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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Summer diet tips: 6 essential nutrients you need for immunity

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Summer summer, I’m glad you’re here! Summer summer, let’s give a cheer! A majority of you may identify these words from a nursery rhyme. Though the poem’s lovely melody evokes images of beaches, balmy mornings and so on, the summer season may not be all that great! It comes with heat, sweat and dehydration, all of which can pose health problems. In order to keep ourselves safe and protected, it is crucial to maintain a balanced diet that is rich in all the essential nutrients. Let us discuss the summer nutrition you need to be on top of your health!

Tips for summer diet

The rise in temperature  can bring on several issues, and only a strong immune system can help you fight against heat and health. For this, you need to pay attention to your diet. Health Shots reached out to Dr Rohini Patil, MBBS and Certified Nutritionist, to find out some essential vitamins and minerals for summer.

Dr Patil says, “Dehydration and a lack of nutrients are brought on by the scorching rays of summer. Just having anything to feel full won’t help. Only the right nutrition can only nourish your body cell by cell to achieve a healthy body and mind.”

Here are some essential nutrients that should be a part of your diet.

1. Vitamin C

This nutrient is essential for maintaining healthy skin and supporting the immune system. During the summer months, our skin is exposed to more UV radiation, which can increase the production of free radicals and lead to oxidative stress. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps neutralize these free radicals and protect the skin from damage.

essential nutrients
Vitamin C is essential for your overall health! Image courtesy: Freepik

Foods rich in vitamin C are:

  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, kiwis, lemons, and grapefruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

2. Magnesium

This mineral is essential for maintaining healthy muscle and nerve function, and it also plays a role in regulating blood pressure and supporting the immune system. During the summer months, we tend to sweat more due to higher temperatures and increased physical activity, which can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Magnesium is an important electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance in the body, making it particularly important to consume during the summer months.

Foods rich in magnesium are:

  • Chia seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Soymilk
  • Dark chocolate

3. Potassium

Like magnesium, potassium is an important electrolyte that plays a role in regulating fluid balance and supporting healthy muscle and nerve function. During the summer months, we tend to lose more potassium through sweat, which can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, and weakness. So consume potassium-rich foods to help replenish lost electrolytes and support overall health.

essential nutrients
Bananas are rich in potassium! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Foods rich in potassium are:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Bananas
  • Dried fruits such as raisins and apricots

4. Zinc

This mineral is essential for supporting immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. During the summer months, we may be more susceptible to infections due to increased exposure to bacteria and viruses, making it especially important to support the immune system through proper nutrition. To help support a healthy immune system and prevent illness, make sure to consume enough zinc.

Foods rich in zinc are:

  • Cornflakes
  • Yoghurt
  • Cashews
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Pumpkin seeds

6. Protein

Each and every cell in the body, including muscles, bones, hormones, and antibodies, is built from protein! That means every cell in your body needs and contains protein. It is also important for growth and development, especially in children, teens, and pregnant women. Without protein, you can form a strong immune system!

essential nutrients
Don’t miss out on protein in your diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Foods rich in protein are:

  • Seafoods
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Legumes and pulses
  • Seeds and nuts

6. Water

While not a nutrient, water is an essential component of a healthy summer diet. As temperatures rise and we spend more time outdoors, our bodies lose more fluids through sweat, making it crucial to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water helps regulate body temperature, prevent dehydration, and support healthy digestion and skin health.

essential nutrients
Keep yourself hydrated always. Image courtesy: Freepik

Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and consume hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and citrus fruits to support overall hydration.

Takeaway

So, mark your nutrient intake in your summer diet precisely!

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