As the scorching heat soars and temperatures cross the bearable mark, everyone is running for a juicy succour. India Blooms correspondent Sreya Basu offers tips on how to stay cool this summer.
Dehydration and heat stroke are commonest threats to human body during this weather –our body loses salts and necessary minerals fast in form of sweat. While water may quench your thirst but it does not provide you with instant energy nor is a replacement for the lost minerals. Of the viable options available, juices are your best bet suggest experts, not only can they give respite to parched throats but they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and, they are also low on calories and boost the body’s immune system.

Water melons, grapes, oranges, mangoes, pineapple, apples etc are all filled with the goodness of summer. Having a glass of orange juice with you breakfast is a great way to start your day. Besides being loaded with vitamin C, it is rich in antioxidants. Pineapple juice too is a good source of vitamin C and helps is digestion. Specifically for summer afternoons, when the heat is at its worst, chilled water-melon and grape juices work best.

The human body is always working to keep a balance between how much heat it generates and how much it loses. As the scorching summer sun extracts away all the vitamins and minerals off the body, a quick replacement should always be prioritised. Fruit juices provide the perfect and speedy recovery from a day under sun, especially in today’s eat-on-the-run lifestyle. Juices contain all the goodness of the whole product in a condensed form. Juicing extracts the liquid from the food, leaving the pulp behind; therefore, allowing the system to rest from the constant work it does while still taking in nourishment.

'There are however some precautions to be taken, especially in summer months; juices prepared by roadside vendors can cause more harm than good. Fruit juices prepared by these vendors are exposed to heat, dust and other unhygienic conditions besides being laced with loose salts and ice' said Anuja Agarwala, Nutritionist, AIIMS.

'Every year there are thousands of cases of typhoid, cholera, hepatitis and gastro-enteritis as a result of consumption of loose juice sold by vendors. Even though the civic agencies ensure regular checks on vendors, water-trolley’s and carts the outbreak of these water-borne diseases is an annual feature,' she added.

In a scenario such as this one packaged or carton juices are the most feasible option, not only are they hygienic and nutritional but are convenient and easily available.

Safest form of juice available today is packaged juices, they ensure that the rays of the sun do not harm and soak away all the goodness of juice inside unlike in the case of loose juices. The packaging maintains freshness, nutritional quality and the exact taste of the juice making is absolutely refreshing in summer months. Moreover they do not contain any preservatives and can be stored at ambient temperature upto 4 months (if not opened).

Some popular summer fruit juices and their health benefits:

Orange - Orange juice besides being nutritious and pleasant to take at any time is a good source of vitamin C. Experts suggest a glass of orange juice a day can help prevent repetition of kidney stones

Pineapple – Besides being packed with most of the vitamins and minerals, pineapple juice is a very good source of an enzyme bromelain which aids digestion

Apple – Apple juice contains antioxidants, which may help prevent the body from developing various types of cancer, as well as heart diseases

Peaches and plums – These soft and smooth fruit juices contain good amount of vitamin C, beta carotene, antioxidant phytochemicals and anthocyanins all of which help to eradicate the free radicals from the body

Litchi – Litchi juice helps prevent dehydration and keep the body cool

Watermelon – The juice of this deep red summer fruit not only helps to quench thirst but is also a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, pectin, lycopene, potassium and iron

Guava – Guava juice helps control blood pressure, lowering cholestrol, battling diabetes, combating cancer and protecting prostrate

Grape - Grape juice helps with fatigue and stress. It cleanses kidney and the liver and lowers cholesterol

Papayas and mangoes – The most loved and relished ones. Juices of both are excellent source of vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin A and fiber

Apricot – Apricot juice is very cooling during fever. Besides quenching thirst it is also known to eliminate waster products from the body. It tones up eyes, stomach, liver, heart and nerves by supplying essential vitamins and minerals. Experts suggest that it also strengthens heart muscles

(Posted on 01 June 2009, 1695757916 3O239O59O31)