Health Tips
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Summer season demands special care for your body and skin. This is why people are advised to add more hydrating and cooling foods and drinks to their diets, to prevent heat stroke or other health problems related to the season. Summer season also brings with it a wealth of fruits and vegetables that are oh-so nutritious and thankfully, Indians have a variety of ways of utilizing the seasonal fresh produce, by making them into juices and soups, subzis and raitas etc. One such seasonal produce is mango, even the unripe form of which is used to make aam panna, which is a popular desi summer drink. Another one is jaljeera, which is prepared from roasted cumin, lemon juice and fresh coriander. However, there's a common element to most the summer drinks in India- black salt or kala namak.

Black salt is used in a number of Indian summer drinks, as it adds taste to them. But did you know that it's extremely beneficial as well? The reason that this natural taste-enhancer is so popular during summers is that it is good for the body during hot summer days. The composition of black salt is as follows- sodium chloride, sodium sulfate, sodium bisulfate, sodium bisulfite, iron sulfide, sodium sulfide and finally, hydrogen sulfide. The salt originates from the Himalayan ranges and is used in drinks and dishes in India and Pakistan.

Black Salt Benefits For Summers
Here's why it's used in Indian summer drinks:

1. Cooling Salt
Black salt is a cooling salt that's why it's an important ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines and remedies. The salt is said to be loaded with therapeutic benefits.

2. Keeps Constipation And Bloating At Bay
People often suffer from digestive issues like constipation and bloating during summers and black salt may help alleviate both.

3. Curbs Intestinal Gas
A lot of people tend to suffer from excessive intestinal gas and irritation due to poor digestion and excessive heat. Black salt when added to drinks and foods may curb intestinal gas, providing relief from the condition.

4. Remedies Heartburn
Black salt may also keep heartburn at bay, which is also a common problem during summers, brought on in particular by oily or heavy foods.

You may add black salt or kala namak to your drinks and dishes during summer to boost digestion. However, it's advised to practice caution even while consuming black salt. It's always good to consume any kind of salt in moderation.

Summertime is here and for those of us facing the double evils of summer heat and pollution together, taking certain precautions becomes a necessity. As temperatures are sent soaring across the Indian subcontinent on account of summers, people opt for more indoor activities and to enjoy with chilled drinks by the pool. While stepping out, it is essential to make sure you're fully equipped to protect yourselves from the blistering heat and the balmy winds. Apart from sunglasses, a hat and/or a scarf to cover your face and your sunscreen, a water bottle is also a summer-essential to ensure that one is hydrated all the time. People choose to carry bottles of infused water with a number of hydrating fruit and vegetable slices added to it.

Fruits like watermelon, summer berries and lemon slices can be used to make summer infused waters. These infused waters are spruced up with the nutrients of seasonal foods, ensuring that the body is not left wanting for essential minerals and vitamins. There are some herbs and spices that may also be added to these infused waters and mint is one of them. Adding just a few leaves of mint (pudina) to your water bottle can help add a bit of flavour to your drinking water, while also enhancing its cooling abilities.

Benefits Of Mint (Pudina): Why You Should Add It To Drinking Water During Summers
Although plain water is in itself enough for keeping your body hydrated, infused waters are a great way of increasing the detoxing capabilities of the life-giving liquid. But if you don't like the taste of fruit or vegetable-infused waters, then you can add a few mint leaves to your bottle of water. Mint has a strong refreshing flavour, but doesn't lend any distinctive taste to your drinking water.

Here Are Some Benefits Of Mint That May Convince You To Add This To Your Drinking Water This Summer:

1. Keeps Skin Fresh
Mint has anti-inflammatory properties and can help keep your skin fresh and healthy during summers.

2. Fights Summer Pimples
During summers, a lot of people face the problem of excessive oil accumulation and pimples. Mint helps keep acne breakouts at bay, due to its anti-bacterial properties.

