With the rising temperatures our bodies are craving slightly fresher and lighter foods, in order to keep us hydrated and energized throughout the season. It’s a myth that summer brings more exercise and healthier food, because we tend to gain weight much faster. All of these barbecues, fares and fast food vendors definitely come along with a lot of temptation.
It is so easy to reach for our favorite cold sugary drinks and ice cream, which often results in weight gain. To avoid surprises and keep our bellies flat, apart from drinking hectoliters of iced drinks, we cannot forget to fuel our body with the essential nutrients, when we need them the most.
The sun does not only leave our skin dry and dehydrated, but also makes us look for the ways to tame the heat and change our diet. Luckily, summer is also the time when we can fully enjoy the gifts from the Mother Nature. Why not feast on fresh fruit and veggies, the best possible ingredient of a healthy food diet and an effective way to cool our bodies when the temperatures are high? Coming with endless health benefits, also in a form of cold pressed juices, they cannot be left unattended in the summer.
Eating fresh fruits and veggies should be a primary goal for everyone, because they are simply delicious and full of a natural sweet flavor, without any additional nonsense. While reaching for a cold coca cola seems to be a such an easy and effort-free solution, we often don’t realize how damaging it is for our body. Overdosing added sugars keeps the blood sugar levels high, which increases your risk of diabetes and cause an unwanted weight gain.
Now you know the basics, so we can move on to listing the best fruits and veggies to help you stay healthy in the summer.
Known as a “hydration hero”, watermelon is made from more than 90 percent water. Its content will keep you cool, hydrated and full, which is crucial throughout the warmer months. Watermelon contains many nutrients, including Vitamin A and D, that are very beneficial for your skin and hair, preventing it from looking dry and flaky. Watermelons may also use as a relief to muscle soreness, and it is often drunk by athletes for a better recovery. This hydration bomb is very low in calories, which makes it a guilt-free snack!
This citrus fruit is rich in potassium, essential over the summer, when we tend to lose it through sweat. Delivering potassium to your body is very beneficial in keeping the muscle cramps away. Made from about 80% water, oranges are also a great hydration source during the sweaty summer days. This fruit has several health benefits, from lowering your cholesterol to controlling blood sugar level, and is also easy to find, being among most popular fruits around the world.
- Berries all the way
We’re talking about blueberries and raspberries, which are an excellent mix for the summer! They are a great source of dietary fiber which aids digestion, low in calories and extremely nutritious. Berries also have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which is your body’s way of mounting a defense against infection or injury. They are the summertime top picks, known for amazing antioxidant properties and beneficial for weight loss!
A refreshing and affordable vegetable often reached for during hot summer days. Cucumbers are extremely beneficial for our skin, keeping it hydrated, as well as helping with skins problems and sunburns. Its high-water content is great for cleansing and removing toxins from our body. They are a great addition to fresh salads and juices.
- Dark Leafy Green Veggies
With their numerous health benefits, leafy greens are known for reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure. They decrease sensitivity to UV light and strengthen skin’s defenses against damaging rays from the sun. When the temperatures are high, leave the steamed veggies behind and snack on raw and fresh spinach or kale, which are a great addition to salads and smoothies.
- Peaches & Apricots
Both rich in beta-carotene give your skin a healthy glow throughout the summer. Apricots are known for being a natural sun protection, thanks to plenty of Vitamin A in the fruit, which is also essential to maintain eye health. Peaches and apricots are also rich in Vitamin C and potassium, which helps you avoid muscle cramps. This sweet and healthy addition to your diet will boost your immunity and prevent you from digestive conditions.
This summer squash contains a lot of fiber, which is linked to increasing heart health, lowering cholesterol and improving digestion. Zuchinni is low in fat, contains significant amount of potassium and water, delivering essential minerals and vitamins to your body. It’s well known for being extremely good for weight loss and boosting the energy levels.
What should we avoid in the summer?
You now understand what’s best to include in your summer diet, so what should we stay away from?
It’s easy to think that certain already prepared meals and snacks are healthy, but just because they contain veggies and fruits, doesn’t mean they are. For instance, the main attraction of the summer, corn on the cob, is often covered in butter and salt, which then becomes an unnecessary bomb of fat and calories. The best way to deliver what we actually want to our body, is preparing the meals from scratch.
Another foolish mistake a lot of people make is reaching for ice cream desserts to cool the body when the temperatures are high. Often covered in chocolate, they are as bad for you, as artificially sweetened drinks. Try to reach for fresh fruit or cold pressed juices, instead of overdosing added sugars and increasing the risk of diabetes.
Usually restaurant menus offer ribs, chicken and other meats that are fried, covered in a barbeque sauce, and loaded with saturated fat. The summer is also the time for outdoor festivals and markets, often surrounded by food vendors selling hot dogs, pizza or burgers. A healthy alternative is making sure your meat is grilled and using the low-fat spices such as garlic, chili powder and mustard, instead of a sauce.
Let’s wrap it up
This article should guide you through the summer season and hopefully encourage you to make better choices and change your diet. Being outdoors more often and sweating, we are at higher risk for health-related problems such as dehydration, sun burn as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Don’t go over the moon to find healthy and nutritious food- eating local, seasonal fruit and veggies and drinking a sufficient amount of water will keep you hydrated and deliver essential nutrients and vitamins to your body.