We change our wardrobe during the summer to stay cool, but did you know that you should also change your diet? Being outside exposed to the sun and sweating from the heat can put you at risk for dehydration and vitamin deficiencies. But the solution is fairly simple and tasty too.
Eat local seasonal fruits and vegetables during the summer. The nutrients are at their peak, and the food is tastiest when it is fresh. There are other foods that will also keep you hydrated and healthy for all the fun activities that summer has to offer. Try some today.
1. Wonderful Watermelon
This is a super hydration food for the summer. Watermelons have a high water content and are a great way to keep you cool and hydrated and away from unhealthy snacking. And as an added bonus, "Watermelon also contains lycopene, which protects skin cells from sun damage," said registered dietitian Janel Funk, MS, RD, LDN, who runs the website Eat Well With..
2. While you should always wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the summer sun, eating tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables could give you some extra protection because consuming more lycopene – the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red – may help protect your skin from sunburn.
3. Green Tea Time
Green tea - hot or iced - is a great to keep hydrated. Healthline said that green tea is the healthiest beverage on the earth. It is loaded with antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients that can improve your health. Drinking tea instead of sugary soft drinks is the way to go for the summer and all year long.
4. More Melons
Cantaloupes and honeydews are surprisingly healthy foods that are packed the nutrients, water, and flavor making them a healthy and tasty summer treat. Melons also act as diuretics that do not cause dehydration, which is especially important to women who are affected by hormonal changes, according to Dr. Sherry Ross, a women's health expert in Santa Monica, California.
5. Berry Good
All berries have amazing health benefits. Strawberries and blueberries are filled with flavonoids, and they increase blood flow to the skin and decrease sensitivity to light, which improves the health and look of your skin. When you spend so much time outdoors during the summer, this is really essential according to Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, and president of Nutritious Life. Blackberries and raspberries are also packed full of fiber. You can even go to a u-pick berry farm to get berries at their absolute freshest and tastiest.
6. Yes to Yogurt
This protein-packed and portion-controlled food is easy to eat on the go. Pack it in a cooler and take it to the beach or pool. Yogurt is made for summer eating, said Glassman. "The protein satisfies your growling tummy, which will keep you from overloading on salty, high-calorie snacks at your barbeque." As an added bonus, yogurt contains probiotics, which will keep your digestive system healthy.
7. Dark Leafy Green Summer Salads
Skip the steamed veggies and eat your fill of fresh raw kale, spinach, and leafy lettuce. Dark green-colored vegetables and fruits are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are full of carotenoids, antioxidants, and folates (a nutrient that is especially valuable for pregnant women). Leafy greens also protect skin from sun damage according to Glassman. "They decrease sensitivity to UV light and mend flaky and dry skin, strengthening the skin's defenses against damaging rays."
8. Iced Coffee
While avoiding caffeine will keep you hydrated, some people have to have their morning coffee fix. Try iced coffee instead of hot to start your summer mornings. In a recent study, it was shown that coffee could help prevent a common form of skin cancer, so drink up.
10. Nature's Bounty
Apricots, peaches, and nectarines all contain dietary fiber. Peaches are full of Vitamin C, and all orange-colored fruits and vegetables are full of Vitamin A. Snack on local seasonal fruit and avoid salty or sugary packaged snacks.
11. I Heart Salmon
Salmon is rich in Omega3, and this superfood is part of the Mediterranean diet. Salmon is very healthy heart food and a great source of protein. So, skip the burgers and hotdogs and grill some wild salmon or other fatty fish instead.
12. Corn on the Cob
Fresh sweet corn is a quintessential part of summer. Whether you boil it or grill it, corn is a big part of summer barbeques, and it has some little known health benefits. Corn contains lutein and Zeaxanthin that may prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, according to Healthline. Wearing sunglasses will help protect your eyes from sun damage but eating corn can give you a little extra protection.
13. Cool Off with Citrus
Although it is not a summer seasonal fruit, oranges are rich in potassium, a nutrient that's crucial for you in the summer. Potassium is lost through sweat and can put you at risk for muscle cramps. Oranges are also 80 percent water, so they are a refreshing way to stay hydrated. Add lemon to your water or drink homemade lemonade instead of soda, add freshly squeezed lemon to your summer salads and fish to add some extra Vitamin C to your summer diet.
14. Avocado Superstar
No healthy food list should leave this amazing superfood out. Avocados are a healthy and tasty source of monounsaturated fat, folate, and fiber. Plus, they are a natural anti-inflammatory so skip the ibuprofen and eat an avocado. Spread it on toast, put it in salads or make guacamole for a festive summer dip.
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