Beating the heat with the right food
Proper nutrition is the first remedy for heat waves. On the occasion of 'Safe summer, how to beat the heat', event organized in the Donna a Expo Milan on July 14, 2015, the Ministry of Health reminded this, the first health institution in Europe to provide, since 2004, a National Action Plan to manage this type of emergency.
Here are the recommendations disclosed, especially useful for children, the elderly and pregnant women.
- Drink at least two liters of water a day, i.e. about 8 glasses, to recover the liquids lost through sweating. Moderate, if possible eliminate, alcoholic and non-alcoholic sugary drinks.
- Respect the time and number of meals. In particular, do not neglect breakfast, which follows the long night fast and provides energy to start the day well.
- Increase the consumption of seasonal fruit and vegetables (at least 400 grams, according to the WHO) and yogurt.
- Prepare the dishes with imagination, even by varying the colors, which are the sign of the presence of antioxidant substances.
- Moderate the consumption of elaborate and high-fat dishes, both to control the caloric intake, whose needs are reduced in summer, and to favor cooking methods that preserve minerals and vitamins naturally present in food.
- Prefer fresh food, easily digestible. Add a fruit at the end of the meal, especially when you eat 'packed'.
- As an alternative to lunch, have an ice cream or milk shake. Without underestimating the caloric intake, to be included in the balance of the day.
- Avoid full meals first course, second course and side dish, especially when you eat in a hotel during the holidays. Prefer single dishes, balanced in nutrients. Like pasta and legumes or vegetables, or fish, meat or eggs with vegetables.
- Consume a little salt, choosing the iodized one (5 grams per day), which favors the correct functionality of the thyroid. Hypertensive people, on the other hand, must consume low-sodium or asodic salt.
- Take care of food storage methods, in particular for those subject to the cold chain, always using thermal bags in case of outdoor meals, for example on the occasion of a picnic or for a day at the beach. A prolonged stay in the refrigerator disfavors the integrity of the nutritional characteristics of food and can favor contamination by microorganisms. Again, consume fresh foods.