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Smile & SIP Through The Scorching Summer

Here are a few nourishing beverages with restorative properties to help beat the summer onslaught

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With the soaring mercury, the best way to sail through the scorching summers is to fix your electrolyte levels. Electrolyte imbalance, often brought about by excessive perspiration, frequent urination or dehydration, is an unknown cause for those unnerving throbbing headaches, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, dizziness & lethargy. Here are a few nourishing beverages with restorative properties to help beat the summer onslaught:

SHIKANJI can undoubtedly  be declared the official drink of India.You may not have seen any summer when you didn't drink "SHIKANJI" or the Indian lemonade that has been a part of our lives since generations, much before we knew about glucon-D & Gatorade! Besides being a super rich source of Vit C( means clearer skin), it replenishes electrolytes and peps energy levels instantly.Calling lemon a superfood will be an understatement as it aids digestion,freshens breath, and helps prevent kidney stones.You can add a twist by adding roasted cumin powder, fresh mint leaves, or even a dash of ginger  &  turmeric, the golden elixir.

BEL SHARBAT:  Bel, commonly called as Bengal quince, wood apple & many other names is extremely alkaline and therefore acts as an antidote antidote to health issues related to acid build up in the stomach, and has shown beneficial results in diseases like peptic ulcer, hyperacidity, piles and dysentry. It is also an elixir for skin issues like urticaria, heat rash, vitiligo & hives. Bel Sharbat is one of the best thirst quenchers for the summer season The juice is antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial in nature. It not only keeps your body hydrated, but it also protects you from heat strokes. No wonder, Bel fruit and leaves are a favorite of Lord Mahashiva.  While you may have seen roadside vendors selling a mixie-churned version, the best way to have it is the traditional way. Forget the cold pressed juicers, and just use your hands and a strainer/sieve to get the benefit of both soluble & insoluble fibers of this Summer superfood. I season it with ice, roasted cumin and black salt & fresh mint leaves.

BUTTERMILK/ CHHACH/ LASSI  is to humans what Amrit was to devas/gods. It  helps restore the friendly bacteria back in your gut, which in turn lead to better nutrient assimilation, and help fight infections, that are very common in the hot weather. It  also helps soothe the stomach lining and is safe or consumption for people of all age groups. Other benefits include stronger bones, enhanced immunity, clearer skin and prevention of dehydration. Best garnished with roasted cumin and fresh mint leaves. Cumin is the best digestive aid(that's why it is the main ingredient of all your chooran & digestive golis),  has a cooling effect, stimulates metabolism and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Mint/Pudina is a palette cleanser , boosts immunity & beats stress.

JALJEERA : If you are a north-indian, you must have seen vendors with red matkas on roadsides during the peak summer months, and as a child you must have wondered, what's inside the red clothed matka. That is JALJEERA. The refreshing drink is salty and perfect for those who who dislike sweetened beverages. Main ingredients being JEERA & PUDINA(both have cooling as well as excellent digestive properties). So, now you know why you get such drinks in summers, because one is prone to bacterial infections as food rots easily and the hot & humid weather is the perfect flourishing ground for the unfriendly microbes. Other ingredients are black salt, lemon, aamchoor(dried mango powder) and dried ginger powder. So Jaljeera keeps one stay hydrated, restores gastrointestinal function, helps prevent anemia,prevents nausea and is lower on calories. Can be consumed safely by all including children, senior citizens and pregnant women.
COCONUT WATER  can be the most refreshing, yet low-calorie drink available when you are travelling and thirsty in a tropical country. This modest liquid from the endosperm pouch of  the coconut is rich in minerals like potassium, calcium & magnesium. The electrolytes of this delicious natural drink are quickly absorbed. That's also the reason for coconut water being used to replace fluids and salts during diarrhea & intestinal infections, both in infants and adults. In severe cases, it can support medicinal treatment. The saline & albumin in coconut water make it beneficial for urinary infections and kidney stones. One can prevent summer boils and rashes including chicken pox and measles by including this cooling beverage.

As an isotonic drink, coconut water has all the functional properties required of a sports drink and may enhance athletic performance.  Monolaurin, a chemical present in coconut water has antibacterial and antiviral properties, hence, it is often referred to as the 'fluid of life'.

SATTU can be an excellent summer beverage besides being eaten as part of many traditional recipes in both north & eastern India. It's a common sight to see vendors selling this summer drink in carts. Being rich in protein, it can also be taken as a post work-out beverage as well as ideal for growing children, pregnant & lactating women and elders.It is laden with minerals like iron, manganese and magnesium.  The variants include chana daal sattu or the jau(barley) sattu. The sweet version of the grainy sharbat is made by dissolving jaggery in water and then adding sattu powder and ice. The salty version is made by adding sattu, just replace the jaggery with a pinch each of black salt & jeera powder & a dash of lemon.

Being lower on the glycemic index makes it good for diabetics and people with hypertension as it is low on sodium. An easy way to detoxify your system after having greasy food is to have sattu sharbat. So, it your trying to lose weight or looking for digestive relief, the Sattu can go a long way in keeping you healthy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Mansi Chaudhary

Mansi Chaudhary is a practicing Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Nutrigenomics Expert & a Holistic Cancer Coach. Her integrative approach towards health & Nutrition helps patients learn about Mindful Eating and manage lifestyle diseases, autoimmune conditions as well as manage weight effectively

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