June 23, 2024

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Balanced diet & proper hydration can help keep stomach-related problems at bay in summer, suggests Dr Sonia Gandhi

2 min read

Mohali, 29 May, 2024: The intense heatwave prevailing across North India has prompted health authorities to issue advisories to safeguard oneself from the oppressive heat, which often lead to health complications. Typically, cases of stomach-related ailments and dehydration during the summer months.

Dr Sonia Gandhi, Head, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Fortis Hospital Mohali, through an advisory gives us valuable tips on what to eat and foods to combat the heat effectively.

Stay hydrated

Stating that hydration was essential in maintaining adequate blood volume, energy levels and body functions, Dr Gandhi, said, “Most people consume at least 8-12 glasses of water per day. However, the exact amount of water depends on one’s activity level, outdoor temperature, and body composition. One quick estimation of dehydration is to check the colour of urine. You want it to be pale to colourless. Besides fluid intake, certain dietary modifications are required to beat the sweltering heat.”

How hydration helps
Adequate intake of fluids helps in keeping the body hydrated. It helps remove toxins, drugs and other metabolites (when the body breaks down food, drugs or chemicals, or its own tissue). “All soft drinks that are rich in sugar, preservatives and artificial colours should be avoided. Dilute phosphoric acid is seen in several aerated drinks or carbonated beverages. These somehow damage the gastrointestinal lining and cause calcium leaching from the bones. Carbonated, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks cause a lot of water loss through urination. As the temperature rises, keep yourself cool with summer drinks such as spiced lemonade, coconut water, fruit cocktails, puréed fruit juices, mint jaljeera, lassi etc. It is common practice to drink chilled liquids which should be avoided as these tighten or constrict blood vessels and reduce loss of body heat,” added Dr Gandhi.

Balanced diet
Stressing on consumption of seasonal fruits and vegetables, Dr Gandhi, said, “Fruits rich in water content such keep the body hydrated and help fight the summer heat. Vegetables (gourd family) includes five crops such as melons, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, and pumpkins are easy to digest, taste better and have high nutritional value. Intake of dry fruits should be restricted and instead replaced with leafy vegetables in addition to vitamins and minerals. Besides easy to digest, these fruits and vegetables help in reducing the body temperature.”

Avoid spicy food
Cut down on fried, spicy and fatty foods such as french fries, chips, samosas, kachori, puris etc. as they produce heat due to the thermal effect of fat. “These are hard to digest and may cause heartburn,” added Dr Gandhi.


Stating that appetizers helped neutralize the effect of spices in food, Dr Gandhi, added, “Chutneys of coriander, mint and Indian gooseberry (amla), table vinegar, lemon, green mango and carrot murabba, panna and kanjis are the best thirst quenchers. These maintain the body’s metabolism which helps beat the heat.”

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