General Health

Tackling the Heatwave: Diet and Nutrition to Remain Healthy

The sun seems to be in no mood to show mercy this year. Ever since the beginning of summer in March this year, several states have reported maximum temperatures soaring between 40 and 45 degrees Celsius. The torrid heatwave has sent the mercury rising to such an extent that just about every part of the country is sweltering in intense heatwaves. Recently, the weather department reported that New Delhi, the capital of India has recorded its second hottest April in 72 years.

The intense heatwave has deleterious effects on health such as dehydration, and heat stress. These cause heat-related illnesses such as efflorescence (prickly heat), heat edema (swelling of hands, ankles, and feet), heat cramps (muscle cramps), heat tetany, heat syncope (fainting), prostration, and heatstroke. Needless to mention, we must adopt certain preventive measures to minimize sun exposure to safeguard our bodies from the cruel heatwave.

A few tips to stay healthy and fit during the scorching heatwave are:

  • Good hydration- Consuming hydrating foods and fluids for H20 on the go

Staying hydrated is the one-stop solution to tolerate nature’s warmth. One must double up their water consumption not only by drinkable fluids but also by including hydrating fruits and vegetables in the daily diet.

Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, muskmelon, and tomato are widely available in summer and can create wonders if they are consumed regularly. One must incorporate vegetable juices, coconut water, buttermilk, and lemonade into the daily diet.

Yogurt and yogurt-based foods are highly beneficial as they possess cooling effects. While tomatoes and watermelon are loaded with antioxidants, yogurt-based foods are rich in probiotics that boosts immunity. Coconut water replenishes your body’s electrolytes such as potassium. One must avoid hot, spicy, and salty foods. In addition, one must always carry water bottles when stepping out of home.

  • Avoid caffeine and dehydrating beverages

As much as we love our tea and coffee the very first thing in the morning, we must avoid them in summer since caffeinated beverages dehydrate the body. Additionally, we must avoid alcohol and sugary fluids and foods.

  • Increasing seed intake

We have overlooked the health benefits of a few widely available seeds such as cumin seeds and fennel seeds. The seeds have a cooling nature and can be consumed either by adding them to juices or by consuming them directly with water every morning. Basil seeds are also natural cooling agents that aid in alleviating acidity and constipation. To gain maximum benefits of basil seeds, soak them for four to five hours in water and consume them daily by adding to water or any non-caffeinated beverage of your choice.

  • Rely more on a fluid diet

Start relying more on fluids rather than solid food. Attempt to include different fruit and vegetable juices, milkshakes, and smoothies in your meals daily. Add mint and celery leaves for a cooling effect and refreshing taste.

  • Minimal sun exposure; soak and shade

Avoid staying outdoors, particularly between 12 noon and three pm, when the sunshine is at its peak. Wear light-weight, light-colored, and loose-fitting made up of natural fibers like linen and cotton. Use heat-protective accessories such as sunglasses and carry umbrellas. When indoors, frequent showers and the use of fans and air conditioners would also help. Ensure you get enough sleep and rest if you are feeling tired.

  • Reduce stress levels

Stress may be a common flash trigger for several women. Incorporate yoga, meditation, and other relaxation therapies in your daily routine.

Author:

 Dr. Pooja Toshniwal Paharia is a Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Physician and Radiologist, M.DS (Oral Medicine and Radiology) from Mumbai. She strongly believes in evidence-based radiodiagnosis and therapeutic regimens for benign, potentially malignant, or malignant lesions and conditions either arising from the oral and maxillofacial structures or manifesting in the associated regions. 

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