Staying fit in the summers should be a part of our personal and professional lives, and nutrition is an integral part of that goal. Health experts generally stay on top of food-related queries during the season.
But, is the summer of 2022 something different? Surely. Having spent two years in a pandemic, people are planning vacations, social gatherings and weekend dinners. As a result of this relaxed attitude, they are losing sight of the importance of nutrition. This article will provide you with easy-to-follow tips to help you keep your health and nutrition in check during the summers.
Are our dietary patterns affected by seasonal changes? The answer is yes. As the seasons change, we also tend to change our physical activity levels and eating habits. There is usually a thermal nature for summer appetites . The hotter it is, the more we want to cool down. During the summer, the body needs more water, fluids, and undercooked foods to cope with water loss through sweat and maintain healthy digestive functions. Psychologist C Peter Herman of the University of Toronto supported this claim and mentioned that in hot climates, people tend to eat less and prefer ‘colder’ foods.
This summer in India, milk-based ice creams and dairy-based beverages saw growth of more than 50 percent, according to the report published on May 2, 2022. As a result of the lockdowns, the closure of local markets and the myths that link the ‘cold’ with Covid-19 infections, these drinks and ice creams experienced a drop in sales in the last two seasons.
Summer nutrition, however, is more than just ice cream, fruit juices and cool drinks. A significant amount of refined white sugar is also present in these foods and beverages, which is harmful to health if consumed for prolonged periods.
Top five summer nutrition tips
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy diet during the summer, as there are so many temptations. Regardless of whether it’s delicious beach food, sugary ice cream, or processed food, they all save time in the kitchen. However, eating well in summer doesn’t mean sacrificing tasty foods or avoiding stress.
Water, infused water and aqueous foods
Drinking enough water is important. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, dry skin, lips, and mouth. Drink at least 2.5 liters of water a day. Use a reminder app if necessary. Drink a cold soda with lots of ice and a slice of lemon to avoid monotony. Consider drinking water infused with herbs and fruits like mint, basil, cucumber, pineapple, nectarine, citrus, and berries. You can even consider freezing some fruits, breaking them into pieces and using them as ice. These are great alternatives to sugary cold drinks or ice cream.
Include foods with 95 percent incorporated water, such as cucumbers, watermelons, celery, lettuce , spinach, cantaloupe, tomato, etc. in your diet.
Eat light and frequent meals
Indigestion and loss of appetite are common symptoms of hot weather. On a hot day, people often complain of abdominal discomfort after a large meal. To prevent stomach pains , eat light and less spicy foods. At social gatherings, choose healthier foods. As you prepare salads, include plenty of raw fruits and vegetables that are in season. If you have children at home, keep pre-cut fruit in the refrigerator to encourage them to eat healthier snacks.
As you prepare salads, include plenty of raw fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Eat a variety of all food groups.
During the summer, eat balanced and versatile meals. Choose easy-to-digest foods from each food group. For example, choose lean meat over red meat, skinless fish over fatty fish, and low-fat dairy over full-fat dairy. Eat colorful seasonal vegetables, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains for fiber and micronutrients .
Enjoy refreshing treats at home
Summer is perfect for ice cream, but not all ice cream is a good choice. A typical serving of chocolate milk ice cream contains a high amount of calories and fat and is low in other essential nutrients. It can be avoided by making your own fruit puree and frozen yogurt using proper freezer forms. A homemade fruit ice cream is not only healthy, but also a fun activity to do as a family, especially with young children.
Shop smart, dine smart
Remember the balanced plate guidelines when dining out. Choose baked, grilled or sautéed foods. While grocery shopping, be sure to read nutrition labels carefully before purchasing a packaged food product. Consider the list of ingredients, calories per serving, the presence of trans fats, and the amount of salt in each product.
Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Be aware of your diet. The above guidelines will help you make the most of the season.