3. Keeps Digestive Woes At Bay
Summers are time when a lot of people complain of excessive stomach acid. The presence of the compound menthol in mint makes it soothing for the digestive system and keeps your stomach healthy.

4. Fights Summer Headaches
If you are prone to headaches, they might get exacerbated during summers, due to dehydration and the dry, hot weather. Mint may help alleviate headaches, due to its strong, refreshing aroma and flavour.

5. Fights Sluggishness During Summers

During summers, often people feel sluggish and sleepy easily, due to the heat. Mint has been known to keep the brain alert and improve memory retention and can help keep this sluggishness and lethargy at bay.

All you need to do to make mint water is to take a few fresh mint leaves (stems removed) and rinse them with clean water, before adding them to your bottle of drinking water. Let the leaves soak in the water to allow the nutrients to seep into it. You might refrigerate the water for a couple of hours, before filtering it out and then using it or transfer your water and mint leaves in an infuser water bottle. The latter may be more effective in allowing you to reap the benefits of mint during summers. If you suffer from any allergies or any chronic conditions, you may consult your physician before adding mint leaves to your drinking water.

A great deal of research has been conducted on nutrition, and today, we have a strong case in favour of "natural foods." It is nothing new. Even the ancient sages of India placed a high value on naturally derived foods, i.e. those that can be eaten raw and those that are unrefined and unprocessed. Fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouted cereals and dals, nuts (unsalted), seeds, and yogurt come under the category of natural foods. They should form a major part of the daily diet, cutting down on refined sugars and fats.

There is no doubt that natural foods can improve our skin's health by keeping your skin hydrated and youthful for a longer time. Eating natural foods regularly makes your skin glowing and young. Therefore, it's very important to keep a track of what you eat and drink. Reduce your intake of fats, sugar and red meats. A part of your daily diet must consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, as far as possible. Yogurt is also a healthy food for your skin, while skimmed milk and paneer can also be included. Vegetables should be lightly cooked. Eat enough green leafy vegetables like spinach and lettuce. Fruit and vegetable juices, freshly extracted and diluted with water, are ideal for your skin.

A healthy, balanced diet that supplies the body with essential nutrients promotes both good health and beauty. One should add more seasonal fruits and vegetables to their diet. In summers, when the loss of fluids in our body is greater, eat summer fruits like melons, watermelon, cucumber and so on - which are all high in water content. Taking in enough water and fluids stimulates blood circulation, keeping the skin hydrated and cleansed of toxins and wastes. On the other hand, the improper elimination of wastes or toxins from our body reflects on the skin and it looks dull and lifeless. Also it is important to follow a low salt diet. A congested skin, caused by water retention can look puffy and lose its youthful quality.

The best way to kick-start your morning is by drinking a glass of water with the juice of one whole lemon in it - this will give keep your skin glowing and hydrated. Avoid drinking aerated drinks and drink more fresh fruit juices. In summers, instead of a hot cup of tea, drink lemon iced tea, jal jeera, lassi or buttermilk, and instead of sugar-laden desserts, have yogurt with honey, or fresh fruits.

One must take their skin problems seriously as hiding them with your make-up is not going to help. Ayurveda also recommends including fresh, organic, nutritious foods in our diet as they not only contribute to good health, but will also promotes our skin health. Beauty is not just a matter of how you look, but also how you feel.

The joy of gushing down a tall glass of chilled lassi on a hot and summery day is above all. If this sounds relatable to you, then we are here to give you some exciting and flavourful options of lassi that you can easily prepare at home with just few basic ingredients. There is no denying the fact that lassi makes you feel all refreshed and charged up. But did you know that it can fill you up nutritionally as well? Yes, you read that right. Lassi is one summer cooler, which is brimming with nutrition. Thanks to the presence of yogurt in it that also happens to be its base ingredient. Yogurt is replete with gut-healing properties and contains healthy bacteria that play a vital role in maintaining digestive health.

