Every season has something to look forward to. For example, each season brings with it certain types of fruits which some of us wait all year to have. We look forward to winter because of oranges, spring because of strawberries, fall because of pears and, of course, summer because of mangoes, watermelons and apricots!
Pakistan, as an agrarian country, is blessed with ample fruit. And we, as Pakistanis, love them! Fruits are a very crucial part of our diet and hence, we also incorporate them into our meals. Fruit chaat, pickles and juices are only to name a few.
Every fruit has its own benefits. Some have specific traits that are beneficial to our immune system while others are great for our skin. In Pakistan, summer fruits mostly consist of mangoes, watermelon, apricots and falsey.
Mango — the king of fruit in Pakistan is also the favourite fruit of the summer season. It is the fruit that is placed on the table during every meal. Mango juice tastes heavenly and mango pickle is sweet and sour and is also the perfect condiment for desi food. Mangoes have more health benefits than you can imagine. Research shows that antioxidant compounds in mangoes aid in fighting prostrate and breast cancers. Moreover, it lowers cholesterol and improves eyesight. Mangoes and even keris (unripe mangoes) are the best remedy to quench thirst and keep the body from dehydrating during the boiling weather.
The tangy round piece of fruit grown only in certain parts of the subcontinent is not only fun to eat but also helps treat liver and gall bladder problems. Furthermore, falsa helps cleanse your blood. Its juice helps with indigestion and excess acidity. For the ladies, it helps to get the skin glowing and promotes a natural weight loss. Most importantly, in this hot weather, falsa helps build stamina and also helps with depression.
Advice: anyone coping with office blues should take a glass of falsa juice every morning.
Apricot, the delightful yellow round fruit, is an excellent source of vitamin A. Apricot is good for the eye and for people who have serious eyesight problems. Apricot also helps with bad cholesterol and help the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. It is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate the heart rate and blood pressure.
So, it’s time to put all the junk food aside and welcome the summer by embracing all of its wonderful fruits!
Watermelon is rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps control blood pressure, regulate heartbeat and possibly prevent strokes. Furthermore, a regular intake of watermelon helps reduce the risk of getting kidney stones and age-related bone loss. Melons are rich in vitamin C, which is responsible for reducing the hazard of getting heart diseases or prostate cancer. Watermelon is also abundant in iron and zinc, which are a necessity to the human body.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 13th, 2013.
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