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Beat the Heat at Home: Top Food Habits to Stay Cool in Indian Summers

By magicpin

Updated - June 26, 2023 9 min read

As the mercury rises and the summer heat becomes unbearable, it's essential to adopt healthy food habits that not only keep you cool but also nourish your body. In India, where summers can be particularly intense, knowing what to eat and drink becomes even more crucial.


In this blog, we'll explore the top food habits that will help you beat the heat while staying at home. From refreshing ingredients to delicious recipes, we've got you covered!


Hydrate with Fresh Fruit Infusions:


Start your day by hydrating your body with a refreshing fruit infusion. Add slices of watermelon, cucumber, mint leaves, and a hint of lemon to a jug of water. Allow it to infuse for a few hours and enjoy a cool, flavorful drink that keeps you hydrated throughout the day.


Popular Drinks: 

  • Watermelon and Mint Cooler: In Indian summers, watermelon becomes a staple fruit due to its high water content. Create a delicious fruit infusion by combining freshly diced watermelon with a handful of mint leaves. Let it infuse in water for a few hours, and you'll have a revitalizing and hydrating cooler to beat the heat.
  • Cucumber and Lemon Infused Water: Cucumbers are not only refreshing but also hydrating, making them an ideal ingredient for fruit infusions. Slice cucumbers and add them to a pitcher of water along with a few slices of lemon. Allow the flavors to meld together, and enjoy a revitalizing drink that will keep you cool and hydrated throughout the day.
  • Tangy Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Infusion: Amla, known for its cooling properties, is a great addition to fruit infusions. Take a few fresh amla fruits, deseed them, and crush them slightly. Add the crushed amla to water and let it steep for a few hours. This tangy and refreshing infusion is packed with vitamin C and helps combat the heat effectively.
  • Mango and Pineapple Splash: Summers in India are synonymous with juicy mangoes. Combine the sweetness of ripe mangoes with the tanginess of pineapple for a tropical fruit infusion. Chop fresh mangoes and pineapple into cubes and add them to a jug of water. Let the flavors infuse, and you'll have a delightful and hydrating drink that captures the essence of Indian summers.


Image Courtesy: NDTV Food



Embrace Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables:


Take advantage of the abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables in the summer. Water-rich options like melons, citrus fruits, cucumbers, and tomatoes are not only delicious but also help replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. Incorporate them into salads, smoothies, or chilled soups for a satisfying and cooling meal.


Try it Out: 

  • Water-rich Fruits: Incorporate water-rich fruits into your diet to stay hydrated and cool during Indian summers. Opt for juicy options like watermelon, muskmelon, oranges, and sweet limes. These fruits not only provide essential hydration but also offer a refreshing burst of natural sweetness.
  • Cooling Vegetables: Include cooling vegetables in your meals to beat the heat. Cucumbers, with their high water content, are particularly effective in keeping you cool. Other options like tomatoes, bell peppers, and lettuce are not only hydrating but also packed with vitamins and minerals that support overall health.
  • Refreshing Salads: Prepare delicious and refreshing salads using seasonal fruits and vegetables. Combine sliced cucumbers, watermelon chunks, mint leaves, and a sprinkle of chaat masala for a tangy twist. Alternatively, create a colorful salad with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and fresh herbs. These salads provide a refreshing crunch and help you stay cool while enjoying a nutrient-packed meal.
  • Chilled Soups: Beat the heat with chilled soups made from seasonal vegetables. Blend together ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs like basil or cilantro to create a refreshing gazpacho. For a creamy option, blend yogurt with mint, cucumber, and a touch of lime juice. These chilled soups are not only hydrating but also light on the stomach, making them ideal for hot summer days.


Image Courtesy: Everyday Health



Opt for Light and Cooling Meals:


Avoid heavy, oily, and spicy foods during summers. Instead, focus on light and cooling meals. Opt for salads, cold soups, yogurt-based dishes like raita, and lightly steamed vegetables. These options are easy to digest and provide essential nutrients without weighing you down.


Popular Choices: 

  • Salads with a Twist: Prepare vibrant salads using a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Include ingredients like cucumber, lettuce, watermelon, bell peppers, and radishes. Add a touch of tanginess with a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of yogurt-based dressing. These refreshing salads provide a crunch while keeping you cool and satisfied.
  • Chilled Soups: Whip up delicious chilled soups that are perfect for hot summer days. Gazpacho, a cold Spanish tomato-based soup, is a popular choice. Blend together ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, garlic, and olive oil for a refreshing and hydrating soup. Experiment with other flavors like chilled cucumber soup or watermelon gazpacho for a delightful twist.
  • Yogurt-Based Delights: Yogurt is a cooling food that works wonders in Indian summers. Prepare dishes like chilled yogurt-based raitas with cucumber, mint, or boondi (crispy gram flour pearls). You can also make refreshing yogurt-based smoothies by blending yogurt, seasonal fruits, a dash of honey, and a pinch of cardamom. These creamy treats provide a burst of flavors while keeping you cool.
  • Lightly Steamed Vegetables: Steaming vegetables is a great way to retain their nutrients while keeping them light and easy to digest. Choose vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and carrots. Steam them until they are tender yet retain their vibrant colors. Sprinkle some lemon juice, herbs, or a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the flavors. These lightly steamed veggies make for a healthy and cooling side dish.


