I t’s summer time and here are some tips I personally follow to save myself from the affects of the harsh sun and balmy weather.
STAY HYDRATED: To avoid being perpetually thirsty, dehydrated and fatigued I consciously go on a liquid overdrive. I drink up every now and then – both plain water and water infused with fresh lime and mint (to replenish electrolytes), cucumber (to rehydrate and cool from inside), chia seeds (adds much needed protein to my diet), fennel seeds (to stay alert) and cumin seeds (to keep my stomach sorted). I begin with two glasses first thing in the morning and then target finishing a minimum of two one litre bottles. Besides water, I also drink a lot of coconut water for an extra dose of potassium, buttermilk for calcium, and these four coolers mentioned below. I sip at least two of these six every day.
BARLEY WATER: Barley is inherently cooling, anti-inflammatory and a wonderful detoxifier for the liver.
Make it: Add barley powder to water with a little lemon, salt, roasted cumin and kala namak.
KOKUM SHERBET: This is a sweet drink which is quite popular is Maharashtra, and is made by Garcinia indica or kokum squash. It’s great for digestion and cools the body during summers.
It’s also known to build the appetite too, which is something I often need help for.
Make it: Take two fresh kokum fruits, cut them into half, remove the seeds and then grind it into a fine paste. Make sugar syrup and pour it into the kokum paste, add cumin and cardamom powder to taste. Put two to three tablespoons of this paste in a glass, add cold water and ice. You can store the remaining paste in the refrigerator.
SATTU SHERBET: Extremely cooling, it’s perfect to beat the heat. It’s also a brilliant source of good quality vegetarian protein. It is my go-to protein drink.
Make it: Take sattu powder, mix it in half water and half buttermilk, add powdered, roasted cumin and salt. Or simply mix some sattu powder in water and add some jaggery.
BAEL SHERBET: Cures diarrhoea, contains your cholesterol and can also cut respiratory issues to size.
Make it: Take bael fruit. Cut it down the middle. Take out the inner meat and put it in some water. Leave for an hour or so. Then strain, chill and have (add some jaggery if you like it sweet). I also eat a lot of intrinsically cooling foods like pearl barley (jaun ka daliya), finger millet (ragi), raw onions, gulkand and lauki (it’s 96 per cent water.
Kavita Devgan, Nutritionist, Weight management Consultant and author based in Delhi