A heatwave warning has been issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) for northern Indian states, alerting people to be prepared to battle temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius and above. According to health experts, it is important to take preventive measures to reduce the risks associated with extreme heat. As the mercury levels rise, your digestion may suffer. This happens because the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract changes, leading to GI flare-ups, causing more stomach discomfort and diarrhea than usual. So, it is important you know how to manage your digestion in the summer. Following certain diet and lifestyle tips can help you beat the likely adverse effects of heat waves on your stomach.
Health Shots spoke to Deepti Lokeshappa, Senior Consultant – Nutritionist and Dietician, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, to understand how you can manage your digestive system in the summer.
Thejaswini says, “Summer heat can affect an individual’s immunity and digestion. Due to this, the digestive tract’s resilience and digestive ability decrease, leading to symptoms like loss of appetite, constipation, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, dehydration symptoms, and heat-related illnesses like heat stroke or heat exhaustion.” You can manage these health issues by keeping your diet and lifestyle healthy!
Tips for better digestion in summer
Follow these 8 diet and lifestyle tips to keep digestive issues and indigestion in summer at bay:
1. Stay hydrated
During the summer season, hydration is important to ensure that the body runs smoothly. Drinking sufficient water helps balance the loss of body fluids in heat as well as solve digestive issues by improving the absorption of nutrients. At times, switching to coconut water is helpful as it allows the body to fight the scorching heat effectively.
2. Add probiotics to your diet
Adding probiotics like yogurt or kombucha to your diet during summer helps ease the digestion process as it contains gut-friendly bacteria.
3. Maintaining physical activity regularly
Incorporating exercises or physical activity can improve digestion and overall well-being as it reduces stress levels.
4. Avoid deep-fried foods
The type of food and its amount greatly contribute to the digestion process. During the summer season, eating lighter portions of food at regular intervals helps ease the digestion process. It is good to avoid oily or greasy food that may not be easy to digest and could lead to bloating or acidity.
5. Maintaining a balanced diet
Food can contribute to either ease the digestion process or pose difficulties in your digestive health. Hence consuming the right food is crucial during the summer season. Adding seasonal fruits and green vegetables like tomatoes, apples, watermelon, cucumber, and pineapple helps in hydration and troubled digestion. Moreover, adding more fiber to your diet as it can make your digestion smooth and easy.
6. Avoid milk products or coffee
Milk has the ability to heat the body up which causes issues in digestion hence dairy products like butter, ice cream, and cheese should be limited in the summer season. Aside from milk products, coffee, alcohol, and other carbonated beverages can lead to stomach irritation because these products cause dehydration.
7. Steer clear from spicy or oily foods
Spicy food produces heat which may lead to digestive issues as it causes acidity, bloating, and stomach inflammation in some cases. Therefore, in the summer season, it is advised to steer clear of spicy and oily food to avoid abdominal distress.
8. Eat frequent meals
Apart from eating spicy, fried, and junk foods, overeating is also a main cause of indigestion in summer. Always prefer eating frequent meals especially if you already have digestive problems. It will put less pressure on your stomach and keep digestion easy. Also, focus on eating light foods.
The digestive system becomes sensitive during the summer season. To avoid digestive issues, it is important to be mindful of your lifestyle choices and food habits.