When it’s hot outside often the last thing you want to do is think about eating but you still need to think about your health, even in the summer. I know that there are some days when even thinking about turning on the oven can make it seem like the temperature is rising, but this is really no excuse for you to live on ice-cream during the summer. After careful research, using my family as “guinea pigs” and talking to my health care provider I found the perfect foods that will keep you healthy and cool in hot weather.
- Fruits and vegetables
You probably already know that fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, along with the fact you can find several varieties in the summer. You can toss the veggies in a salad or even on the grill if you think you can stand the heat. Fruit can also be enjoyed several ways, including on top of ice cream. Adding to their benefits is the fact that fruits and vegetables are comprised mainly of water so eating them will also help prevent dehydration. I love the fact that there are so many varieties to choose from it is actually pretty easy to get my kids to eat fruit and vegetables, instead of always wanting ice cream.
This is probably not a food you think about during the summer, but it is actually perfect for the heat. Grains are typically light, which is what you normally want when the temperature starts to rise. Pitas and flatbreads are a good sources of grain, and can also be used to make great tasting sandwiches your whole family can enjoy. Don’t forget that most cereals are also made from oats, rice, wheat and other grains, and when you add cold milk you might decide that it doesn’t always have to be strictly a breakfast food. Adding milk also helps to ensure you and your family are getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D.
- Foods high in protein
Just because a food is high in protein doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s meat, which is good news for vegetarians. Obviously you can beat the heat a little by grilling your fish, chicken or other lean cuts of meat outdoors, but legumes and nuts are often just as high in protein and you don’t have to fire up the grill or turn the oven on to enjoy them. Almonds and walnuts in particular are high in protein and antioxidants. So are cashews, but these delicious nuts are also high in fat. A little fat is good for you, but too much and your swimsuit might not fit the way you want it to.
It is finally summer, time for vacations and get together with friends and family. This also means lots of BBQs, cookouts and what can seem like a ton of coleslaw and potato salad. While the food may be delicious, the grease from the burgers and chicken combined with the mayo-based salads are definitely not good for your waistline or your health. Even vegetarians and vegans can find it difficult to stick with a healthy eating plan during the summer.
In an effort to stay healthy myself I did a little research and found several foods that are not only delicious and nutritious, they will also fit just about any lifestyle. Here are some of the best, and easiest ways you can eat healthy during the hot summer months.
If you are enjoying a cookout or BBQ with friends and family chances are there are ears of corn being tossed on the grill. Not only is fresh corn delicious, it also contains two important antioxidants. These antioxidants can actually help protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s damaging rays, and best of all if you forego the butter it is a nutritious summer food even a strict vegan will love.
Who ever would’ve have thought this cool morning pick-me-up could actually be good for your health. All I know is that this makes it easy for me to enjoy a healthy summer diet. A study recently published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention noted that people that enjoyed one cup of iced or hot caffeinated coffee a day had a 10 percent less chance of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer than those who skipped this often necessary morning routine.
This summer staple is a constant in my refrigerator. Since it 92 percent water I never have to worry about dehydration, and trust me it will always taste better than bottled or tap water. Watermelon can also help curb your appetite so your swimsuit continues to fit great. This summer fruit even contains the antioxidant lycopene which helps to prevent skin cancer.
Cucumbers and Tomatoes
Fresh veggies are always a healthy addition to any diet, especially in the summer time. Cucumbers are over 90 percent water so staying hydrated is never a problem. Their high water content can also prevent skin from developing wrinkles, which can be a common problem if you spend your days in the hot sun. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and including them in your summer diet will reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Blueberries and Raspberries
One thing that I love to do with my kids is pick blueberries and raspberries in the summer. Not only is this a fun activity, these great tasting summer fruits are also high in vitamins and antioxidants. Including these in your summer diet can also improve energy levels, and if you’re like me this is always helpful when you are trying to keep up with active kids in the summer heat.