By Simone Stromer, MD, CHC [AADP]
Eat more cooling foods
On really hot days do you find that your appetite disappears, except of course for ice cream? The main reason we crave ice cream in summer is because of its cooling affect on the body. Our bodies are trying to tell us that they require cool foods and liquids, and so the first thing we think of is our favorite creamy and cold treat. But, many of us are addicted to sugar, and before we know it we have eaten the whole carton of Häagen-Dazs. Instead, why not try to satisfy your cravings with light, healthy foods such as fruit salad and yogurt, hearty salads, cold soups, smoothies, and fresh fruit and vegetable juices? Of course sometimes we just need to have our ice cream, but aim for moderation by sticking to small pre-packaged portions to avoid overindulging.
Eat more raw foods
Worldwide distribution of food makes fruits and vegetables available year-round; however, the freshest and most nutritionally dense foods are those locally grown and in season. Notice that many different types of fruits, berries, salad greens, cucumbers, peas, as well as green beans, summer squash, and tomatoes, all come into season in the warmer months. These foods are delicious eaten raw on their own or added to salads, and in this way they will have a cooling effect on your body, which is exactly what we need in order to deal with those hot summer days. The best part about eating more raw seasonal produce is that the preparation is quick and the calorie content of these foods is relatively low.
Eat foods with high water content
Let's face it - on a scorching summer day the last thing you need is a heavy or salty meal which may cause you to feel sluggish and thirsty. Many seasonal fruits and vegetables are filling and hydrating at the same time, so you won’t feel hungry or thirsty. This summer, experiment with produce and recipes that have high water content. For example, snack on fresh berries, melons, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, or add these to your salads. Chilled soups like gazpacho, summer squash, or cucumber soup that contain lots of liquid will keep you cool and will satisfy your thirst. My personal favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is chilled watermelon with lime, mint, and a dash of honey.
Simone Stromer, MD, CHC [AADP]
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