A total of 70 per cent of human body is made up of water. The loss of water occurs daily and must be replenished on a daily basis too. We do this mainly by drinking water. This is more so during the Monsoons, when the loss of fluids is greater. That is why we feel thirsty and take in more water and other fluids. In the normal course, we should drink about 8 glasses of water daily. This would meet the body’s water requirement and also keep the system flushed of toxins and wastes. Of course, the quantity of water intake increases during summer, to make-up the loss of fluids through perspiration.
Drinking enough water is very important for the skin and hair. In fact, the major constituent of blood is water. It is the fluidity of blood that helps in transporting nutrients, oxygen and even wastes in the body. Hair is actually fed by the nutrients in the blood stream and the proper circulation of blood to the skin surface is important for skin health. Water stimulates the circulation of blood. It not only oxygenates the skin, but keeps it hydrated and also regulates the skin’s natural balance.
Summer is the time for cool drinks, not only to replenish fluids, but also to keep the body cool. This is also another way of meeting the body’s fluid requirement. “Nimbu Paani” is an ideal drink during the summer. You can add one teaspoon honey and a pinch of salt. If you suffer from any specific diseases, like diabetes, you should take the advice of your doctor regarding additives, like sugar or honey, to cold drinks and fruit juices. Avoid aerated drinks and take fresh fruit juices instead. Fruit juices should be taken freshly extracted and diluted with water. Herbal drinks, containing extracts of rose and khus can also be taken during summer, as these are natural coolants and have been used since the ancient times. Add a little lemon juice to herbal drinks. Instead of a hot cup of tea, take iced tea (without milk), adding one teaspoon honey, a little lemon juice and ice. Jal Jeera, taken with ice, can also be a suitable summer drink.
Avoid heavy, spicy and fried food. Include clear soups, lassi, yogurt, fresh fruits, salads and sprouts in your daily diet. Fresh fruits and salads also contribute to the body’s requirement of water. In fact, nature provides us with the fruits that are suitable for the season. Melons, watermelons, cucumbers and kakdi are available during summer. They contain more water and help to replenish the water which the body loses through sweating. Instead of having rich desserts, take yogurt with honey, or fresh fruits. These make delicious desserts too. During summer, you can end your meal with lassi. This is not only cooling, but helps digestion too.
Lemon and Mint
Crush mint leaves and allow it to stand in boiled hot water for an hour. When the water is cool, add lemon juice and ice, to make a refreshing drink. You may add a dash of honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. Rock salt or chaat masala can be added, instead of salt and pepper. Mint cools and also aids digestion. Watermelon is a real thirst-quencher during summer. Extract the juice, add one or two small chunks of watermelon, lemon juice and crushed ice. One teaspoon rose water can be added for flavour.
Taking enough water and fluids helps to cleanse the body of toxins and wastes. As far as the appearance is concerned, this is bound to reflect on the skin and body. The skin will look clearer and fresher, while such foods can help to lose excess weight and also maintain a slim figure. Most important of all it will make your feel better. Beauty is not just a matter of how you look, but also how you feel.