Along with debilitating heat, summers also bring with them delicious season-specific produce. This also means introducing a variety of fruits, fresh veggies and juices into your diet (we like looking at the bright side). We asked experts to talk about the healthiest ingredients to pick for the summer, so you can inject a healthy dose of nutrition into your meals.
Taranjeet Kaur, metabolic balance coach and senior nutritionist at AktivOrtho, says, “It is good to get some seasonal veggies and fruits in the picture like cucumbers, mint leaves, capsicums and lemon for salads.” Cucumbers are a low calorie food with diuretic properties. It helps flush toxins out while mint is the most cooling herb. Capsicum, on the other hand, increases immunity and is a great source of vitamin B6 and magnesium. Lemons are packed full of nutrients like Vitamin C, magnesium, iron and potassium that the body especially needs in this sort of climate.
She also suggests stocking up on watermelons, melons, mangoes, fresh peaches and black berries that can be eaten raw or turned into juices and shakes. Watermelons, melons and peaches have a high water content while black berries are also an excellent source of vitamins and anti-oxidants. Mangoes, on the other hand, have tartaric acid, malic acid, and some citric acid that help maintain the alkaline reserves of the body, while the vitamins in it increase immunity.
According to Parul Khurana, nutritionist, SCI International Hospital, juices, salads and smoothies should feature on all menu cards this season. According to her, stocking up on tulsi seeds is a great dietary decision, as they function as natural coolants. “These seeds are good for those suffering from diabetes, constipation and acidity. Cucumber is another great seasonal ingredient as it helps keep the body hydrated and flushes out toxins. It is also good for the eyes and healthy for the kidneys,” says Parul, adding, “Ingredients like bell peppers, methi and watermelon are all good for the summer as they ease inflammation, hydrate the body and prevent digestive troubles.” Both our experts also suggest kokum which is a brain-boosting food that builds immunity and benefits the skin.
Nutritionist’s Favourite Summer Recipes you can try.
Taranjeet suggests whipping up a watermelon and cheese salad to beat the summer heat.
Watermelon and Cheese Salad
180 grams watermelon
65 grams paneer
A few mint leaves
1 small cucumber
Salt and black pepper as per taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Cut the watermelon, cucumber and paneer into cubes.
2. Add fresh mint leaves and season it with salt and black pepper.
3. Drizzle a little olive or canola oil. Mix well and serve.
Parul’s favourite this season is the nutritious quinoa salad.
80 grams boiled quinoa
60 grams pomegranate
80 grams cucumber
60 grams lettuce
30 grams breadcrumbs
30 grams cottage cheese
20 grams amaranth
20 grams cornflour
20 mili liters olive oil
20 grams fresh lemon juice
60 grams watermelon
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil to deep fry
1. Add the quinoa to water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
2. Whisk olive oil, lime juice, a teaspoon of salt and pepper together in a bowl.
3. Add breadcrumbs and mix well with the cheese.
4. Add a little cornflour and deep fry the breadcrumbs to avoid breakage. Let it cool.
5. Toss in the watermelon and cucumbers.
6. Lastly, mix the quinoa with the breadcrumbs and the dressing and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
7. Once cool, grate some cheese and enjoy your meal
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