Spices for summer: What to eat and what not?
- Aayushi Gupta
Updated : April 13, 2022 06:04 IST
Is consuming spices in summer safe? Well, according to an expert, only if you have them in moderation because spices generate heat.
Think of spices and you’ll remember how adding them to foods can supercharge your meals. Spices add flavour and texture to the food which can transform something bland and ordinary into something truly extraordinary tasting. And guess what? Not just the flavour, spices are also known to deliver some health benefits as well. But did you know that you should avoid certain spices in summer? Well, it’s because spices are generally hot in nature and they can generate heat in the body.
Dietitian Hari Lakshmi, Consultant – Dietitian/Nutritionist Motherhood Hospital, Alwarpet, Chennai, spoke to Health Shots and listed 4 spices that you should avoid or consume in moderation during the summer season, and 4 spices that will cool you down in summer.
“The summer season is extremely difficult to get through in most parts of India. Most people suffer from loss of appetite, indigestion, dehydration, sunburns, irritation, fatigue, sweating, heatstroke, and rashes due to the hot weather. Summer heat can drain your energy levels and adding or avoiding certain spices to your diet can help you fight the scorching heat,” says Lakshmi.
4 spices that should be avoided or consumed in moderation:
1. Red chilli
We use red chili powder to make our food spicy and add colour to it, but doing so can harm your body. “Hot and spicy foods such as chilli powder raise body temperature which can cause sweating and burning in stomach and chest.” Therefore, it is recommended to avoid or consume in moderation anything that has too many chillies and chilli powder, especially in summers.
Ginger is not only a well-known spice to add excellent flavour to food but it is also a favourite addition to teas for many. However, it helps to decrease inflammation and its antimicrobial properties keep the immune system strong, ginger is a hot spice that is known to increase the body temperature and causes sweating. Lakshmi says, “People who have diabetes and bleeding disorders should avoid eating ginger in summer.”
Moreover, excess consumption of ginger can also lead to heartburn, diarrhea, burping, and general stomach discomfort.
Garlic or lahsun has long been used in India for its ability to help in weight loss, suppress appetite, and boost metabolism, it should be consumed in moderation during summer. According to Lakshmi, garlic has a lot of benefits in winter but it is not recommended to consume it in summer as it generates heat in the body. Moreover, it may also cause bad breath, acid reflux, and an increased risk of bleeding.
4. Black pepper
Black pepper is a hot spice that significantly increases the metabolic rate. Consuming it in excess, especially in the summer season, can lead to hot flashes. Along with it, black pepper may also reduce the effect of certain medications which can be harmful to your body. Due to the interaction with medication, it may lead to allergies. But it’s not completely unhealthy. It is a spice that is known to strengthen the immune system and enhance the metabolic rate, helping in weight loss.
Here are 4 cooling spices for the summer season:
Mint is a cooling spice that is often used as a mouth freshener, but it also has many other benefits. It helps cool the body, ease indigestion, reduce chest ache, lighten the sunburnt skin, and relieve heartburns.
Coriander leaves have cooling properties, and it also helps reduce inflammation in our bodies caused by the heat in summer.
Cumin seeds are often used as a remedy for bloating problems that are caused due to gastric issues. It also acts as a detoxifying and cooling agent during hot weather.
Cinnamon is another spice that can cool your body in summer. Moreover, it reduces inflammation and lowers cholesterol.
Remember, moderation is a key!