The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has issued advice on healthy practices and nutrition during the summer to avoid contracting a number of diseases in this season.
Mouhdi al-Hajri, head of Nutrition Department at PHCC, has shared insights into what constitutes suitable food during the summer and what should be avoided in high temperatures.
She advises people to drink plenty of fluids during this season. Those who are not too fond of water can add some lemon, mint, slices of orange or cucumber to water to make it more to their liking.
Al-Hajri recommends drinking at least 12 cups of water a day to make up for the body fluids lost through excessive sweating. She also noted that sweets, cold beverages such as carbonated drinks that contain sugar, and foods such as ice cream are not healthy options.
She also recommends eating seasonal fruits such as watermelons and sweet melons, in addition to other fruits such as strawberries and apricots. These should ideally be eaten as whole fruits rather than as juice to benefit from their fibre content. Besides, eating whole fruits gives a better feeling of the taste and is also more wholesome. Healthy persons should eat at least three portions of fruits a day.
Al-Hajri says low-fat milk and other dairy products ease the digestion process and help avoid the issues faced by some people during the summer. She also advises people to decrease their consumption of fried foods as much as possible to avoid being lethargic and any potential weight gain. Similarly, consumption of pickles, salty foods and very hot chilis should be kept to the minimum and meals should be had only when a person is really hungry as the digestive system often slows down in the summer.
Further, the head of Nutrition at PHCC says having fast food is an unhealthy practice and should be avoided. It is also recommended that one sleeps for at least seven hours in the night as this will have a positive impact on appetite food during the morning.
It is also important to engage in sports activities such as jogging, walking and swimming for one hour a day most days of the week. If this is not possible, she says people should engage in physical activities for at least 30 minutes a day thrice a week, in addition to increasing movement by using stairs instead of escalators or lifts.
She concludes by saying that people should avoid any stringent strict and instead follow sustainable health practices for a better life.