Image Courtesy: Vaya



Stay Refreshed with Homemade Drinks:


Quench your thirst with homemade beverages that are not only refreshing but also healthier alternatives to packaged drinks. Prepare natural coolers like buttermilk, coconut water, aam panna (raw mango drink), and infused herbal teas. These drinks are not only hydrating but also packed with essential vitamins and minerals.


Popular Drinks: 

  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk, also known as chaas or mattha, is a traditional Indian summer drink that provides excellent hydration and aids in digestion. It is made by blending yogurt, water, and spices like cumin, coriander, and mint. This refreshing and probiotic-rich drink helps cool the body and replenish electrolytes.
  • Aam Panna: Aam panna is a tangy and refreshing raw mango drink that helps beat the heat in Indian summers. It is made by boiling raw mangoes, extracting the pulp, and blending it with mint leaves, roasted cumin powder, black salt, and sugar. Aam panna is known for its cooling properties and is also a good source of vitamin C.
  • Coconut Water: Nothing beats the natural electrolyte replenishment provided by coconut water. This tropical delight is not only refreshing but also hydrating, thanks to its high water content and essential minerals. It helps regulate body temperature, provides instant energy, and keeps you hydrated in the scorching summer heat.
  • Jaljeera: Jaljeera is a popular Indian summer drink known for its cooling and digestive properties. It is made by mixing roasted cumin powder, black salt, mint leaves, tamarind pulp, and other spices with water. Jaljeera stimulates digestion, reduces body heat, and provides a burst of tangy flavors that instantly refreshes you on hot summer days.


Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen



Include Cooling Herbs and Spices:


Certain herbs and spices have cooling properties that can help lower body temperature. Incorporate mint, coriander, fennel, and cumin in your meals. These ingredients not only add flavor but also have a soothing effect on the body, making you feel refreshed and cool.



  • Mint: Mint is a popular cooling herb in India, known for its refreshing properties. Add fresh mint leaves to your drinks, salads, or yogurts for a burst of coolness. You can also make mint chutney or incorporate it into your homemade lemonade for a revitalizing summer beverage.
  • Coriander: Coriander, or cilantro, is another herb that helps cool the body. It has a soothing effect and can be used in various dishes. Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves on salads, curries, or even yogurt-based dips like raita to enhance their cooling properties.
  • Fennel: Fennel seeds have long been used in traditional Indian remedies for their cooling and digestive benefits. Chew on a few fennel seeds after meals to aid digestion and freshen your breath. You can also steep fennel seeds in hot water to make a cooling herbal tea.
  • Cumin: Cumin seeds are not only flavorful but also have cooling properties. They can be roasted and ground into a powder to use as a seasoning in curries, salads, and yogurt-based dishes. Cumin-infused water, known as jeera water, is a popular summer drink in India that helps cool the body and aids digestion.


Image Courtesy: Vaya



Limit Caffeine and Alcohol Intake:


Both caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate your body, making you feel more susceptible to the summer heat. Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, as well as alcoholic drinks. Instead, opt for herbal teas, infused waters, and non-alcoholic mocktails to keep yourself cool and hydrated.



  • Dehydration Concerns: Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics, causing increased urine production and fluid loss from the body. In the hot and humid Indian summers, where dehydration is already a common concern, consuming caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate the problem and make you feel more dehydrated.
  • Increased Sensitivity to Heat: Caffeine and alcohol can both affect your body's ability to regulate temperature. They can increase your heart rate and blood flow, making you more sensitive to heat. In Indian summers, when the temperatures soar, it's essential to avoid substances that can further elevate your body's heat response.
  • Negative Impact on Sleep: Both caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to insufficient rest. Inadequate sleep can make you more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and fatigue during the day. By limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, especially close to bedtime, you can ensure better quality sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Healthier Alternatives: Instead of relying on caffeine or alcoholic beverages to quench your thirst, opt for healthier alternatives that keep you cool and hydrated. Choose herbal teas, infused waters, coconut water, or fresh fruit juices as refreshing options. These alternatives not only provide hydration but also offer essential nutrients and antioxidants that benefit your overall health.


Image Courtesy: Times Of India



By following these tips, you can keep yourself cool, refreshed, and healthy throughout the summer season. Stay hydrated and enjoy the best that summer has to offer!



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