Friday, August 2, 2013

Chill Out: Great Summertime Foods

Summertime! That means sun, sun, sun!
Summertime! That means sun, sun, sun!
Image: Shutterstock

It’s summer. I hope that you’ve already realized that significant fact, but if you hadn’t, at least now you know for sure: it is, in fact, summer. For many, summertime means a rise in temperature and the un-hibernation of shorts, tank tops, and dresses to compensate for more sun.

Like the change in clothing, there are also some changes you can make to your diet to help compensate for the heat. Foods that are rich in water will help your body stay hydrated and cool. Consider these five foods:
  1. Watermelon: With a water percentage of up to 92%, this sweet treat is bound to keep you cool. Some research has even suggested that watermelon may be even more hydrating than a glass of water, since its natural sugars, calcium, potassium, and sodium help replace electrolytes in the body. 
  2. Cucumbers: Believe it or not, cucumbers contain even more water than watermelon. At 96% water, they are crisp and cool, and include vitamins C and K to help replenish your body.
  3. Celery: Also 96% water, celery is a good source for sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. Like cucumbers, the nutrients in celery help carry the water content efficiently throughout your body, hydrating you more than drinking twice the amount of water would.
  4. Tomatoes: 94% water doesn’t mean they’re not full of nutrients. Tomatoes are incredibly good for your health, and are thought to reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer. They are also full of the antioxidant lycopene.
  5. Spicy Food: Wait, hot food to cool down? It may seem counterintuitive, but spicy foods also help flush your skin, creating a surge of blood that, once dissipated, will make you feel cooler. Pretty cool, huh?
  6. Watermelon is 92% water and helps replace electrolytes.
    Watermelon is 92% water and helps replace electrolytes.
    Image: Shutterstock
  7. Coconut Water: Another reason to drink coconut water! Like I discussed before, coconut water is now being used as a sports drink replacement since it helps replace carbs and electrolytes used up during exercise. Plus, it’s free of fat and cholesterol and is potassium-rich.

What are some of your favorite water-rich summertime treats? Share in the comments below!