Scorching Summer? Be not upset but say: “Bonjour été, Je suis prêt”

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Bonjour été, Je suis prêt, just as to say, ‘Hello Summer, I am Ready. Yes, although this year is going to mark higher temperature records in the approaching summer months, we need to face it and move on tackling the hindrances. The recently past heat wave seems to be consuming India and is probably indicative of an imminent hot summer as we have started experiencing this May, and by next sizzling June and searing July and August are yet to come. The temperature is reported to rise more and more, and it feels awful when you once think to carry on your daily job in this dreadful situation. Today man has smartly extended his limit of endurance and opt to tolerate and win over the dire situations preferred as not a better option, but as the best and single choice existing for him!

The scorching heat is certainly pernicious, as it hampers our health; typically occuring in an uprising and spread out manner affecting the head directly, causing thirst, red face, and headache which makes a person to lie down with the limbs spread out. The excessive sweating leads to dark, concentrated urine and dehydration of muscles, and thus depletion of our stamina and metabolism rate can also occur. The extreme heat also affects the heart, leading to restlessness or even coma in severe cases such as heatstroke. Addingly, the blocking of the sweat ducts under the skin in summer disturbs the perspiration  rate; the saline fluid remains trapped beneath the skin leading to prickly heat. When summer heat combines with dampness due to humidity and overconsumption of sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, the function of the spleen gets also affected. This leads to a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. Treatment of summer heat is complex, depending on the organs and additional pathogenic factors involved. Moreover, during an ongoing period of muggy and humid days, our body muscles used to compete with the skin for blood circulation continuously. More blood flows under the skin which usually helps in dissipating the body heat and cool the body down thereby keeping our body’s temperature from rising to dangerous levels. This may lead to the muscles get less blood and hence lethargy and apathy develops in us which inturn makes us inactive and lazy. At the same time, when our body becomes hotter, muscle enzymes speed up and burn glycogen more rapidly, depleting stores of the sugar that our muscles use for fuel. Hence it’s imperative to drink plenty of fluids that would help hydrate our muscles and skin adequately in order to maintain internal cooling down.

Drinking plenty of water watermelon mango onion

It is indeed very important to refill the holy water that is passing out through sweat and urine during humid and torrid summer time. Besides drinking plenty of water, I would love to make soups from different vegetables and live on fruit juices whenever possible. Though I am a great foodie and austerely non-vegetarian, I would prefer to take for myself small, proper and frequent meals comprising of rice (not chapatis) and pulses as basic items with green vegetables alongwith capsicum and soyabeans. Consuming leafy lettuce, corn and cucumbers in salads are delicious ways to stay cool. These foods contain a significant amount of water and can actually thin the blood, which has a cooling effect. Onions too act great in hot climate, because of their ability to beat the heat and provide relief from summer ailments. Although there have to be some regulation over spicy chicken dishes which are considered extremely rich, taking them less in number each particular month and giving more stress on fishes, oyster and even mushroom would be a better decision. Apart these, we all do love mangoes now, but it is quite advisable to take the unriped ones which have a rich source of pectin and when these are steamed and juiced with cumin (jeera) and salt, they provide an excellent remedy for heat strokes and exhaustion in summers. We also love to have watermelons during this season, which are super-sized and super-packed with nutritional goodies such as iron, potassium, beta carotene and vitamin C, and also 95 per cent of water content. Other fruits like apple, banana, litchi, muskmelon, grapes and peach would help to retain energy and add the most required vitamins and potentially beneficial nutrients to our body. Similarly, who require tea like me, to energise our nerves need not stop drinking it as it is testified that drinking warm tea can reduce the skin temperature by 1 to 2 degrees, while having soft drinks do not have such an effect. After drinking warm tea, people feel cool, refreshing and comfortable, and their thirst feeling completely disappears. It is advised that people doing job in high-temperature environment, they can add some salt in the tea, so as to make up for the salt lost in the sweat. This is much more beneficial to the prevention of heat stroke.

We all heard since we learnt phrases and clauses in our schools- “Prevention is better than cure”, which no doubt has become a platitude, maybe due to our work pressure, thirst for money making and thus taking risks in life, but still today it is very relevant in the present scenario. It will be good and beneficial for us only if we can prevent summer to attack us. Thus wearing light coloured, loose-fitting, full-sleeved cotton clothes can protect the body from the sun and aid evaporation of sweat. Using a hat to protect the head from the sun will be another measure when we move out of our house. Last but not the least, we must use our hallowed common sense, when we feel the heat intolerable and excruciating, it is better to stay indoors when we can and avoid all activities under direct sunlight or on hot asphalt surfaces.


Enjoy Summer