Its that time of the year when in spite of the weather conditions,Mother nature offers us some great foods to balance our energies and to keep pace with hectic schedules. It is that time when we have the option to make our meals flamboyant with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables of every colour and shape.It’s summer—that amazing time of year when fresh produce abounds. There’s an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy choices. Better yet many of summer’s fruits and vegetables are brimming with secret health benefits.
Water-based foods like cucumbers, melons and cool foods like cold soups, green leafy vegetable salads, smoothies and the like are perfectly suited to offset the summer heat. you can quench your thirst and keep yourself refreshed with a variety of nutritious fruit juices to breeze through the summer with high energy levels.Mother Nature on one hand gives us this hot sweaty season and on the other hand fresh juicy fruits and healthy veggies to ward off the heat and feel protected.
Three of the best healthy drinks for summer are:
Water Melon.One of the best gifts this time around is the water melon. One just does not have to drink water. You can eat it, too: The liquid content of the water melon keeps you hydrated , thus keeping your memory sharp and your mood stable. It also helps keep your body cool (by sweating) during hot summer months. Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories.
Water melon helps in the following:
Lycopene for Your Heart, Skin and Cancer Prevention:
Lycopene is responsible for the beautiful red color of watermelon pulp. It is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the cardiovascular system from free radical damage . Research has shown that people who eat a lot of lycopene rich foods have lesser heart complications.
Lycopene also include protects one’s skin from UV damage. The strong UV rays lead to photo aging, wrinkles and skin cancer. A big glass of watermelon juice before heading to the beach could provide a little extra antioxidant protection against ultraviolet light on your skin.
Citrulline for a regular Blood flow:
The amino acid citrulline is found in particularly high amounts in watermelon juice, which when converted into arginine, an essential amino acid, helps in improving blood flow and relaxing blood vessels.
Vitamins and Minerals:
Watermelons have a high level of vitamin C and smaller amounts of Vitamins A and B.
Potassium and magnesium are well represented in watermelon’s minerals, and particularly if you juice or blend it, the seeds contain good levels of iron and zinc.
Weight Loss Benefits:
The same amino acid citrulline that watermelon juice contains, is shown to interact with (due to its conversion to arginine) fat in fat cells. It does this by blocking the effects of an enzyme called TNAP involved in fat storage.
Eating watermelon or drinking the juice before heavy exercise can have an anti-inflammatory effect,. Watermelon is rich in flavonoids, carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene and other compounds that fight inflammation called triterpenoids.
Watermelon Juice for a healthy functioning kidney:
Watermelon juice is very good for kidneys. It helps flush out ammonia and uric acid . It is said to help in preventing the growth of kidney stones. Even the seeds are said to be beneficial for the kidneys.
With the help of a good blender, water melon juice can be easily made at home.
1.1 small sweet watermelon
2.1 small lime, juiced
1.Slice the watermelon in half.If the watermelon isn’t seedless, slice the halves into smaller strips and with a small spoon scoop out the seeds(the seeds can be dried and used later).Drop it into the blender If the watermelon is seedless, use a big spoon to scoop chunks of watermelon flesh into the blender. Discard the rind.
2. Blend the watermelon until it is totally pulverized. This shouldn’t take more than a minute. Squeeze the juice of one small lime into the blender and blend for a few seconds.A dash of lemon juice is absolutely refreshing to beat the heat. Pour the watermelon juice into a pitcher or pour directly into glasses.Add ice Water melons can also be used in salads, desserts, smoothies, milkshakes and even salsa.
Aam panna: Aam Panna is a well known Indian drink ,renowned for its heat-resistant properties. It is made from green raw mangoes which are light green in colour. It is consumed as a tasty and healthy beverage to fight against the intense Indian summer heat. A very popular drink across India, this refreshing treat is also very healthy.
Aam Panna mitigates the occurrence of heat strokes and restores the Sodium lost due to dehydration.Raw mangoes are rich in Vitamin C.It helps in purfying the blood by removing toxins from the body.
Raw mangoes are rich in iron and daily intake of aam panna will help in improving anaemia.Aam Panna is beneficial in the treatment of gastro intestinal problems . It also helps in smooth bowel movement. It is regarded as a medicine to increase resistance against tuberculosis, anaemia, cholera and dysentery. Green mango is a rich source of pectin, which gradually diminishes after the formation of the stone.
Aam Panna or raw mango juice can be easily made at home.
1.1 large green mango
2. A small pinch asafoetida
3.1 teaspoon cumin powder
4.4-5 black peppercorns, crushed
5.½ teaspoon black salt/ white salt
6 8 level teaspoons sugar.
1.Wash and boil the mango.
2.Let it cool,then peel, mash and strain the pulp.
3.Add cumin powder, crushed black peppercorns, black salt, asafoetida an
4.Mix till it is well-blended. you can use a good blender for a smooth blend.
5.Pour into glasses.Add cold water.
Iced Tea: Another refreshing drink in summer is the iced tea. For all tea lovers, who cant do without their cuppa and cant beat the summer heat either, this is the best bet. Easy to make, it is refreshing and still gives one to have their taste buds satisfied with their favourite beverage.
Iced tea has proven to be one of the healthiest drinks available. Not only does it revive you on a hot day, but also adds to keeping you healthy.Drinking a glass of iced tea during the day can take care of most of our problems. Iced tea is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that keep a check on calories consumed during the day.A recent medical study revealed that iced tea has the capability to prevent cavities too unlike the sweet sodas that promote cavities. Not only does it refresh your mind, but also improves your health.If you are addicted to soda, then it is time to change to a healthy cup of iced tea.
If you are into caffeine consumption, a glass of iced tea can balance that out. Not only will it cut down on the consumption of caffeine but will help you get rid of the habit of drinking coffee, which is not good for the health.
1.3-4 tea bags(black)
2.Sugar to taste
1.Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil.
2.Turn off the heat and add 3-4 tea bags for around 3-4 minutes.
3. Pour 2 cups (480 ml) of cold water into the tea. This will dilute the tea and will make the mixture less strong. You can stir the mixture for best results.
4. Refrigerate the mixture until it’s chilled. This should take 2-3 hours.
5. Pour the tea into a tall glass and fill with ice. Squeeze a slice of lemon into the tea and add a sprig of mint at the top. If you like it sweet, you may add sugar as per your taste.
Variations of the iced tea can be made using fruits like strawberries,Rasberries, Peach, Sweet lime etc… all the fruits available during sumer.
So, go ahead and beat the summer heat with these healthy and thirst quenching drinks!