During the hot summer months, many of us lean toward eating foods that are light and hydrating. Watermelon, cucumber, and other fruits and vegetables can often help you avoid feeling full and heavy in high temperatures that are already causing some level of discomfort.
Eating the right foods during summer can help you stay cool and more active. Here are several ways to lighten up your meals, freshen up your water, and feel more comfortable this summer season.
Start With a Cool Smoothie
A fruit and vegetable smoothie is a healthy and light breakfast that can give you plenty of energy for the day ahead. The key to a healthy, filling smoothie is ensuring it has the right blend of ingredients. Too much fruit could spike your blood sugar, while too much fiber could make you feel a bit heavy.
Ingredients to include in your breakfast smoothies are healthy fats, proteins, fiber, fruits, vegetables, liquid, and a natural sweetener. For example, your smoothie could have nut butter, oats, bananas, kale, almond milk, and honey. You can look online for breakfast smoothie recipes and experiment with a variety of different ingredients or click this link to get you started.
Stock Up on Frozen Fruit
Fruits are light, cooling, high in fiber, and high in water content, which makes them especially hydrating. Frozen fruit is often conveniently chopped into bite-size pieces so you can snack while on the go or add to smoothies. Plus frozen fruit is often picked at the height of the season, so it tends to be fresh and flavorful. When buying frozen fruit, make sure it contains 100% fruit and no preservatives or additives like sugar.
Grow Fresh Mint
Mint is a cooling herb that tastes great in smoothies, teas, and salads. Though mint may not cool down your body temperature, it can provide the sensation of being cool, which can make you feel more comfortable. Plus, mint is rich in nutrients and can help relieve symptoms of indigestion.
Mint is relatively easy to grow, as it requires little maintenance. If you’re into gardening, add a mint plant to your outdoor garden and tend to it regularly to make sure the soil stays moist and its leaves are kept clean. Be sure to place your mint plants in a space where you don't mind spread. It grows like a weed and can pop up in new areas. If you spend of time outdoors in your garden, consider using a personal medical alert device with GPS so you can call for help if you feel symptoms of a heat-related condition like heatstroke.
Buy In-Season Summer Produce
Buying fruits and vegetables while they’re in season is a great way to save money on produce. Buying produce in season also helps ensure you’re getting them at the best time of year when they contain the most nutrients and taste best.
Visit your local farmer’s market and stock up on in-season summer produce. Opt for produce that is high in water content so you can boost your hydration level. Fruits and veggies that are ideal to buy during the summer include watermelon, cucumber, berries, celery, mangos, and citrus fruits. Apricosts, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineappples, plums, and raspberries contain over 80% water. Melons, such as cantaloupes, have over 90% water content.
Bake With Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds are said to help reduce thirst and lower your internal body temperature. They are also rich in antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and are loaded with nutrients including fiber, protein, and calcium.
Poppy seeds are highly versatile and can be added to smoothies, soups, sandwiches, and baked goods. If you do choose to bake with poppy seeds, try to do it on days with cooler temperatures to prevent your oven from making your home too hot. If you bake regularly, consider looking into home alert systems for seniors that can alert emergency medical services if you think you may be overheating or feel ill.
Flavor Your Ice Water
Staying hydrated during the summer is essential to reducing your risk for dehydration and heat stroke. Water is the ideal go-to beverage for staying hydrated. However, a lack of flavor prevents many people from drinking the amount of water they need to stay healthy.
Summer is the best time of year to flavor your water with cooling fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Try spiking your water with lime, mint, or other flavorful herbs like basil and cilantro. Cucumber is also great when added to water, as well as other citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.
Share Your Summer Favorites at Gatherings
Picnics, barbecues, and other outdoor social events are ideal for sharing your favorite light dishes with others in your community. Your friends and family are likely to choose light dishes over heavy ones when spending time outdoors in the heat. Fruit salad, homemade salsa, tuna lettuce wraps, and coleslaw are some of the many light summer favorites that can keep you and your friends feeling great.
If you are at risk for heatstroke, consider wearing a Medical Alert Watch with GPS when attending any outdoor events during the summer. Risk factors for heatstroke include being over the age of 65, using certain medications like beta blockers, and having a chronic illness like lung disease.
At Medical Guardian, our goal is to empower you to live a life without limits. We offer home alert systems for seniors and a personal medical alert device with GPS for aging adults who like to stay active and healthy while enjoying their favorite activities.