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Pakistan

What to eat and what to avoid during a heatwave

  • Foods that boost hydration and coolness include cucumbers, dark leafy greens, melons, coconut water, tomatoes, celery, iceberg lettuce, zucchini, cabbage, turai, and chillies
16 May, 2022
Photo: @thehautenutritionist
Photo: @thehautenutritionist

As the heatwave pushes temperatures in the country to 50C in some areas, it is essential to keep an eye out for health and wellness tips that help combat some of the discomfort this summer.

Here are some important tips on how to stay cool.

First and foremost, it is absolutely essential to adapt eating habits and implement specific nutrition and wellness tactics in order to avoid dehydration.

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Dehydration alone can cause a mineral imbalance, insomnia, bloating, dizziness, heatstroke, and, in extreme case, lead to hospitalisation.

However, a rather simple thing that one could implement this summer is to drink more water. Unfortunately, most people fail to meet their daily water-intake requirements. This is not something to be taken lightly, especially during a heatwave. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to be more mindful of their water-intake.

Foods to add to your diet

Keeping the above in mind, it is important to note that there are certain foods that are beneficial during a heatwave and some that are disadvantageous.

For example, foods that boost hydration and coolness include cucumbers, dark leafy greens, melons, coconut water, tomatoes, celery, iceberg lettuce, zucchini, cabbage, Turai, and chillies.

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These foods are rich in water and contain specific minerals for proper hydration. You might be wondering why chilies are included since spicy foods are thought to be counter-productive during a heatwave.

However, this is a common misconception.

Adding chillies to your diet increases your blood circulation and your core temperature, which in fact helps you cool down.

Another interesting fact to note is that opting for eggs at dinnertime instead of eating them for breakfast can help you sleep better during a heatwave. Eggs are rich in an amino acid known as tryptophan that helps produce melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Additionally, chewing on a few sauf (fennel seeds) and zeera (cumin seeds) after meals is not only very cooling but can also combat indigestion and bloating.

Foods to limit

Similarly, there are plenty foods to limit during a heatwave that can possibly exacerbate the effects of the heat and be detrimental to one’s health.

These include caffeine such as chai and coffee as well as dried fruits, processed foods such as chips and candy, and ice cream or ice-lollies.

These foods tend to be quite dehyrdrating and can worsen heatwave-related symptoms.

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Furthermore, it is highly recommended to replace iodised table salt with pink Himalayan salt or sea salt.

Iodised table salt is highly processed and can deplete electrolytes in the body and cause bloating. Whereas high-quality salts such as pink Himalayan salt or sea salt can replenish minerals lost during the heatwave and diminish bloating.

Regulating your body temperature through nutrition is one of the best ways to beat the heat. Take advantage of this time to enjoy seasonal produce to protect yourself against the heatwave and better your health.

The writer is a certified functional nutritionist

Comments

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Safder Lodi May 17, 2022 05:15am
Yes it is ...
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Mubeen May 17, 2022 11:56am
Please disclose writer name for further authentication
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Rizwan May 17, 2022 12:02pm
@Mubeen, its right there at the top
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