Summer months mean long days and hot temperatures, and it's natural to crave lighter, more hydrating meals and snacks. Does the idea of a spicy, heavy stew make you wince, but refreshing watermelon has you drooling? It's your body's voice telling you what it needs! Healthy eating during the summertime means eating foods that keep you feeling your best, which will often include hydrating and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Prioritize Healthy Eating in the Summer
The best thing we can do for our bodies is to prioritize healthy eating in the summer months. The impact of hotter temperatures can be dangerous — both heatstroke and heat exhaustion are common and can be deadly if not caught and treated early. These conditions are especially hazardous if you're enjoying sports or outdoor activities in the summer heat. By keeping fresh, hydrated, and healthy, you can stay safe and increase your endurance, even in hot temperatures.
The most important thing to do in the summertime is to stay hydrated. Many think that hydration is merely drinking water throughout the day. While this is both true and essential, hydration in the summer goes beyond what we drink. Summer foods tend to be more hydrating than others and are an integral component of a healthy diet.
Many foods have high water content, and eating them during hot summer days will help keep us hydrated even more so than drinking water. Fruits like watermelon, apples, citrus fruits, and peaches are ultra-hydrating, as are vegetables like cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes, and celery.
Infusing Your Water
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables alone will do the trick, but you can also use them to infuse your water and supercharge its hydrating effects. Water doesn't always reach every cell and tissue in our body when we drink it alone. Adding sustenance like fruits and vegetables or herbs allows it to go deeper into your body for exceptional hydration. Teas, coconut water, and broths can also help keep you hydrated.
Consuming Seasonal Foods
Another way to encourage healthy eating during the summertime is to take advantage of all the delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables. When food is seasonal, it tends to be more nutritious, even more so if it's also locally sourced. So consuming seasonal summer foods is essential for a healthy diet. And when it comes to summer fruits and vegetables, you're in luck — they are some of our favorite foods to eat!
Summer Fruits and Vegetables
Seasonal summer foods include melons — watermelon, cantaloupe, canary, honeydew, etc. — as well as peaches, nectarines, cherries, berries, plums, and oranges. We can find this fruit at big grocery stores in nearly any season, but that doesn't mean it'll taste good or have a high nutritional value. It's always best to consume food during its season. Your summer fruits will taste juicier and sweeter!
But summer isn't just about fruit — there are plenty of vegetables to enjoy, as well. These veggies include cucumber, bell peppers, beets, carrots, rhubarb, corn, and more. Nothing quite beats a refreshing salad with sweet summer corn or rhubarb! In healthy eating, it's essential to include a variety of fresh, seasonal produce, which makes summer the optimal time to focus on a healthy diet.
Preparing From Scratch
Lastly, summer days tend to give us heightened energy. Maybe that's because of the extended hours of sunlight or the warm evenings. Either way, summertime allows us more opportunities to prepare our food ourselves. When you make something from scratch, it's bound to be healthier because you can control it. For example, if you bake a strawberry rhubarb pie, you can use natural ingredients and whole grains, which makes it a healthier choice.
Other summer foods that we can prepare on our own include salads like pasta or potato salad and coleslaw. We can also make hamburger patties and sausages for summer grilling from scratch to ensure that they consist of natural, wholesome ingredients.
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