Embracing A Healthy Lifestyle With A Balanced Diet This Summer

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Balanced diet
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The summer is back with its scorching heat. Extreme temperatures can cause a lot of health issues like indigestion, food poisoning, dehydration, minerals, and vitamin deficiencies. Hence, summer balanced diets play a crucial role in keeping our nutritional requirements stable. Nutrients are the building blocks of the human body and essentials for growth and development. A balanced diet is defined as the food that we consume in certain proportions that fulfil all the nutritional requirements like proteins, carbohydrates, fibres, fats, minerals, and vitamins for the body. Every diet should contain 60-70% of carbohydrates, 10-12% of proteins, and 20-25% of calories from fats. Hydration and electrolyte balance is essential during summer. Eating homemade food is healthy, outside foods are avoidable. Balanced diets build a stronger immune system, and improve sleep quality. They reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Balanced diets enhance mental well-being and gut health. Following a balanced diet is necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

During the summer, it’s important to pick the right kind of food for our balanced diet. Hydrating fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and legumes and healthy fats. According to the basic rule of a healthy plate, divide the plate into three portions. Half of the plate takes green veggies and fruits, with varying colours.

Commonly found seasonal fruits like:
Watermelons have high water content, are a hydration hero, and also melons protect skin cells from sun damage due to the presence of lycopene which helps in muscle flexibility.

Guavas can reduce sunburns and ease menstrual cramps. They help in the cleanliness of the digestive system and its health due to their high fibre content.

Blueberries contain a variety of vitamins like A, C, and E acting as antioxidants. Good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Oranges are citrus fruits that help in hydration and also electrolyte balance in the body by replenishing potassium.

Mangoes, a seasonal fruit, are rich in calories, rich in fibre, vitamins, and potassium. They also help in protecting our eyes from harmful rays of the sun.

Papaya and Muskmelon contain vitamins A, and C, are immune boosters, and perform cell repair functions. Both fruits favour us in protecting skin and eyes from UV rays which are strong in the summer.

Coconut water, lemon water, and fruit smoothies could be great and delicious options for hydration. Consuming them on a routine basis could help us to maintain our health this summer.

 Commonly found veggies in summer:

Cucumbers have high water content and good hydration. They are rich in vitamins like K and C and act as antioxidants and can be included in salads or served at snack time.

Bottle gourd, rich in calcium is a hydrating veggie and a good remedy for digestive issues which helps in lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels.

Pumpkins help to keep the body temperature cool and are a good source of vitamin A lowering the risk of heart diseases.

Green leafy veggies like spinach have good water content and help in hydrating the body, and due to the presence of folates, they are light foods. rich in iron and calcium.

Peppers, carrots, green beans, bitter gourd, white onions etc, can also be included in diets as they are rich in water content, vitamins, minerals, and light for the stomach.

 One-fourth of the plate should consist of cereals, millets, and pulses. Most cereals don’t have cooling effects on the body. Hence, choosing the right one is important. Brown rice or unpolished rice has high water content and is a good source of carbohydrates, rich in vitamin B complex and iron.

Barley acts on bowel and kidney issues, acting as a good source of calcium phosphorus, and iron. It is an excellent cereal for weight loss and for diabetic patients.

Wheat has a cooling effect on the body, improves digestion, and has high fibres.

Jowar has a cooling effect on the body, removes fatigue, and is rich in protein, vitamin B complex, potassium, and calcium.

Sprouted cereals, soya, peas, green grams, and other kinds of grams, all fall under this category of foods.  They are good sources of carbohydrates, proteins, and also fibres.

Another one-fourth of the plate should include healthy proteins. Lean protein sources are a good option for summer as they are light to digest.

Yoghurt maintains gut health, is a probiotic, low calorie and especially Greek yoghurt could be a great choice

Chicken and fish are high in protein and low-fat sources of lean protein, rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Baked and grilled chickens and fish are best for summer.

Legumes, plant-based legumes like beans, and chickpeas are good sources of lean proteins and can be included in salads and dals.

Seeds and Nuts- almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts are considered a summer-friendly plant-based protein, and a good source of fibre, healthy fats, and antioxidants.

Eggs are good and cost-effective sources of protein, and sources of sodium, iron, vitamin b6, and potassium.

Including oils and fats is equally important but in moderation. Opt for vegetable oils like mustard, sunflower, ghee, olive oil, and cooking oils. These oils have a cooling effect on the body and can be used in summer. They also protect the skin from photodamage and nourish the body applied externally. 

These will make a perfectly balanced diet, but portion control plays a major role. Plan and Prepare your meals in advance, this habit can reduce overeating. Pay attention to your body’s needs and stop eating when you feel comfortable. Use smaller bowls and plates and try to fill them completely making them look dense. Chew slowly and focus on the flavours of the food, which will avoid mindless overeating. 

It’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional or dietician for personalized guidance if there are any health issues like thyroid or under any medications before following the diet.


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