Staying cool in summer is a survival trip. The truth is that the summers can get savage in some parts of India. This season in the plains makes us feel humid and sweaty while the places at a higher altitude have that dry heat and hot winds. No matter how hot it becomes, there are simple ways and tips to stay cool in summer. There are some you already know, and there are some you must have heard from the experience of your grandmother. There are many ways you can keep a check on yourself, your diet and home to spend the summer more comfortably.
Tips on how to stay cool in summer
#1 Ask yourself, why does our body heat up? The answer is not only the summer season but the reasons are many. It may depend on your diet. It can depend on your body type. The first step is to identify what affects you the most.
It is not only that people who work outside bear the heat. People working in the kitchen face worse, so do people working with heated instruments in factories. It may be that you drink too much of tea or coffee. Interestingly staying too much in AC also makes our body lose our ability to bear heat. Identify that point in your life and try to work around it. This will definitely help you stay cool in summer.
#2 Before you eat summer fruits like mangoes and watermelons, makes sure you have them cooled down. Wash your fruits and keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours. You can also keep it outside in a cool place for a few hours before consuming it. People have known this for hundreds of years. These fruits ripe in the sun’s rays, and naturally hold on to a lot of heat. If you do not cool these before you eat, the heat will be transferred to your body making you more uncomfortable.
#3 Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. Thanks to cold storage facilities, we get almost all fruits and veggies around the year. But unfortunately our bodies are more tuned to nature than we think or know. Nature provides us vegetables and fruits which are appropriate for the season. If we eat too much winter vegetables in summer, it can create digestion and gastric troubles. Exceptions once in a while is alright but make sure to consume vegetables of the current season, this way we will be eating healthier and fresher.
#4 Avoid liver heating foods and beverages. It is critical to keep your liver cool in the summer season. It is the liver that builds up heat and spreads it in the body. The liver is situated in the right side of the bottom of the rib cage and is the largest organ in the human body. Its job is to throw out toxins from the body and thus, it is our job to keep the liver alright.
Alcoholic beverages are the biggest enemy of the livers. Fermented foods, too much dairy products and too rich and oily food heat up your liver. At least for the summer season try to reduce or give up these foods to keep yourself cool and comfortable. Take sattu/chaatu with sugar or just a glassful of sattu drink. Sattu is a wonder food that keeps your liver in good condition and stay cool in summer season.
#5 Instead of cold drinks, have kokum juice. Kokum is excellent for cooling liver. Use 1 -2 tsp kokum syrup to make your own homemade and refreshing summer drink. It tastes very nice and is very healthy for the body. It is one of the best things to stay cool in summer. You can get good quality kokum juice here- https://amzn.to/2L2G10w
#6 Have curd. Curd and yogurt are excellent for staying cool in the summer. Plain white curd is best. You can add a little sugar and salt. Another version is to make a raita and have it with your meals. Raita can be prepared with grated cucumber, rock salt and sugar. You can add green chilli and freshly cut onion which also helps to fight the heat and stay cool in the hot season.
#7 Take alkasol syrup. If you live in humid and sweaty places, you should always take a spoonful of alkasol before you go out. It is excellent for the body in summers, but always consult your doctor before taking it. We lose a lot of nutrients through sweat which makes us feel tired and weak and also sometimes sick. Alkasol syrup provides alkali to the body preventing it from becoming acidic and hence keeps the body in balance. Just take one to two spoonfuls of the alkasol syrup and mix it in a cup of water and drink it. Alkasol even prevents heatstroke.
#8 Have lots and lots of water. It is surprising but people do have to be reminded to drink the right quantity of water. If you are going out, do carry a bottle with you. Do not drink water from the fridge right away. Mix with some water at room temperature and drink that. If you take fridge cold water, it gives a cold shock to the nerves and muscles around the throat, head and face. This can lead to cough and cold, headaches and even sinus. Whenever you come from hot to cold or vice versa, make sure you do not shock your body by going to extremes.
It is also a good idea to drink water dissolved with a little salt and sugar multiple times a day. At least get a glassful while going out of home. Also when you come home after a hot day, keep a bottle ready to drink that instead of plain water.
#9 Have nimbu paani. This is India’s best drink to stay cool in the summer. Not only are lemons healthy with loads of Vitamin C but the nimbu paani is better than soda based cold drinks and fermented alcoholic beverages. The salt and sugar restore any imbalance in the body. Nimbu Paani is healthy, tasty and the best cold drinks out there.
#10 Have daab. Tender coconut water is a life saver. Summers can take away our appetite and in that case, daab water comes to the rescue. It is one of nature’s greatest gifts to us. Daab will prevent heatstroke, keep you fresh and even fed.
#11 Avoid fish. Fish is rich in phosphorous and it heats up the body. If you want to stay cool in summer, reduce or stop your fish intake for these two months of the summer season. Sea fish can be even higher in phosphorus content, so it is absolute no-no. You have to make a choice between your comfort and diet.
#12 Avoid spicy and oily food. Spices are alright as long as cooked in moderation in the summers. Use spices only as little as needed in the hot season. Too much spicy and oily food will not help you stay cool in summer.
