What are the foods and drinks that help you live the hottest days better? How to avoid risks for the elderly and children
In summer you need to drink more and often. In the absence of heart, kidney, liver or endocrine diseases and unless otherwise indicated by your doctor, you should drink 2 liters of water a day; setting yourself an easily «visible» goal helps, for example drinking a glass of water every hour, or at least ten glasses throughout the day, or still serving yourself from the same bottle until it’s finished.
Drinks containing caffeine (coffee, tea, cola) or alcohol must be taken in moderate quantities because their excess could increase diuresis; to limit carbonated, sugary or too cold drinks. The elderly (like children) may have a reduced sense of thirst, even in the presence of dehydration, and must therefore be encouraged to drink even if they do not feel the need to; in case they have swallowing problems it is advisable to use gelled water with the appropriate products. The possible opportunity to also take mineral supplements should be discussed with your doctor.
What and how much to eat?
In addition to non-modifiable individual factors such as age, time of day and hormonal balance, body temperature is linked to metabolism, i.e. to all the biochemical processes that keep cells alive; there are basic energy consumption processes, hence the term “basal metabolic rate”, to which are added the energy needs associated with physical activity. You cannot go below the basal metabolic rate, but you can save on digestion for example by having small meals (preferably a single dish, no first course, second course and side dish) and based on cold dishes, which do not overload the stomach; if, on the contrary, you eat heavily, the body has to use too many resources for digestion and the blood is concentrated in the abdomen, thus reducing blood pressure and making us feel more tired. Fruits and vegetables are therefore even more indispensable in the heat, because in addition to not straining digestion, they help fill up on mineral salts such as potassium and magnesium that are lost in sweating; in addition, vegetables are rich in water, to fight dehydration even better. Excellent fresh seasonal fruit such as strawberries, watermelons and melons, which contain up to 90 percent water, and colorful vegetables rich in antioxidants (peppers, tomatoes, salad) which protect against damage related to ozone, which reaches concentrations higher precisely in the hot hours of the day. Better pasta and fish than meat; an ice cream or a smoothie can be an alternative to lunch, if you choose fruit and don’t exaggerate with the caloric intake. In the summer, even more attention is needed to the correct conservation of foods, especially the more perishable ones such as meat and dairy products: high temperatures can favor the proliferation of germs that cause gastrointestinal disorders. Cooked foods and leafy vegetables should be eaten in a short time, not leaving them at room temperature for more than two hours; in the refrigerator it is advisable to arrange the vegetables in bags in the appropriate compartments and separate fish and meat, raw and cooked foods, taking care to put everything away so that the cold air circulates well.
July 19, 2023 (change July 19, 2023 | 08:59)
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