With the Met Office forecasting yet another heat wave – temperatures are expected to soar to 42 degree Celsius until October 21 in Karachi – health officials have issued a warning to people to take precautions to prevent heatstroke. These include using sunscreen, covering their heads and staying hydrated.
Given that recent research has highlighted a host of health benefits found in yoghurt, it is recommended that you have a helping of this ‘cool’ super food every day to stave off heat-related problems.
Nutritionists recommend substituting caffeine and carbonated energy drinks with a yoghurt smoothie to start the day. Or, if you are one of those people whose appetite is reduced in the hot weather, opt for a bowl of yoghurt – with the seasonal fruit of your choice to add flavour and nutrition – for an energy-packed lunch.
One of the main reasons why yoghurt is so beneficial is that it contains a high volume of probiotics – healthy gut bacteria – which aid digestion and also relieve symptoms of diarrhoea and ulcers which tend to occur more during the heat.
Furthermore, non-processed yoghurt is chockfull of calcium. While the more commonly known benefits of the mineral include healthy bones, nails and teeth, recent research at the University of Tennessee has established a link between calcium deficiency and obesity. This is mainly because calcium regulates cortisol (a hormone) levels in our blood, which burns fat deposits and calories, while speeding up our metabolism.
Last but not least, the substantial amounts of vitamin B12 present in yoghurt – higher levels can be found in Greek yoghurt, made by separating the liquid whey from the yoghurt – will not only keep you alert and focused, it will also help keep you hydrated.
Remember that since the scorching heat often leaves us with a tan not to mention dry, frizzy hair, applying a hair and face mask made from water-based yoghurt and aloe vera will leave you with rosy cheeks and glossy hair.
– Dr Samia Babar
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.