When it comes to food, one man’s meat is another’s poison; we all have varying tastes, and even though the ingredients may be the same, it’s not unheard of for different people to prefer different forms of preparation. That’s why I’m going to steer clear of providing you with recipes and instead try to provide a list of ingredients that make up some of the best summer recipes that are both healthy and delicious. Summer is a time of intense heat, a few random showers, and lots of sweat and spending time indoors. So accordingly, here’s what you need to beat the heat and keep yourself hydrated and healthy:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: Eaten in any form, they provide the maximum nutrition for your body all throughout the year. Fruits and vegetables make great salads, especially when served chilled. And when they’re minus the calorie-laden dressings and sauces and without sugar or chocolate syrup, they make healthy, light and wholesome meals. If you want a change, make fruit juice without any sugar or milk, or eat your vegetables raw or lightly steamed. Melons, berries, pomegranate, lemons and oranges make great summer fruits while greens, celery and carrots are a few vegetables that work to cool your body.
- Rice: Most people limit their intake of rice because they perceive it to add to their weight. Truth is, rice is easily digestible, rich in water content, and also has high levels of iron, carbohydrates and Vitamin B complex. If you want to take the really healthy route, eat brown rice which is unpolished and unprocessed and so retains its natural goodness.
- Pulses and legumes: Left overnight to sprout and then frozen, chickpeas and other legumes make great snacks when eaten as a salad with onion and a dash of lime. They are not only rich in protein, magnesium, iron and calcium, but also help to reduce your weight and keep your body cool. You could also boil and eat them with a small sprinkling of salt.
- Barley: It’s not a grain that most of us would choose instead of oats or other cereals, but barley has a significant cooling effect on your body. So try and add it to any food you eat or mix it with water and a dash of lime and use it as a health drink.
- Water: And finally, the best food during summer is water. This precious resource is best imbibed alone, without trappings of any kind. While those colas and juices may sound tempting and cooling, a glass of mildly cold water is the best way to quench your thirst and stay healthy during summer. Avoid sugary and aerated drinks and those that contain caffeine because they’re diuretics that tend to drain your body of water even while pretending to quench your thirst.
In general, it’s best to limit your portions, drink lots of water, and try and stay away from the harsh sunlight during summer in order to maximize your health.