According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing House, "Gut health is inseparable from the health of the rest of the body. Live cultures in yogurt can improve the microflora of the gut, which in turn helps ease symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and lowers the incidence of ulcers." If you are bored of having the regular old lassi and wish to add new flavours to it, then you can add in the goodness of some seasonal fruits in it.

Here's A List Of 3 Yogurt Lassis That Are Unique And Refreshing:

Mango Lassi

If you happen to be a mango lover, then you are sure to love this version of lassi as well. Made with pulpy mango and loads of ice, mango lassi makes for a perfect summer beverage. You can even add few strands of kesar to the lassi to make it even more flavourful.

Mint Lassi

Lassi with the freshness with mint is one refreshing beverage that you are going to love this summer. Mint, or pudina, not only adds a zing to the lassi but also helps in promoting digestion. So, if you have had a heavy greasy lunch, wash it down with a glass of mint lassi to digest all that greasy food.

Rose Lassi

What makes this lassi different from the classic lassi is the addition of rose sharbat in it. The sweet and rosy flavour of the sharbat complements well with the yogurt. Here is how you can make rose lassi in the comforts of your kitchen.

All the yogurt lassi varieties mentioned above are made using refreshing ingredients that will help you stay well-hydrated. Try these and beat the summer heat.

It is no longer a surprise that instant noodles have gained worldwide recognition as amongst the most popular snack items available in the market. Besides, it being effortlessly simple and easy to cook, instant noodles take no longer than two minutes to be prepared and is adequate for both kids as well as adults, and, needless to say, tastes delicious.

Despite the entire controversy raised over the prohibition of the sale of instant products and the subsequent lifting of the ban, instant products are still available in the market and include a whole roster of nutritional benefits.

However, instant is still criticized as unhealthy and is generally considered to be junk food. As part of the manufacturing process, instant noodles are fried, thereby, resulting in high amounts of saturated fat. This factor, along with the presence of high levels of sodium and relatively low amounts of vitamins, fiber and minerals, together create the need for healthier and more nutritional alternatives to instant noodles.

Here are nine healthier substitutes for instant noodles you can try:

1. Dried fruits: Dried fruits such as raisins or figs are good and healthy substitutes for instant noodles. Besides having a host of healthier nutritional benefits, a good serving of dried fruits can also fill you up and are available pretty easily.

2. Wheat flour cookies: Wheat flour cookies, in contrast to normal cookies made of fine flour, are filling and prove to be a good alternative to instant noodles.

3. Peanuts: Besides being easily available, peanuts are a good source of vitamin and protein and are helpful in fighting off malnutrition.

4. Millet Porridge: Millet is important because of its uniquely high content of nutrients, including impressive starch levels, calcium, iron, vitamin B, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and fats.

5. Cutlets: Cutlets, of any kind and variety, are filling, and not to mention are equally delicious.

6. Roasted chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas can be easily carried around anywhere, and are a good form of snack to munch on.

7. Potato edibles: Potato edibles have always been a good pastime. French fries can be considered a way healthier alternative to instant noodles.

8. Homemade potato chips: Homemade potato chips are very healthy and can also do the trick.

9. Dark chocolate: Besides, being one of the best mood enhancers because of the presence of high levels of Magnesium, dark chocolate is also very rich in Zinc, which is responsible for improving one's skin tone.

The above mentioned food items can not only keep you away from the adverse effects of instant noodles but will give you great strength and a fit and healthy body.

Dr. Yogesh  Lohade
Dr. Yogesh Lohade
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 9 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vinay Sachdeva
Dr. Vinay Sachdeva
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Manish Jawale
Dr. Manish Jawale
MD - Homeopathy, Homeopath, 17 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shital Chavan
Dr. Shital Chavan
BDS, Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dentist Dental Surgeon, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sonali wagh
Dr. Sonali wagh
BAMS, Ayurveda, 9 yrs, Pune