We often make changes in our diet according to the season. Given the hot weather at present, many of us opt for foods that have cooling properties. For instance, we tend to choose hydrating fruits and veggies like watermelons and cucumbers. We also avoid consuming too much fried food. But what about everyday ingredients we cook with? When it comes to Indian cuisine especially, we rely on a range of spices to give flavour to our dishes. You may think that any spice is bound to have a heating effect on your body - but this is a misconception. Particular ones can actually provide you with important benefits, especially during this season.
Also Read: 10 Traditional Indian Cool Drinks You Have To Try
Here Are 5 Cooling Spices You Can Have In Summer:
1. Fennel (Saunf)
Also known as badishep or saunf, fennel is widely known as a digestive aid. In India, it is common to chew on a small quantity of these seeds, especially after a heavy meal. Due to its cooling properties, fennel can help combat acidity, nausea and constipation. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce irritation of the intestines. Fennel is also said to have detoxifying properties. Apart from using it for cooking, many people also consume saunf water in the morning. All you have to do is soak fennel seeds in a glass of water overnight and have it immediately after waking up. Click here to read more about the benefits of saunf water.
Coriander is said to act as a diaphoretic, which means it can cause you to sweat. But remember that perspiration can be your body's way of flushing out toxins as well as regulating its temperature. It is also rich in antioxidants and the vitamins A, C and K. Coriander seeds can improve metabolism and also help relieve digestive issues. Just like fennel, these seeds can be soaked overnight in water. This simple coriander concoction can then be consumed as a nutritious morning drink.
Also Read: 5 Refreshing Summer Drinks For Those On A Weight Loss Diet (Recipes Inside)
We often see mint leaves used as a garnish for summer coolers and mocktails. But mint does not have decorative advantages only. It is one of the best ingredients you can add to your summer diet. Mint contains menthol which provides a cooling sensation. It also helps fight against indigestion. Mint is said to activate the pores in your skin and hence help bring down your body temperature.
4. Green Cardamom
Cardamom can help regulate your body temperature. Its cooling properties also help combat stomach problems including acidity and bloating. According to Ayurveda, cardamom is considered to be 'tridoshic,' as it balances all the three energies or doshas in our body. Like fennel, it can also help refresh your breath. Cardamom water is said to have a detoxifying effect on your body. Know more about it here.
5. Cumin (Jeera)
Cumin is another spice that has a detoxifying effect. This ingredient is commonly added to many Indian dishes as well as refreshing drinks such as chaas (buttermilk) and jal jeera. Cumin is widely known as a cure for indigestion and related conditions. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it nothing short of a superfood. It is also rich in iron and other nutrients that keep your body energised and healthy. Like the other spices, you can make a jeera water concoction to take advantage of its many benefits. Read more about this here.
Also Read: 5 Quick And Delicious Chaas Recipes
Which Spices Should You Avoid in Summer?
Spices such as red chilli powder, garlic, ginger and black pepper can raise your body temperature. Their heating effect can even put you at risk of sunstroke during summer. Don't be alarmed - you need not abandon them completely. You should simply consider reducing their consumption when the temperatures are high. Read more about these spices here.
Also Read: How Gol Paani (Jaggery Water) Can Help You Stay Hydrated This Summer
Plan your summer diet such that you choose refreshing and cooling ingredients! For similar tips, click here.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.