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EAT SMART

Switch to the summer diet

DR. NANDA RAJANEESH

Fresh fruits, veggies, juices and salads... here's what to fill up on in the hot days.


As the temperature increases, one always expects a glass of cold fresh fruit juice and ice cream instead of a hot soup. Your interest shifts from the heavy high calorie food of the winter to low calorie light food. To stay healthy, switch to summer diet.

Summer fruits: Fruits commonly used in summer are watermelon and muskmelon. These fruits contain about 95 per cent water and keep us hydrated. They also have a high beta-carotene content that is converted into vitamin A, required for the growth and repair of skin tissue. Lemon and oranges belonging to the citrus family are also rejuvenating agents.

Summer Vegetables: The summer vegetables are cucumber, carrots, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, eggplant, and spinach. They possess the antioxidant property that helps minimise skin damage caused due to prolonged sun exposure. The Vitamin B of these vegetables helps to prevent dry skin, rashes, and itching.

Quick tips

  • Avoid fried foods, meats, cheese, egg and foods with chemical additives, coffee, chocolate, colas and alcohol in summer.

  • Avoid using stale cooked foods in summer. The chances of food contamination are very high.

  • Do not cook food in an open environment. Harmful bacteria proliferate causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

  • Always wash your hands with hot soapy water before handling food and after using the bathroom.

  • Ensure that utensils, kitchen and cooking area are kept clean and dry to reduce risk of food borne illness.

  • Cook food, especially meat and poultry, at high temperature. Disease causing bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria are killed only at high temperatures.

  • Avoid using partially boiled or partially cooked food stuffs.

  • Never leave refrigerated food out for more than two hours.

  • Always freeze leftovers and use within 3-5 days.

  • Store leftovers in small, clean and closed containers.

  • Do not overload the refrigerator.

  • Never take risk with stored cooked food. Throw it away at the very sight of suspicion.

    While travelling

  • Use ice insulated storage packs for perishable foods like meat, poultry, eggs and fish.

  • Cooked food should be cooled thoroughly before being packed.

  • Pack food in reverse order of its shelf life.

  • Fill the cooler completely for best storing results.

  • Put the cooler in the air-conditioned car, instead of dumping it in the trunk.

  • When at the beach, stick to non-perishable foods like peanut butter, fruits, nuts and crackers.

  • Keep cooler in a shady area.

  • Spray insect repellents away from the food.

  • When trekking or hiking, carry bottled water.

  • Avoid using lake or river water for drinking.

  • Pack food in antimicrobial containers like sterilised glass or high grade plastics.

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