Summers in Pakistan are not just the season for high electricity bills, lazy halwa-puri laden breakfasts and long nights spend catching up on the latest dramas. They are also a season that marks the herald of an endless parade of colorful and delicious summer fruits. These bright, sweet bundles are jam-packed with more vitamins and minerals than you can count on your fingertips! So, before you get bored reading this, thinking of it as just another article echoing the lectures your mama gave you about eating fruits and ditching that ladoo, think again. Instead of droning on and on (yes, we get bored too) about an endless list of chemicals and nutrients that these fruits contain, and how they will jazz up your bodily functions in no time, we have decided to pen an article that breaks down the benefits of seasonal fruits available during the summers in Pakistan. These benefits are simple, straightforward and tell you exactly what you need to know.
Are you ready? Here goes…
1. Water Melons: Oh, just the mention of these emerald green fruits send shivers of nostalgia down our spines, back when the whole family would sit around after lunch, chowing down cold watermelons and wiping the juice from their kurtas. But enough about that – let us tell you why you need to incorporate these gems into your diet asap.
Firstly, their high water content (one of the highest in the fruit family) ensures that your body stays hydrated, refreshed and has balanced pH levels. We know most of you forget to take the daily eight glasses of water that your body needs, which is why it is important to supplement them with fruits high in water content.
Secondly, watermelon contains 9-13 milligrams of lycopene, which ensures that your skin is protected from being exposed to sun damage. We Pakistanis get our fair share of sun exposure during the summers, which is why it is extremely important to protect our skin from eczema, excessive melisma production or skin cancer, etc.
Thirdly, clinical tests run by Oregon State University show that a study group who consumed two servings of watermelon every day for three weeks lost 15% more weight than those who didn’t. This highlighted watermelon’s ability to protect us from contracting heart disease, angina, obesity, diabetes, etc.
2. Grapes: These little green jewels are often taken for granted, but did you know they are one of the highest sources of Vitamin B6 amongst fruits? In case you are wondering, this helpful vitamin converts stored carbs in the body to glucose, which translates into boosting our metabolic rates and helping us stay comfortable in those shaadi clothes! Grapes are also packed with Vitamins A and C, as well as minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. These help strengthen our bones, boost our immunity and provide iron to our bodies to make blood.
3. Peaches: Fruit vendors in Pakistan often complain that peaches are one of the least selling fruits, which is greatly appalling because they contain a ton of necessary vitamins and minerals. One medium-to-large sized peach only contains 38 calories, which makes it one of the healthiest fruits to munch on! Not only that, but it also contains absolutely no saturated fats, which is why anybody wishing to lose weight needs to start stocking up on peaches. Furthermore, those looking to add some glow in their skin should look towards peaches, which contain a ton of anti-oxidants, vitamin C, iron, fluoride and potassium. All of these amalgamate to enhance one’s complexion and clear up any skin congestion due to a build up of toxins. Need we say more, ladies?
4. Mangoes: Aah, the king of fruits – how could we miss this one? Even the Queen of England is big fan of Pakistani mangoes, so surely there must be something amazing in them? Well, mangoes not only help lower cholesterol and improve eye health, but they also help prevent cancer. Scientists have discovered that the antioxidants in mangoes are linked to protecting against breast, colon, prostate cancers and leukemia. As if this was not reason enough, mangoes also help alkalize our bodies, which is important considering how much we sweat during summers, fight chances of heat stroke and improve our digestion.
5. Papaya: All you stressed out folk there, how about a slice of papaya? Chock full of beta-carotene, vitamins C and A, papaya has proven to reduce stress levels. The potassium in it helps normalize erratic heartbeat and increase oxygen supply to the brain. This instantly allows the eater to feel more relaxed, calm and focused.
There you go folks. Next time you pass on the fruit and opt for another helping of biryani, think again!