Every home in India has its own version of dos and donts about foods to eat during different seasons. Summers in India are especially hot and that comes with Moms and Grandmoms advice on what is good to eat and vice versa.
Growing up we would just follow their advice without knowing the science or the logic behind it. But lets look into some of them and see if we should continue to follow it.
Myth: Avoid Chilli during Summer
Eating Chilli during Summer is good for you as it makes you sweat which automatically cools down your body. Sweating is one of the primary ways of regulating human body's temperature—specifically, it’s the evaporation of sweat that removes heat from your body. This is the reason why all the countries around the world that have a very hot and humid summer traditionally have chilli as a part of their cuisine.
Myth: Cold foods and liquids keep your body cool
Eating naturally cooling foods like Coconut, watermelon, curd, chia seeds, etc. is a great way of keeping your body temperature in check. But consuming cold liquids with ice or eating cold foods from the refrigerator can be harming to your body during Summer. Consuming refrigerated foods and drinks can slow down your digestion and cause other gut related issues. The gut is extremely heat sensitive, and consuming cold foods sends a shock throughout the body, which could lead to other complications like digestive sensitivity, fatigue, and sinus infections.
Myth: Eating Tomatoes can help prevent sunburns
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant pigment that may play a role in protecting against sunburn. Fresh tomatoes are also beneficial but lycopene is better absorbed when tomatoes are processed, especially with olive oil. Adding tomatoes paste in your food daily can significantly help protect your skin again sunburn during Summer. Other lycopene-rich foods include pink grapefruit and watermelon.
Eating oxidant and Vitamin C rich foods during Summer can also help protect your skin from sun damage. Some of these are Spinach, Sweet potato, berries, oranges, flax seeds, walnuts, etc.
Myth: Watermelon is not nutritious
Watermelon is a tasty, hydrating fruit that is best enjoyed during Summer. It has a very high water content and provides nutrients like lycopene, citrulline, and vitamins A and C. Studies suggest that this fruit may even boost heart health, reduce muscle soreness, and decrease inflammation.
Moral of the story: like other fruits this melon is also a healthy and delicious snack for kids and adults.
Myth: Reduce the number of meals during Summer
You dont have to reduce the number of meals during Summer. However you should reduce the quantity of your food and have smaller meals at frequent intervals. Avoid both starving and binging.
Include natural sugars from hydrating fruits and veggies as a part of your diet during Summer. Avoid packaged foods, bottled juices and aerated drinks that contain processed sugars which dehydrates your body.
Digestion slows down during Summer so having lighter meals will help your body against inflammation and other digestive problems.
We'd love to hear the Summer foods myths you have heard in your homes growing up. Let us know in the comments below!