#13 Lessen red meat. Red meat heats up the body so better reduce or stop your intake of red meat for the two blazing hot months. You can have chicken, which is white meat. In fact lightly cooked chicken is excellent for the liver and will help you stay cool in summer season.
#14 Have Gulkand. Gulkand has been taken in India since hundreds of years to beat the summer heat. Gulkand is a sweet preserve made of pink rose petals. It is excellent in keeping the body cool and comfortable. You can get good quality gulkand here – https://amzn.to/2jZ3x2b
#15 Wear cotton. No matter how many fashions come and go, nothing beats the comfort of cotton. Always wear cotton clothes and undergarments in summer and if possible, all through the year. Light cotton clothes will make you comfortable and help in staying cool in the summer. It also prevents rashes and skin disease. Make sure you wash it once with plain water before wearing any new clothes, it will feel more comfortable.
#16 Let it sweat. Sometimes sweating is the best way to cool your body. It is body’s natural way to discard the heat out of the body with the water. Not only the heat but with the sweat, the body also gets rid of germs and harmful things that were in your body. It is recommended that after sweating, you must take a wash or at least change your clothes so that you get rid of the body’s cast off things and stay healthy.
#17 Switch off electronics. Switch off and unplug your devices at night unless it is necessary. All appliances give heat and you have no idea how much they warm up your living space. Also switching appliances off will calm your home and make you feel more peaceful. Keep your internet off in your mobile phones and turn the wifi off. Turning off the light bulbs does make your house cooler. Make your room dark, it will slow your body’s metabolism and automatically cool you down.
#18 Ice pack. If it is too hot to tolerate, take an ice water bag. Or simply take a few cubes of ice in a plastic bag or wrap it in a handkerchief. Put it on your stomach and especially the liver. This trick will definitely cool you down in a few minutes. Just note that you do not put this ice pack on your head, neck and throat area which are very susceptible to catch cold or give headaches.
#19 Keep your home shaded in daytime. As the summer sun scorches the world outside, keep your home cool by shutting all windows and pulling the curtains. Open the windows after 4 pm when it starts to get cooler. Get the air circulating by opening all windows so that the trapped heat can escape and your home stays cool in the summer.
Another tip to keep your home cool in the summer is to have plants. Plants, either outside your home or inside in pots are natural air conditioners. They also maintain the water balance in the atmosphere and keep the home clean from dust. Actually it is the trees that keep up alright and cool in the summer. Plant more trees in your home and wherever you can.
#20 Spend some time out in the evenings. One of the best ways to stay cool in summer is absolutely free. After a hot day, spend time outside in a garden or park in the evening or at night. Look at the stars and enjoy the breeze which will a lot more comfortable now. This helps to calm down your nerves, reduce your over-active metabolism and bring you much calm. Coolness is also related a lot to the mind.
How to stay cool in hot weather while working outside
Keeping your head covered is extremely vital. Keep it covered by wearing cap or carrying the umbrella or whatever suits you and it will definitely keep you cool in summer. Like it or not, some of us have to work outside in the hot weather. Try to avoid direct sunlight on your head and face as much as possible. The head is particularly susceptible to be affected by harsh sunlight and heat of the summers. Keeping your head covered and following the tips above is life saving for staying cool in the hot weather while you work outside.
In fact, the different kinds of pagris in India owe their origin to the fact that Indian villagers know that they should protect the head from the summer heat. This way no matter how much they work outside in the farms and fields, they remain cool in the summer and prevent heatstroke. Many villagers also prefer to have cold rice with curd or sattu or onions, depending on their diet and culture. These are life saving hacks that have helped them survive by staying cool in the hot summer weather while they work outside all day. They did not, and still do not have ACs but stay cool in summer better than most of us.
How to keep room cool in summer naturally in India without AC and cooler
The good thing about AC and coolers is that that these have our life easier. The bad thing is that these have made us their slave. We become so much dependent on these facilities that we are rapidly losing our ability to stay cool in the summer season naturally. Follow the tips given above. Wear loose and comfortable cotton clothes. Get soft pure cotton bed sheets and covers.
Keep the windows closed at daytime. Pull the curtains and try to get heavy curtains that will keep off the heat from coming outside. If you do not have heavy curtains, take a bed sheet and soak it in water and hang it in front of the windows. Put the fan on and this will cool your room like a cooler or AC. Keep some plants at home in pots. It helps to cool down your home.
The rotation of the fan is important in keeping your room cool in summer. As you lie down, see how the blades rotate. It should always be anticlockwise in the summer season. The anticlockwise movement blows the air down at you and the clockwise blows it up. The clockwise fan gives comfort in winter or cooler season. For the summers, your fan should definitely rotate anticlockwise so that the air is blown towards you, downwards. The difference in air circulation changes the coolness of the room. If it is possible correct this for the summer season or get a new fan.
Watch this helpful video on fan direction:
Follow these simple tips and advice and we hope that you will definitely remain cool in the summer season.
Credits: hansenwholesale.com/ceiling-fans/fan-direction-summer-winter, Sahaja Yoga, Home Power Magazine