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Cool off with a touch of spice...

Shivangana Vasudeva, NDTV, Updated: October 31, 2013 15:44 IST


Cool off with a touch of spice... The heat is on. A chilling drink or an ice cream seems to arrest the hot and fuming you? We know the feeling but wait, don't reach out for them just yet! Frosty foods cool you down but their effect is not everlasting and could rather be villainous. Scientifically, after the initial icy shock once the digestive process kick-starts these generate more heat in the body. Therefore, after a while you end up feeling, you guessed it, even worse!

The superheroes of health are the naturally healing spices. Known to give a credible kick to any meal, spices also act as coolants by regulating your metabolism.

Let's take you back to the roots. A little flashback for the uninitiated, according to Ayurveda our body is governed by three doshas or energies which are vatta, pitta and kapha. 'Pitta' controls the metabolism and digestion functions in our body. The heat intensifies the pitta dosha which can lead to inflammation, heart burns, acne sweating, etc. Some spices, however, help to bring about a balance between these energies with their cooling properties.

Adorn your meals with these spices that promise to keep you cool this summer.

Mint: Few herbs are as diverse as the mint. It is packed with menthol which acts as a remedy for indigestion and chest pains. It disperses the excess energy released due to the digestive process by opening up and activating the pores in the skin and thus pacifies the aggravated pitta.

Saunf: Popular as a mouth freshener, did you know that saunf is an excellent source of vitamin c? It is known to calm the inflammation caused in the body due to the heat. It peps up the flow of digestive and gastric juices in body.

Quick tip: Soak the fennel seeds in water overnight. Strain the water and drink up with a pinch of sugar, black salt, lemon and all that you fancy. This makes for an instant summer energizer.

A spotlight for this Ayurvedic favourite and wonder spice. Spices with a bitter character are known for their cooling mojo. It reduces pain and swelling in the body. It cleanses the liver juices and purifies the blood. Turmeric also contains curcumin, a chemical that promotes healthy heart functions.

Green Cardamom:
It is known as the 'tridoshic' as it balances all the three energies or doshas in our body. It counteracts the excessive stomach acids. Ground cardamom seeds help to cure stomach cramps.

Coriander: It is known to tone down the excess of fire or pitta in our body caused due to the heat. Its high volatile oil content makes it a great relaxant and helps relieve anxiety. The powder, the seeds and the fresh leaves are packed with a vibrant nutritional punch. They improve appetite and aide in digestion.