By: Mohd Fahad, 3rd year, AE
So long it has been, and still no respite from summer. The rains come and go at intervals, giving us hope, rather than assurance, than monsoon might be coming soon. In the meantime, to survive this heat, we give you a list of the items that you can consume (eat/drink) to get some relief and much needed coolness to your body. Some of these are your run of the mill items that everyone knows about, but a few of these are not known to most, and the benefits of these are generally ignored. So here goes:-
1. Fruits and fruit juices:
For the summer season, regular consumption of fruits like water melon and musk melon is a must, as they fulfill the water requirement of the body and at the same time, provide us with sugar for instant energy.
Another seasonal fruit, the favorite fruit of us all, the king of fruits, the almighty mango is a very useful fruit for the body- for in addition to its yummy taste, Mango provides us with sugar and glucose to revive us after a very exhausting session of outdoor activity.
Fresh fruit juices are all very healthy and good to cool down the body. But stay away from packaged juices!
2. Vegetables and their derivatives:
One vegetable, which must be consumed regularly, is cucumber. With more than 90% of a cucumber comprising of only water, there’s nothing better than a cucumber to have as a quick snack. Add a dash of lime and salt and you have one of the tastiest ‘salads’ ever.
My grandma, as part of her ‘Dadimaa ke gharelu nuskhe’ classes for me, told me that if I have green vegetables like the various kinds of gourds, I am supposed to have an increased body stamina to work for longer in this weather.
Another idea that she gave me was that seeds of fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, melons, cucumber etc., dried and soaked overnight, and taken in the morning are very healthy as they rejuvenate us by providing the necessary minerals to fight the heat.
A few sprigs of fresh mint, added to ANYTHING that you’re having, make for a very refreshing taste.
3. Sugarcane Juice:
Now the reason we did not add sugarcane juice under ‘Fruits and fruit juices’ is that this juice has an identity of its own. It’s unlike all other fresh fruit juices in the fact that the only real health benefit it provides is replenishing our body glucose, as it has pure unrefined sugar in it, and in humungous amounts! One sip of a glass of freshly prepared sugarcane juice and you feel the difference. It quenches your thirst and provides you with instant energy. Add a dash of lime, some mint sprigs and some black salt, and you have one lip-smacking cold drink.
4. Fresh lemonade:
‘The humble lemonade’ as I call it, has been a summer special drink for many generations now. A chilled glass of water, a lemon squeezed in it, along with some sugar or honey, and you have a sure shot winner of a drink. Instant energy, thirst quenching, vitamin C, requisite sugar and a soothing effect on the body, this drink surely is a brilliant weapon to beat the heat.
5. Yoghurt and its derivatives:
Yoghurt and its derivatives (like Lassi etc) offer a good soothing effect. Along with the sugar that you add, they also provide us with instant carbohydrates and fat for the energy needs of our body. And for the milk lovers, you’ll love the taste too!
6. Sharbat Rooh Afza:
Well I know some people who almost loathe the RoohAfza, and frankly speaking, I have no idea why. The weird fragrance apart, RoohAfza is THE most refreshing drink ever produced. A chilled glass of RoohAfza revitalizes you like no other drink can. And then there’s loads of other ayurvedic ‘tatva’ and ‘jadi bootiyan’ which are very healthy supposedly.
Some like ‘kala khatta’, some like mango, some like ‘tiranga’, and I like ‘khus’. Everyone has their own choices, but I doubt you’ll find anyone who does NOT like ‘chuski’. Now c’mon, a glass full of crushed ice with lip smacking flavors to beat the scorching heat, what else can you want?
8. Aam Panna
Aam panna is a tangy syrupy drink made from raw mangoes. Consisting of sugar and spices apart from mango, it is an effective remedy for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It also quenches thirst and prevents excessive loss of salt and iron due to sweating. Those of you who have never had it, I strongly recommend you to try it at least once.
9. Wood Apple Juice (Bel Ka Sharbat):
Now this is one drink that many of you Delhi-NCR folks must have seen, but very few may have consumed. Also called Elephant Apple or Monkey Fruit, this is indeed a very healthy fruit. Apart from being good for digestion and kidney health, it also helps to maintain a clear respiratory system and provide us with Vitamin C. For the summer season, wood apple juice provides us with much needed energy and leaves us refreshed on a whole. It also helps the body to fight the heat and increase body fluids. Do give it a taste.
This is a very small list and you can add many cold drinks, juices, ‘banta’, milk shakes etc. to this list. But we have tried to keep this list simple and healthy. As you may have noticed, barring ‘Chuski’, none of the aforementioned items contain any kind of artificial flavors (yes, RoohAfza is completely natural!). I hope you’ll try these food items/drinks and will realize that they do indeed help you to fight the scorching summers. And the taste! Trust us, you won’t regret trying these out. Bon apetit!