Nutrition

What to Eat In This Hot Weather

By Adebukola Aluko

Welcome to this week’s edition of Nutrition Desk.

A flashback to the last topic we were told to plan our meals and snacks to include nutrient-dense foods.

Today we are going to discuss “Eating and Staying Healthy” during the dry/hot season.

The dry season is generally attributed to a scorching hot day, warm or even hot night.

Dry, dusty air, absence of rainfall are some of the signs that characterize the dry weather which occurs between December and February.

In some parts of the country, the weather could be as intense as biting one’s skin hypothetically, to cause immeasurable discomfort when one is exposed to it.

In most cases, the dry season is hot enough to cause so much discomfort hence the need to get prepared in order to stay healthy during the season.

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining a healthy intestine, preventing constipation, avoiding kidney stones, and more.

Being properly hydrated also impacts mental performance.

Research shows that as little as a 1-3% loss of body fluid can impair mood, reduce concentration, increase headaches and fatigue, interfere with working memory, and boost anxiety.

We will take a look at how fruits and vegetables whose inclusion in our diet can keep us hydrated and help remedy or address dehydration during the hot season.

A quick look into some selected fruits and veggies is as follows;

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are popular long, lean, and green garden vegetables.

Technically, they’re fruits from the same family as watermelons and pumpkins, but most people consider them veggies.

All that water in cucumbers can help keep one hydrated, plus, the fibre boost they give helps stay regular and avoid constipation.

It contains vitamin K which helps blood clot and keep your bones healthy.

Vitamin A is vital in improving vision, boosting the immune system, and reproduction.

It also makes sure organs like your heart, lungs, and kidneys work the way they should.

The health benefiting polyphenols called “lignans” present in cucumbers may help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, and some cancers.

Antioxidants such as beta carotene in cucumbers can help fight free radicals in your body, unpaired electrons that damage cells and can lead to disease.

Cucumbers have a mild, refreshing taste and a high water content.

They can help relieve dehydration and are pleasant to eat in hot weather.

People eat cucumber as a savoury food, and for those who do not enjoy drinking water, adding cucumber and mint can make it more attractive.

Cucumbers may also have health benefits outside your body.

Putting them on the skin may help ease sunburn pain, swelling, and damaged skin.

That’s why people sometimes put a slice or two under their eyes, hoping to shrink bags and ease puffiness.

Watermelon

Watermelon is another refreshing fruit full of healthy vitamins that also keep the body hydrated contains 90%water thus making it one of the best sources of hydration.

Watermelon is a deliciously healthy fruit, soaked with nutrients, low in calories and is free of fat.

When eaten in reasonable amounts provides many health benefits. You can eat all parts of the watermelon including the rind and seeds, according to the Healthline website.

Watermelon is a must-have, especially during summers.

No doubt its high water content makes it a strong weapon against heatstroke and other related issues.

It increases urination without stressing the kidneys and also helps regulate body temperature, organ and joint function, metabolism, appetite, and waste elimination.

Berries

They contain up to 92 per cent water and are rich in anthocyanins, which give them their deep hues and reduce post-workout inflammation and joint pain.

Don’t rely completely on fruit for hydration.

Make sure you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day, particularly water.

Fruit may provide you with some nutrition and keep your body cool; however, it still isn’t as effective as cold water.

Make sure you drink water in between and along with all your meals.

However, patients with particular ailments can consult their doctors and dietician on how to eat right.

“Remember, you are what you eat, so eat right”.

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