Summer has arrived and everyone wants to enjoy this wonderful time of year. You can go swimming, trekking, camping, play around the beach and enjoy a night outside grilling some of your favorite foods.
To be sure you can enjoy all the warm sunny days of summer, you’ll want to keep yourself free from common summer health problems, such as sun damage, dehydration, heat stroke and digestive problems. By making smart dietary choices, you can ward off these and other health issues.
The summer growing season produces an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables in the market. These fresh and flavorful summer foods will keep your body cool from within and well nourished.
Here are the top 10 superfoods for summer.
Watermelon is a staple food for summer picnics. With about 92 percent of its weight coming from water, watermelon contributes to fluid intake to help keep the body well hydrated. By staying hydrated, you can keep your memory sharp and your mood stable.
Also, watermelon provides plenty of antioxidants including vitamins A and C and lycopene, which help reduce risk of complications from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, macular degeneration and arthritis.
To keep your body cool and well hydrated during the hot summer months, munch on fresh watermelon daily. The refreshing and sweet taste of watermelon is liked by all, including children.
Cucumbers are another ideal cooling summer food. They have high water content and help keep your body cool and refreshed.
The enzyme called erepsin found in cucumbers helps keep the intestinal tract healthy. This improves digestion and is especially helpful in summer, when people complain a lot about poor digestion.
Plus, cucumbers contain vitamin C that helps protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) sun rays and prevents wrinkles, sun damage and more.
Enjoy a plate of cucumber salad as a cool and crunchy snack. You can even have cucumber soup or juice during the summer days.
3. Summer Squash
The nice flavor and creamy texture of summer squash go well with many summer meals. It is a great source of the antioxidant vitamins C and A. It also provides energy-boosting B-vitamins. Several components in summer squash also help keep insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels in balance.
In addition, summer squash provides vitamin K, choline, zinc, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Add fresh, raw summer squash to salads and wraps. You can also have baked, stuffed or sautéed summer squash dishes.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is perfect in the summer for cooling the body and helping disperse body heat. Along with protein and calcium, Greek yogurt contains probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that keep your digestive system running smoothly as well as boost immunity and prevent yeast infections.
Greek yogurt can even help you slim down due to the unique protein and carbohydrate combination it offers.
You can eat a cup of Greek yogurt for a refreshing summer treat. You can also top it with fresh strawberries or raspberries for a tasty dessert.
Drinking buttermilk at the end of a long, hot day in the sun is a great way to combat dehydration and fatigue. Packed with electrolytes and lots of water, a glass of buttermilk can help rehydrate your body.
It also helps calm the stomach after a spicy meal and aids in digestion. Sweating, tiredness, muscle cramps, nausea and headaches can also be reduced significantly by adding buttermilk to your diet. Plus, buttermilk is a great food for healthy skin.
So this summer, avoid aerated drinks and start drinking one or two glasses of buttermilk daily.
Readily available throughout the summer season, mango’s soothing and cooling effect will keep you energized during the hot summer days. Plus, mangoes are rich in vitamins A, C and E that are essential to maintain good health.
You can eat both ripe and unripe mangoes to beat summer heat. Eat ripe mangoes as a fruit snack or add the pulp to milk or yogurt and blend it for a tasty smoothie.
You can boil unripe mangoes, extract the pulp, add it to a glass of cold water and sprinkle in some salt and roasted cumin powder. This drink is an excellent remedy for heat stroke and exhaustion that can occur in the summertime.
7. Sweet Lime
Also known as mosambi, sweet lime is a juicy and delicious fruit. Full of water, sweet lime helps you regain the water and electrolytes lost due to summer sweating.
It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, copper and iron. It aids in digestion to ward off digestive problems that are common in the summer. In addition, sweet lime also prevents skin hyperpigmentation, black spots and pimples as well as reducing sun tan.
Extract the juice from sweet limes and add a little salt and sugar to make a refreshing summer drink.
8. Coconut Water
Coconut water, the purest liquid after water, is one of the important healthy foods to have during hot summer days when people lose a considerable amount of water due to perspiration.
This natural, refreshing beverage is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes and minerals that help replenish hydration levels within the body. A glass of coconut water can easily restore the electrolyte composition in body fluids.
Plus, it can aid in losing weight as it is low in fat, cholesterol and chlorides. It reduces food cravings and keeps a person feeling full.
Stay hydrated with coconut water this summer. Drink coconut water on an empty stomach in the morning to protect your lungs, eyes, kidneys and blood circulation from the effects of heat.
Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, tomatoes are a nutritious and delicious addition to any summer meal. One medium tomato is approximately 95 percent water and helps keep the body hydrated.
Tomatoes are also high in lycopene, a phytochemical that has potent antioxidant properties that protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Other vital nutrients in tomatoes include potassium, folate, dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, niacin, and vitamins B6, C, A, K and E.
Add fresh tomatoes to salads, sandwiches or soups to keep yourself healthy year-round. You can also drink tomato juice.
A cup of freshly boiled corn with salt or sugar is a healthy summer treat. Rich in two powerful antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin, corn helps protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays. These antioxidants also reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Corn also contains thiamin and folate that provide energy to the body. Plus, corn has vitamin B that lowers stress and cholesterol levels.
A bowl of corn soup, a plate of corn salad or simply boiled corn, you can include corn in your meal plan in different ways.
These healthy summer foods can help ensure that this summer is a memorable one for you and your family, free from summer-related health issues. The most important thing to remember is to drink plenty of water as well as eat foods with high water content throughout the day.