Food & Nutrition Know Your Food

Summer vegetables and their benefits

The hot and humid summertime though a lovely season can be tiresome. Besides a cool drink that you would love to have, we have listed a few summer vegetables that will love to munch.

You can combat heatwave by having a diet rich in summer vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and beetroot. These lovely summer vegetables keep the system cool and you healthy, rejuvenated and kicking, even as the sun beats you down and when the heat makes you lethargic, dull and listless.

Consuming seasonal produce is always good practice. They blossom naturally unlike unseasonal vegetables which are artificially cultivated. Therefore they taste fresh and are full of nutrients. So while you struggle to ‘look cool but feel hot’, pick up summer vegetables from our list given below and enjoy.
Let us look at these vegetables individually and go through their benefits so that you can consciously and confidently incorporate them into your diet of veggies during the summer.

Cucumber

Cool as a cucumber! If you want to be fresh and crisp as the kakdi start eating one. It is a popular summer vegetable that is consumed in great quantity during this hot season. This is because it contains 95% water which absorbs the body heat to keep it cool. Apart from calming your system, cucumber regulates bowel movement, decreases free radicals, keeps the blood sugar regulated and helps in weight loss. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, essential minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, vitamins like C and K, and is low in fats.

Eat it as cucumber raita or simply cut them in julienne style. Squeeze some lime juice on it and sprinkle salt or chaat masala. For additional flavour, sprinkle a wee bit of sugar to make this salad style munchies delicious. Or simply wash and bite into them… Just eating a cucumber makes one feel refreshed. So pick up one!

Tomato

This is actually a fruit that is an attractive red, tasty, healthy and tempting summer vegetable. It is known as a nutrient-dense super-food and is considered an all-rounder veggie for its benefits to our well-being.

It does not just keep the skin glowing and aids in weight loss, but it also supports the health of your heart. Tomatoes contain vitamin C and are rich in antioxidants that prevent a certain type of cancer. With essential minerals like potassium and choline, this phytonutrient-rich fruit has an impressive list of health benefits that will make you love it. It is high in beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein to keep our eyes healthy and vision strong. Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked. You can add to the taste of sandwiches and wraps, salsas, salads, and sauces.

Word of caution: However, those of us who are suffering from kidney stones or acid reflux should consult their nutritionist regarding its intake.

Bottle gourd

Doodhi or lauki, as it is also known, contains an incredible 96% water therefore it is a great summer veggie to have. It is fantastic for weight loss and helps get rid of summertime lethargy and tiredness. For those of us who want to enjoy a light diet, bottle gourd is ideal. Its arm of therapeutic benefits reaches out to diabetics, those suffering from indigestion and stomach related problems. Tender on the stomach it is quick to digest. The vitamins, antioxidants and essential minerals help to keep the heart healthy and maintain the right blood pressure. It is excellent for the liver. Take it regularly and you won’t suffer from insomnia. No doubt it is a fantastic vegetable for recovering patients and children.

Have you tried bottle-gourd juice? Blitz small pieces of cooked doodhi and blend them with lime juice, salt and sugar. Refrigerate to make it a little cool, not cold. Sprinkle some chaat masala on top and enjoy this yummy drink. It is considered to be a treasure trove of health benefits so make sabji or raita out of lauki.

Pumpkin

As in orangish-red pumpkin, it is a healthy vegetable and also healthy for your eyes. You can make tasty desserts like pumpkin cheesecake and healthy food like pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin is very good for the skin and immune system as it contains beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and E. It is also ideal for obesity, diabetes and blood pressure which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke too. It ticks all the boxes so being called good food is certainly justified.

Green chilli

It may sound unbelievable the spicy-hot green chilli is known to decrease body temperature. This is all thanks to the compound capsaicin which also helps to fight the common cold.

Packed with nutrients this simple-looking green chilly is tremendously good for health. It abundant amount of vitamin C boosts the immune system and keeps the skin glowing. It promotes heart health by preventing atherosclerosis and blood clots. Green chilli is a natural source of iron and is ideal for those with low haemoglobin levels. This spicy bomb also helps in the absorption of iron. Beta-carotene in it promotes eye health and good vision and the presence of antioxidants in green chilly help prevent heart disease, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Green chilly help boost metabolism and is good for preventing hair loss.

Therefore, dare if you must but do munch on green chillies during your meals. It’s a healthy bite.

Lemon

The entire lemon i.e. pulp, juice and rind keeps you healthy. The vitamin C present in lime raises immunity levels while decreasing the chance of stroke and heart disease by reducing LDL cholesterol. Thanks to citric acid kidney stones are prevented. Lemon is known to prevent anaemia because it boosts the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. And yes lime juice helps in healthy weight loss.

Drizzle some lemon juice in your curry or soups to enhance the taste of your meals. Lemon rind for desserts and lemon slices in drinks so is very popular. A cool glass of lemon juice can help you beat the heat effectively.

Brinjal

This vegetable contains lots of vitamins and minerals so helps in maintaining good health. It aids digestion due to its high fiber content and also supports heart health. Due to the high level of manganese, it is known to prevent cancer.

The nutrient compounds, iron and calcium are in abundance in Brinjal keep our bones strong, increase bone density, and reduce osteoporosis.

Brinjal is not just a pretty looking vegetable healthy vegetable. It lends its unique taste to baigan bharta, baijan baja and other awesome dishes.

Therefore, being passionate about these awesome summer veggies diet will help you overall – in health, appearance and energy levels!

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