The best way to beat the heat on summer days is to stay hydrated. Heat wave is a long period of unbearable heat often combined with more humidity. Hot weather can lead to dehydration when the water in the body is not replaced; the blood becomes thick and forces the heart to pump harder increasing the risk of a heart attack. Staying hydrated will not only help the function of the heart but also helps in controlling the appetite, alertness and in improving other activities of the body.
Dangers of Dehydration
Dehydration increases the level of histamine and makes the immune system imbalanced leading to allergies from pollen, animals, dust and dirt. Digestive diseases come up on the onset of chronic dehydration. Dehydration can also reduce the blood supply to the brain and lead to emotional imbalance and sometimes also to temporary mental diseases. Stress hormones increase with dehydration. Stress causes the body to get rid of its liquids.
Extreme heat temperature causes three heat related conditions—
- Heat Cramps are pulls or pain in the muscles of the lower abdomen and legs.
- Heat exhaustion is more severe condition than heat cramps. It normally affects sportsman, firefighters, factory and construction site workers who work in the hot humid environment. Symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, weakness, dizziness and pale flushed skin.
- Heatstroke is a serious condition which can be fatal. It developswhen most organs and systems of the body are affected by excessive heat and stop functioning. Symptoms of heat stroke are very high temperature, red hot skin, vomiting, unconsciousness and seizures.
Foods and Drinks to keep the body Hydrated
- Drink water several times during the day. Keep a large bottle handy to consume water in order to maintain the fluid balance in the body.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal, and a lemon or mint drink at regular intervals.
- Alcoholic drinks and hot beverages like coffee lead to additional loss of fluids from the body.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that are real sources of water. Water melons, berries, peppers cucumbers, tomatoes and grapes contain tons of water and are best to hydrate the body.
- Coconut water has number of vitamins and minerals and is a good drink to replenish the body after spending time in the sun.
- Iced tea and green tea are very refreshing drinks on a hot day.
- Homemade cool drinks made from raw mangoes, Berries, herbs also make a beneficial summer drink
- It is believed that onion is the best source to keep the heat away from the body.
Foods to Avoid in summer
Spicy Foods cause a burning sensation in the body and at times can also raise the body temperature Hence hot spicy foods should be avoided or taken in small quantity.
Diuretic Foods like coffee, tea and alcohol lead to loss of water from the body; hence these drinks should be substituted with plain water which is best when the outdoor temperature rises
High-Protein Foods are difficult to digest. Many enzymes and juices from the body are required to digest a piece of meat. Heat in the body is also created on digesting high protein foods.