With the sweltering summer heat making an early appearance, you will need all the cool-aid you can get! Try these refreshing super foods to cool your body and mind.
Gooseberry (Amla): Eat enough and this gooseberry might give you goosebumps instead of sweat stains. "Not only is amla a great refresher, it\'ll also reverse the ageing effects of the strong Indian sun and give you added stamina for gym sessions," says Ritika Samaddar, dietician, Max Healthcare. "It strengthens the heart, hair and different glands in the body, as well and can be drunk at any time of the day.
Apricot: If you\'re prone to skin breakouts or acne in the summer, apricot\'s your man.. err fruit. "They provide the body with iron, vitamin C, potassium and fibre," says Dr Kakar. Pack a handful to the gym and enjoy them as a great pre- or post-workout snack.
<b>Butter milk</b>rn: Butter milk can kick diet soda\'s ass. "It is one of the healthiest bracers in hot summer months as it is the residue left behind after the fat in milk has been churned to produce butter," says Mumbai based nutritionist Niti Desai. Glug a glass a day to avoid dehydration and avoid digestion issues.
Cardamom (Elaichi): Look no further than your cup of elachi chai for an instant cooldown. Cardamom, an original Indian spice, is commonly used in Ayurveda for almost any ailment from halitosis to digestion and has wonderful detoxifying properties to effectively cool down even the most hot-headed days. Africa, jealous much?
Corn: Nothing elevates work stress more than a malfunctioning air conditioner. So pop some corn. It\'s a good source of pantothenic acid, which provides vitamin B to lower stress levels. Dr Kakar recommends boiling corn for a snacker or a lunch takeaway as it lowers cholesterol levels and is high in essential carbs.
Mango: Skip Katrina\'s aamsutra adverts and focus on the real fruit. Chilled mangoes are the juiciest way to cool off, but if you\'re looking for a bit of spice, try this: Unripe mangoes are a rich source of pectin and when steamed and juiced with cumin (jeera) and salt, they provide an excellent remedy for heat strokes and exhaustion in summers.
Oyster: Even if the world\'s not your oyster, make this shellfish a part of your summer meals. Already established as an aphrodisiac, oysters contain phytochemicals that wipe out the toxins that encourage sweating. But heed these pearls of wisdom: They\'re best consumed fresh and should not be bought from stores where they\'re sold in bags and bowls.
Peaches: Dried peaches are advisable for those who are anaemic and over-fatigued," says New Delhi-based nutritionist, Dr Sonia Kakar. They also fight high cholesterol. Eat them with the skin for breakfast to get your requirement of vitamin A, vitamin B2 and potassium and everything will be just peachy!
Soybeans: Traditional Chinese medicine proves soybeans are great natural coolants. "Rich in protein, they help prevent nasty summer colds," says Dr Kakar. Add some to caramel custards, kheer or payasam to lower bad cholesterol levels. Soy far, Soy cool!
Watermelon: There\'s a reason this fruit holds a lot of water to its name: Super-sized and super-packed with nutritional goodies such as iron, potassium, beta carotene and vitamin C, watermelon has 95 per cent water content. "It also helps treat kidney, bladder and digestive problems and can be drunk as juice or directly eaten," says Desai.