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Foods You Should Totally Avoid During The Summer Season

On 1 March, the India Meteorological Department announced that the summer season has officially begun in India. Most parts of India are expected to witness the scorching summers, with north, northeast, parts of east and west experiencing a hike in the normal temperature, and South and adjoining central India are expected to experience a drop in the normal temperatures [1].

So, the summer is back again, in all its glory and the heat, especially with the rising temperatures - it is not going to be pretty. While we may not be able to bring down the temperature, there are some ways you can help yourself feel better, and that is by adjusting your eating habits.

Indian summers can be particularly harsh in most regions of the country, with temperatures soaring up to 40 degree Celsius. So, ailments like dehydration, heatstroke, headaches, hot flushes, etc., are commonly seen in people during summers [2].

Certain air and water-borne pathogens that thrive during hot and humid conditions also cause certain diseases and infections in people during the summers. Now, a few foods can worsen these health issues by increasing body heat and lowering your immune system [3].

Read on to know about Foods You Should Avoid During Summer

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1. Alcohol

It might seem like fun to relax with a glass of chilled wine or an iced-cocktail during summers. However, alcohol can immediately increase your body temperature, just with one or two drinks [4]. Apart from that, alcohol can also worsen dehydration during summers and lower your immune system, making you vulnerable to several diseases.

2. Hot Beverages

Most of us are dependent on our morning coffee or tea to start the day. While this habit may make you feel more energetic, consuming coffee and tea regularly during summers can also increase body heat and dehydration. So, substituting them with green tea or iced coffees can help you remain healthier in the summer season [5].

3. Oily Foods

Oily foods and junk foods, such as deep-fried items, etc., are considered unhealthy, not just in summers, but all the time, as they can cause a number of serious ailments in people [6]. Oily foods can be worse when had during summers, as they can spike up body heat and lower your immunity.

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4. Dairy Products

If you feel like sipping on a thick, cold milkshake to cool off this summer, then you may not want to do it on a regular basis because dairy products can also cause ailments during the summer [7]. When the temperature is high outside, your body heat would also be higher. Milk products like butter, cheese, curd, etc., can undergo abnormal fermentation in the stomach due to body heat and cause indigestion.

5. Dry Fruits

Dry fruits, such as dates, raisins, apricots, etc., are extremely healthy, as they are loaded with powerful nutrients [8]. However, you may want to go easy on them during the summers. Dry fruits can increase body temperature and leave you feeling irritated and fatigued even [9].

6. Spices

Spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, etc., can make your dishes taste and smell amazing! However, adding spices to your dishes during the summer can also boost your body heat further, making you feel dehydrated and sick [10]. You do not have to skip on the spices completely; make sure you use them in limited quantity and balance it out by adding cool spices such as cumin, organic mint etc.

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7. Mangoes

This may come as a disappointment to many, as summers in India are synonymous with mangoes. This seasonal fruit is grown abundantly during the summers, and people love them [11]. However, the fact is that mangoes also can increase body heat and give rise to some undesirable symptoms and ailments like diarrhoea, stomach upset, headaches, etc., especially during summers.

8. Grilled Meat (Tandoori)

Having barbeque nights with your friends on your rooftops during summer nights, in anticipation of some cool summer breeze, may sound like fun. However, grilled meat is cooked at high temperatures. When the temperature is already high outside, the combination can increase the carcinogen quality of grilled meat and up your risk of developing cancer as well, in addition to increasing your body temperature [12][13].

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9. Ice Cream

While we did mention dairy products above, ice creams are naturally identified with the summer season. Ice creams are one of the most popular snacks that most people desire, age no bar, to beat the heat during the summers. The cooling effect of ice creams makes it a summer favourite. However, ice creams are high in fat and sugar content, increasing your risk of developing obesity and diabetes [14]. Health experts point out that breaking down the ingredients of ice cream into usable blocks of energy creates heat in the body. So, while eating ice cream can give you a momentary cooling effect, the digestive process overturns it. In addition to this, eating too much ice cream during the summer season can increase your risk of cold-related ailments.

10. Sauces (Processed Foods)

Most sauces and similar processed foods such as salad dressings contain high levels of salt, preservatives and artificial flavourings such as monosodium glutamate, which, when consumed daily, can increase your body heat and leave you feeling fatigued, bloated and sluggish [15].

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On A Final Note…

According to reports, the heat is set to increase in the coming days, making it all the more important to adjust your eating habits and other activities accordingly so that you can feel at ease in these scorching summer days. Consume fruits and vegetables that can help cool down the body and limit or avoid consuming the foods mentioned above.

Read more about: summer spicy food
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