To handle this heat onslaught and ensure your body is as cool as it can possibly be, we suggest a few measures that are easy to follow:
* Eat light, small, frequent meals:
Start the morning with a sweet, juicy fruit at breakfast. Ripe summer fruit — peaches, plums, melons and pears — are exactly what your skin craves for in the hot season. Citrus fruit are also very cooling. Eat them whole or extract their juice, store in the refrigerator and sip often throughout the day.
* Include salads in your diet:
Consuming leafy lettuce and summer greens, corn on the cob and cucumbers in salad are delicious ways to stay cool. These foods contain a significant amount of water and can actually thin the blood, which has a cooling effect. Onions too are great in the summer, because of their ability to beat the heat and provide relief from summer ailments. So scatter a few washed onion slices onto a sandwich or in your salad.
* If you get burnt (sun stroke or heat stroke):
Seek relief by sipping on green tea or take a spoon of onion juice. They are potent antioxidants that can neutralise cellular damage caused by the sun’s rays.
* To cool the body through sweating:
Add small amounts of hot spices to food while cooking. Hot peppers, fresh ginger and black pepper are all great spices to make it really hot for you and then to cool you down.
* Hydrate your body:
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water is the best drink as it doesn’t contain any sugars that can add up to unnecessary calories. For a change, a lemon and honey drink can also instantly replenish your body’s lost fluids and work as an energiser. Drink fluids even if you are not thirsty — once you are thirsty, it means you are already dehydrated.
* Wear loose, full-sleeved cotton clothes:
To protect the body from the sun and to aid evaporation of sweat. Use a hat to protect your head from the sun if you step out.
* Stay indoors:
Restrict outdoor activities to the cooler parts of the day — early mornings before 10:30 am or late evenings after 5:30 pm.
* If you’re a non-vegetarian:
You should limit red meat consumption in summer and opt for fish and oysters instead.
* Avoid extremely chilled foods and drinks:
Most of us normally pick these and they are actually known to interfere with digestion and sweating, thereby interfering with the body’s natural cooling mechanisms. So, however tempting it may be to sit on your porch licking an ice cream cone or sipping a cool glass of tea, try a wedge of watermelon instead.