant women who struggle with morning sickness. Sipping the lime water with small amounts of crushed mint leaves can help relieve you from fatigue and sickness.
Fresh Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is another great option as healthy drinks for pregnant. However there has been constant debate on whether fruits or fruit juice are ideal for intake! Well, until the fresh fruit nutrition is going inside your body and is healthy for your body, any option can be chosen based on liking! Fruit juices like orange, pineapple, sweet lime, pomegranate, musk melon etc. can be taken by pregnant women during summers.
Water melon, litchis and musk melons contain high levels of water. Hence they should be consumed in bulks. Watermelon is 91% water by weight and litchi is 80 % water.
Skip Katrina's aamsutra adverts and focus on the real fruit. Chilled mangoes are the juiciest ways to cool off and are nutritious as well. Or, blend the deseeded mango pulp with milk to make mango shake and enjoy! But if you like something spicy, try this. Raw mangoes or ‘kacchi kairi’ are a rich source of pectin and when steamed and juiced with cumin and salt, make an excellent remedy for heat strokes and exhaustion in summers. Namely aam panna, a traditional cooler, is known to protect the body from hot winds as well.
Make sure to thoroughly wash and freeze the mangoes before preparing a shake as there are a lot of chemicals used to ripen the mangoes these days. If available, you can always opt for organically grown fruits!
Another great source of essential vitamin is the strawberry smoothie which is a great for the taste buds and also a filling fluid for the pregnant women. The berries are packed with essential vitamins and minerals which are very beneficial for the body during pregnancy!
Take your daily dose of green leafy vegetables in the form of a yummy smoothie which will please your taste buds and will provide the necessary hydration to beat the summer heat in a healthy way! Take spinach leaves and fruits like banana, pear and blend together to get a refreshing smoothie.
Sattu in India is generally consumed by poor people but it has extremely good properties for your health. It is extracted from barley, wheat or gram. Mix sattu, little lemon juice drops, salt and roasted cumin powder to get a very healthy drink.
Onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower and sprouts should be found on your dinner plate this summer as they all serve to cool down your body from within while providing you with the daily quote of nutrition.
Fish (instead of meat)
For those who feel empty without their regular quota of meat, there is a tasty alternative available in fish. Fish are not only cooler on consumption as compared to red meat and chicken but also have high amounts of fatty acids such as omega -3 and omega - 6 which are found in very few other food items such as eggs and other vegetables.
Not only is amla a great refresher, it also reverses the aging effects of the strong sun rayes we get and gives you added stamina for exercise. It strengthens the heart, hair and different glands in the body as well.
If you are prone to skin breakouts or acne in the summer, apricots can come to your rescue. They provide the body with iron, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
Nothing elevates work stress more than a malfunctioning air conditioner. So pop some corn. It a good source of pantotheinic acid, which proves vitamin B to lower stress levels. Boiling corn for a snack or lunch take away as it lowers cholesterol levels and is high in essential carbohydrates.
Traditional Chinese medicine proves Soybeans are great natural coolants. Rich in protein, they help prevent nasty summer colds. Add some to caramel custards, kheer or payasam to lower bad cholesterol levels.
Include one or more of these options in your diet and the summers will pass like a cool breeze!
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Also read more about: Do you know what might happen if you don’t keep yourself cool this summer?