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Every year on 7 April, World Health Day is celebrated to draw the world's attention to the global health problems and raise awareness through campaigns to monitor these problems and build a healthier world. The theme for the year 2022 is "Our planet, our health".
During summertime, the diet should be light and healthy that may help keep the body cool and the mind fresh. Eating light does not mean eating less, but including those foods in the diet that easily gets digested by the body, calms the stomach in the process and help keep the 'pitta' of the body balanced, which often tend to rise during the summer.
In this article, we will discuss some of those light and healthy summer foods to eat and enjoy the season.
Salads are the most preferred food during the summer. Be it a fresh fruit salad, green veggie salad, tuna salad or pasta salad, they always provide us with a plethora of health benefits, along with soothing our stomach, especially during the summer.
2. Coconut water
Coconut water is packed with electrolytes that help the body restore the fluid levels, lost due to sweat on hot summer days. It is also rich in vital nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C and magnesium and also, low in calories and fats.
3. Rice water
Rice water, commonly known as ‘pakhal bhath' in Odiya or ‘panta bhath' in Bengali is a dish prepared from cooked rice, mixed with water, curd, curry leaves, asafoetida and coriander, all ingredients that help soothe the stomach and keep the body cool during the summer. This rice water dish is the traditional summer meal in many parts of Eastern India.
4. Watermelon juice
Watermelon juice is best to quench the thirst during the summer, compared to water. The juice is low in carbohydrates and calories and high in nutrients like fibre, l-citrulline and lycopene. A cup of watermelon is enough to provide 17 per cent of the daily requirement for vitamin A and 21 per cent of the daily requirement for vitamin C.
5. Iced tea
Iced tea is great for summer and is loved by people of all age groups. It is easy to prepare and helps beat the heat in no time. Some of the main ingredients in iced tea include mint, basil leaves, lemon and coconut water. Iced tea also helps with weight loss and prevent dry skin.
6. Greek yoghurt
Greek yoghurt can provide you with essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium and iodine and is also low in calories. It is best to be consumed with fresh fruits like berries. Greek yoghurt not only helps cool the body but also improve the gut microbiota and keep the digestive system healthy.
7. Mashed sweet potato
Mashed potato is mainly considered a liquid, or say a gel instead of solid. Its pulp is very dense and satisfying. You can either mix skim milk with sweet potato or add salt, pepper, garlic, onion and parsley and consume them as an evening snack. Mashed potato also comes under the most demandable food item during the summer.
8. Chickpea sandwich
Chickpea is a light and low-calorie food that helps keep you full for longer and treat many digestive issues, especially caused due to the high temperature of the summer. It is rich in fibre and protein and can be paired with any food item such as sandwich or salads.
9. Sweet corn and black beans tacos
Tacos are a small, healthy and easy-to-make wholesome meal that can be eaten any time of the day. Though tacos can be stuffed with any kind of ingredients, it is preferred to be filled with something light such as sweet corn and black beans tacos to keep the digestive system healthy during the hot summer weather. You can also add some avocado sauce or grilled shrimp.
10. Zucchini and cucumber noodles
Zucchini and cucumber have an abundance of water content and vital nutrients such as antioxidants and folate. They are a must-have summer vegetable that may help detoxify the body, improve skin health and hydrate the body cells. Zucchini and cucumber noodles can be the best light and healthy summer food to eat.
11. Dry toast
No food in the kitchen is as satisfying, light and healthy as dry toast. Whenever you get the hunger pangs and want to grab something light, you can pick dry toast, along or with any fresh fruit, yoghurt, skim milk or eggs and enjoy the summer meal.
12. Grilled chicken, Caprese chicken breast
During the summer, people often tend to avoid meat products as they think animal meats may raise the body temperature and cause them harm. However, low-fat meat parts such as chicken breast or seafood, prepared by grilling them may not raise the body heat to cause any damage and in fact, will help you not to miss on essential proteins and omega- 3 fatty acids from these meat products.
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