India is a tropical country. Variety of vegetables and fruits are available in its hot and arid climate. Use of locally grown foods helps in easy and good absorption. The environment they grow in and the very same surroundings that we live in are conducive and work positively.

Good nutrition is basically same for all, the main difference is in the size of servings. Physically active persons with normal weight can have larger portions of the same food.
Have food on time. This serves double purpose. It saves you from that all-empty feeling which so often sets-in before a delayed meal and throws your appetite out of control, by making you go overboard on fatty food.

Vegetables can add greatly to the joy of eating if they are cooked exactly right. Proper cooking and subtle seasoning is especially important. In order to bring out their unique goodness, vegetables should be cooked quickly in a minimum of water and removed from the fire during their tender, delicious stage. Over cooking is ruinous. For vegetables which need butter, use lemon juice in a small amount of melted butter to lessen calories and add flavour. Use fresh vegetables and other fresh ingredients.

A healthy diet includes minerals, carbohydrates, fats and fatty acids, proteins and vitamins in a required quantity. Growth and development falter and the risk of infection and nutritional disorder increases if this balance goes hay way.

Vitamins: fifteen to twenty chemical compounds present in small amounts in a wide array of food are classified as ‘vitamins’. If you eat a good mixture of natural, wholesome food, you will obtain all the vitamins you need. Choosing right things and eating in a sensible way provides all necessary vitamins. However, it is good to keep an eye on vitamin C in your diet. Nearly all living things make their own vitamin c in their bodies: only man and a few other animals can’t do so. You need to know two things about vitamin C. The first is that it occurs only in fruits and vegetables to any extent , and the second is that it is progressively destroyed if food is reheated. This is why hot meals are better than leftover meals.

Eat a good mixture of foods.
Uncooked food: food that is not cooked on fire has a great importance in your diet. Their vitamins are not destroyed and their enzymes also remain intact. While there is no need to fuss too much about individual meals, it is a good idea to make sure that you have eaten a mixture of different kinds of food by the end of the day. It is also a good practice to change the selection of foods according to seasons. This is perhaps even more relevant now, when most ready foods are packed days or even months in advance and almost have uniform composition. Nothing can beat freshly available variety.

A healthy menu during summers can be like this:

1 bread item-rotis/chapatis
 2 vegetable dishes -include one dark green leafy or deep yellow vegetable.
• 1 rice item- try using brown rice. Use less oil if making a pulao or fried rice.
 1 dal/sambhar or a small portion fish/meat dish
• 1 Salad -crisp, crunchy salads provide essential nutrients and bulk.
Papads, preferably roasted and pickle
• 1 desert – a fruit or a light sweet.

A few points kept in mind while preparing meals help in maintaining health. For example, use of oil, sugar, and salt in just the right quantity. Less will do, but not more. Contrary to recent publicity, naturally pressed plain filter oil as used in olden days is best in controlling cholesterol levels. 

Sugar is high in calories and causes tooth decay. Don’t eat many sweets, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, and don’t drink fizzy drinks. Carbonated drinks contain only calories 59/100ml and some carbohydrates and no other nutrient.

Salt is OK in moderation. Add a little to your cooking but keep the salt shaker off the table.  Some amounts of salts are lost during perspiration in hot weather. We all eat excess salt already so there is no need to increase the amount in tropical climates.

Eat fewer fried foods, nuts, oils, fats, salad dressings, biscuits and chocolates and less pastry, full cream milk, cheese, and meat products.

Fill up on starchy high fibre foods such as Indian flat bread, potatoes, rice, cereals, fruits and vegetables.

Points to ponder
Carrot: Carrot has many special qualities as food. It has large quantities of Vitamin A & C and enzymes of various types.

Amla it is a wonderful fruit providing 20 times more vitamins than fresh orange juice.  Vitamins of many fruits get destroyed when cooked or heated but the vitamins of amla remain almost intact even on cooking. The candy preserve (murabba) of amla is delicious, cool & very beneficial. Green amla reduces the body heat & thirst. It reduces fatigue & also body fat. It is good for eyes & hair.

By Editorial Team

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