The scorching summer days are right upon us. When the sun is harsh and the winds are dry, it becomes extremely important to provide the essential nutrients to your body. Especially when you are exposed to severe weather conditions, you need a smart strategyin order to maintain suppleness and to combat dehydration. The good news is that to help you sail through the long summer days, nature works in a mighty force too. The summer season also brings along with it, an abundant supply of juicy, vitamin rich and nutritious summer bounty such as watermelons, berries, cucumbers and much more. All you need to do is to make the most of the seasonal produce, take necessary precautions and live up the season’s spirit. So, go out soak up the sun; think about balmy beaches and sipping pinacoladas. Summer loving can be so easy with these expert ideas…

Replenish, replenish and replenish

The more you enjoy the sun, the more you sweat. While sweating does remove toxins from body, any excess fluid loss also results in emptying up of the body’s mineral resources. During the summers you need to rehydrate your body more than ever before. Sip on as much water as you can and when plain water gets too boring bring home a pitcher and fill it will all the lovely goodies of the season – cucumber slices, celery sticks, cantaloupes, lemons, limes and fill it with water. It’s much easier to sip on this flavoured water through the day. While celery is rich in vitamins K, C and B6 it’s also full of potassium – a salt you lose while sweating. Citrus fruits like lemon and lime bring along with them folate and flavonoids along with cooling properties your body craves during parched days. Cucumbers belong to the melon family and are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties.

Hair and skin woes – bring on the berries

The dry weather also results in parch skin and brittle hair. While a healing aloe or a mud mask is always a good idea; your body also needs the essential elements to heal from within. The season’s super fruits – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries are full of antioxidants, vitamin C and are excellent sources of fiber – an important constituent to ensure that your body is not dehydrated. Strawberries contain more than 100% of our daily requirement of vitamin C. So chop them in a salad, blend them in a smoothie or just gobble them straight. Your skin and hair will thank you for it. While slathering sunscreen is an obvious defense consuming tomatoes that are rich in lycopene according to researches build a barrier against the harmful UV rays of the sun.

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Muscle it up

One common health problem that people complain of during summers is that of muscle cramps. But before you thought it is due to over activity, it can also be a result of dehydration the season brings along. To combat overextension and dehydration resulting from the loss of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and calcium drink up on the nature’s nectar called coconut water. Believed to be one the healthiest and the most nutritious natural drink, it restores all the essential minerals while also healing your kidneys.

Protein power

When the sun is out in full force, the body immediately demands cooling, crunchy food as opposed to heavy meats or grills. But eliminating all the meat such as chicken and eggs results in lowered protein intake. Protein is essential to build and repair body tissues and is considered a macronutrient, which means your body requires it in huge quantities. Make up for the protein loss by opting for healthy dips such as hummus along with pita bread or crunchy salad sticks. White meat kebabs with hung curd dressing skewered with chunks of pineapple, cherry tomatoes and zucchini are easier to savour during summers than masala tikkas. Consume yoghurt in large quantities in smoothies and dips such as tzatziki and also as our good old raita.

The writer is the Founder and Chief Dietitian at Nmami Life, India’s fastest growing health and wellness brand. She advocates personalized nutrition and is a trusted counselor for many celebrities and sportspersons. Get in touch with her at [email protected] and follow her on social media @NmamiLife