Wednesday, 19/5/2021 | : : UTC+0

Stay cool this summer

Stay cool this summer

Soaring temperatures, sunstrokes and parched throats are some things that are part and parcel of this time of the year. NT BUZZ gives its readers a compilation of things to do in the summer to stay cool
Janice Rodrigues|NT BUZZ

We are in with another whole month, if not longer, of the scorching summer heat yet to pass. The weather seems to have pushed everyone over the edge with record temperatures in certain parts of the country. In fact the video of a woman frying an egg on the hot ground in Telangana, may have caused some to share it social networking sites, but this also points out how serious the summer’s heat is.
Goa too seems to be going that way. If you don’t agree, sit in a car that has been parked in the sun for an hour and the heat will be apparent. The number of heat related health issues soars in the months of April to mid-June, until the monsoons come to provide respite. To avoid the effect of the harsh heat and summer, here is a list of things that you can do.

Aqua boost
Physician Oscar Rebello states that water is the key to a healthy and safe summer. “Drink a lot of water; that is one thing that is very important. And keep in mind that nothing can substitute water. Tea, coffee does not substitute for water, they only make it worse,” he says. Dehydration is one of the main causes for other ailments, some as severe as a stroke.
“Tank up on water! Drink it like a fish. Tap water, lime water, tender coconut water, kokum water, freshly squeezed juices with no added sugar. Lap it all up!” says diet consultant Sheryl Afonso E D’Souza. She seconds Rebello’s advice that nothing can substitute water: “Stay away from fizzy drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages. They have a dehydrating effect on the body.”

Run for the shade
“Avoid going out into the sun between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” warns Rebello. That’s the time the sun is at its highest and people especially the elderly are susceptible to falling prey to heat strokes. “People who suffer from cardiac issues have to be careful. Do not go out for long periods into the sun; stay indoors as much as possible to avoid heat strokes,” he adds.
“If you’re out in the sun too long, add a pinch of salt and sugar to the liquids you drink,” says Sheryl.
Balance out activity
Sleep and exercise are of equal importance. Even though you may feel lethargy and the heat might make you so drained out that you would not want to step out to exercise, do not negate the importance of keeping fit. Sheryl says the heat outside doesn’t warrant an excuse not to continue with your exercise routine: “Don’t stop exercising because of the heat. Just choose a different time, either early morning or late evening when the sun is down. If you’re exercising outdoors, rehydration is extremely important.”
Sleep on the other hand is also important to ensure an active day. “Well, ensure you get your quota of sleep to feel fresh all day, else the lack of it added to the summer heat can sap you off energy,” says Sheryl.

Eat Healthy and cool
Consume healthy, fresh and cooling foods to stay cool this summer. “Eat cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon. Apples, sweet limes and oranges are also refreshing fruits,” says Sheryl. Vegetables and fruits should dominate your plate. Eat in lesser quantities. Juices are also a good substitute for heavy food on a hot summer day; you can have a variety of fresh fruit or vegetable juices. “Sugarcane juice is a summer favourite”. Another cooling food that should be a staple in your summer diet is curds or yogurt. “Lassi, buttermilk and curds are also excellent coolants, they also come packed with protein and vitamins and minerals, so they’re a food in themselves,” says Sheryl.

Itchy summer woes
Summer months often come accompanied with prickly heat, and apart from staying cool, wearing cool, light clothing and the application of talcum powders, there is not much one can do. However, other allergies too get triggered during the hotter months. “Eczema or atopic dermatitis is worse in summer due to aggravation in extreme temperatures,” says allergist, clinical immunologist Anita Dhudane. She does say that allergies in general don’t get aggravated in Indian summers however there are certain trees that disperse pollen that can trigger the reaction. Summer is the least problematic time for allergies in India generally, as all the grass usually dries out and the dust mites and mold, that love humidity, are at their lowest. However certain trees like silk cotton and the teak trees that release their pollen in early summer, can cause allergies,” she states. For atopic dermatitis, she suggests, a cold water bath, and keeping cool helps a lot; also you should keep away from grass when it is being watered.

Watch what you eat
Even though food allergies, in general, are not seasonal, summer is associated with a certain allergy. “There is a syndrome called oral allergy syndrome, where if you are allergic to pollen then you can get an allergy from eating a fruit that cross-reacts with it, examples of this cross-reaction are ragweed and bananas, dust mites and kiwi fruit and grass and melons. It happens because your immune system can’t tell the difference between proteins in these foods and pollen. The symptoms are usually itching, tingling, and swelling, mostly to the mouth, lips, and throat. If you have these symptoms, it helps if you peel the fruit and eat it or poach the fruit,” explains Dhudane.

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