With summer here, you need to be ready to beat the heat with these refreshing fruits and veggies!
Whenever the weather is hot, it is extremely easy to feel sluggish due to dehydration. There are several ways to overcome the heat wave: by eating food that has high water content and drinking certain liquids. The following are common kinds of fruits, vegetables and drinks that can keep you hydrated and healthy during the spring and summer.
The iconic fruit of summer, watermelons are a household favorite due to their naturally sweet and crisp taste. Watermelons are made up of 90 percent water, so you basically drink water with each juicy bite. Aside from assisting in hydration, watermelons are fat-free and contain high levels of vitamins A and C. They also have a lot of lycopene, which is a carotenoid that has been “linked with heart health, bone health and prostate cancer prevention.”
Recipe Suggestion: When you’re in a hurry, toss some watermelons into a blender to have some watermelon juice on the go. You can also try using watermelons for salads or yogurt recipes. As an added suggestion, I like mine with lime or lemon juice and Tajin or some kind of chili pepper and salt seasoning sprinkled on top.
Citrus fruits are most commonly known as great sources of vitamin C. However, such a simple title doesn’t give these wonder-fruits justice. Citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges and lemons have the ability to help rid the body of heat and flush out the toxins from within. Other than their refreshing taste, citrus fruits are also good for maintaining healthy skin, because vitamin C stimulates collagen production which helps skin tissue to repair and grow. Research shows that females who are 18 years and older should intake 65-75 mg/day, while males who are 18 years and older should intake 75-90 mg/day.
Recipe Suggestion: When it’s hot, try a glass of cold water with honey and lemon slices to feel refreshed and energized throughout the day.
Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, mint and spinach can assist in lowering the body temperature from the amount of water they carry. Their high water content can help thin out blood and release internal heat. Leafy vegetables, in this case spinach, help clear constipation by cleaning the intestine, which improves bowel movements.
Recipe Suggestion: Personally, I use leafy vegetables to make a salad with orange slices. But, many people wrap these vegetables in rice paper to make spring rolls. I also like to use the lettuce as the wrap and fill the lettuce with chicken and carrots to make a roll.
Cucumbers are often thought of as “the summer vegetable” because of their high water content and fresh taste. A cucumber has the same properties as a citrus fruit: flushes toxins out of the body and maintains healthy skin tissue. Cucumbers are low in calories and carbohydrates, so they are the perfect snack to munch on while doing any activity. To encourage more people to add cucumbers to their diets, this vegetable contains high water content, zinc, calcium and vitamin B.
Recipe Suggestion: If you’re bored of eating cucumbers raw, try tossing them into a salad or into your burger or sandwich. Another favorite is eating cucumbers with hummus, or blending them with Greek yogurt to make a yummy spread.
The most obvious way to keep cool during the hot periods is to drink plenty of water. However, it is important that you drink the right kind of liquid. Drinks that contain a lot of sugar and sodium (e.g. sodas, sport beverages, iced coffee) can make people more dehydrated. People should also stray away from consuming cold drinks/food because it can interfere with the sweating process, which is the body’s natural cooling system.