Hello Summer – just in time for healthy hot-weather eating tips

Summer’s here and the time is right to take advantage of everything there is to enjoy about it.  The lazy, hazy, and crazy busyness of the season of summer swells with activities.  Temperatures are also known to swell during summer and whether you like warm weather or not, there are bound to be days when heat and humidity skyrocket. To keep your cool, here are some healthy tips on lowering body heat, maintaining healthy hydration levels plus trying out new things to welcome summer with health in mind.

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·      Cool down with vegetables

Ever hear the term “cool as a cucumber?”  There’s a reason for that.  Most veggies are loaded with water and will do their part in keeping you hydrated, lowering your body temperature and improving cell function all at the same time.  Pretty cool, huh!  A great way to make this happen is to have a variety of salad greens each day such as spinach, Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce or turnip greens.  And don’t forget to add in the cucumbers.

·      Explore the cooking effects of herbs

What would we do without herbs?  These flavorful additions to just about any dish can make all the difference in tantalizing our taste buds along with aesthetic appeal.  Add them to a salad to act as a cooling agent or even to an infused water recipe.  Herbs such as cilantro, peppermint, chickweed, and dandelion greens not only can lower body temperature but are also filled with important nutrients such as vitamin A and calcium.

·      Get swimming with fish

Summer is always a good time to sneak in more cold-water fish – the healthiest are those high in omega-3 fats and low in mercury which include Atlantic mackerel, cod, salmon, tuna, herring, haddock, anchovies, whitefish, or trout.  Their mixture of healthy fats and top notch protein make them the perfect choice for a light summer meal. Here is Dr. David Samadi’s delicious recipe for Mediterranean Salmon.

·      Fruit – a tip-top coolant

What better way to get cool and hydrated than with fruit.  Naturally packed with water, all fruit are ideal for doing wonders for your hydration, bringing down your body temperature and providing vital nutrients all in a fun, sweet-tasting package.  There are the usual fruits of bananas, apples and oranges but don’t let summer slip by without trying something new and unusual – mangoes, kiwi, jackfruit, papaya and all the varieties of berries. 

·      Keep things spicy hot

It’s not a coincidence that spicy cuisine is found in hot and tropical regions of the world.  Those red-hot chili peppers along with other spicy foods make you sweat necessary to help us maintain a normal body temperature by cooling us down.  Spicy foods’ trick is that it raises your internal temperature to match the temperature outside.  Your blood circulation increases, you start to sweat and once your moisture has evaporated, you cool off.  So, go ahead, take the plunge and add some spicy fare to your next meal.

·      Water – the ultimate hydrator

Our body depends on water to survive and really is our most important nutrient.  Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly.  During the long hot days of summer, keeping hydrated is a must.  Each day, adequately hydrate yourself with plenty of water. One way to tell if you are consuming enough is to check your urine. If it is usually colorless or light yellow, you are well-hydrated.  But if it is dark yellow or amber color, you need to drink more.