The summer heat has arrived and appears here to stay – that legendary Florida weather characterized by the scorching heat. We have spoken at length about how to deal with heat stroke and to keep seniors safe during this season – but today we are going to talk about something much more delicious. Obviously, everyone needs to keep cool and drink lots of water in this climate. But did you know that the food you eat helps you to moderate body temperature as well? Being in the hot sun all day can cause dehydration, but these healthy and hydrating foods can help you get through the next few months in the tastiest way possible.
Locally sourced fruits and vegetables are the best sources of healthy, essential nutrients. The foods outlined below can keep your hydration level where it needs to be, allowing you to fully embrace all the fun and beauty of the season.
Green Tea: According to many experts, green tea is the healthiest drink for any time of the year, but especially in summer. Iced green tea is an excellent way to keep hydrated – while providing a significant source of antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients beneficial to overall health. Be sure to avoid sugary soft drinks – grab an iced green tea to cool off.
Watermelon: Boasting an appropriate name, watermelon offers super hydration during the summer months – delivered in an easy-to-eat package. This melon’s high water content will encourage hydration, and you won’t need junk food thanks to the distinct sweetness of the fruit. Did you know? Watermelon is also rich in lycopene, which can help in the prevention of sunburn!
Yogurt: The key to a great summer snack is that it is quick and easy – yogurt fits that bill. Yogurt contains the protein you need, effectively satisfies hunger, and can curb cravings. Yogurt is also a great source of probiotics to maintain a clean and functional digestive system.
Summer Salads: The key to salads that are hydrating and healthy is the use of dark, leafy greens such as raw kale, spinach, and leafy lettuce. Dark green-colored vegetables and fruits are dense with carotenoids and antioxidants. They protect against sunburn and sun damage and soothe and repair dry and flaky skin. Summer salads give you the opportunity to load a bowl full of fresh vegetables and heart-healthy nuts.
Tomatoes: The red color in tomatoes (as well as other bright red fruit and vegetables) is derived from lycopene, the same nutrient found in watermelon. These red vegetables provide skin protection under the Venice summer sun – still, it is important to still utilize sunscreen and take precautions to avoid excessive sun exposure.
Avocados: An avocado is one of the most amazing foods available, a superfood loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat, folate, and fiber. They offer natural anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen. Avocados are delicious in salads – but make sure to make a few into guacamole, a cool and tasty summer dip to enjoy with family and friends. (Don’t forget your green tea!)
Salmon: Salmon is a fantastic source of Omega3 and protein, and is one of the most heart-healthy foods available. Change up your barbecue this year, and try salmon burgers.
Melons: Cantaloupes and honeydews are amazing hydrating foods, bursting with water and nutrients – and are exceptionally tasty as well. These melons contain a natural diuretic, but it does not cause dehydration – unlike coffee and caffeine.
Orange Colored Fruits: Apricots, peaches, and nectarines are rich in dietary fiber, loaded with Vitamin C, and deliver significant amounts of Vitamin A.
Berries: Berries provide health benefits any time of the year, but they are exceptionally great in the summer. Strawberries and blueberries are packed with flavonoids, which encourage blood flow to the skin and reduce light sensitivity. Blackberries and raspberries are excellent sources of fiber as well.
Your diet is a major indicator of your overall health. This summer, try these healthy and hydrating foods and incorporate them into your daily routine – your body will thank you for it.
A Banyan Residence is an assisted living and memory care center located in Venice, Florida.