Stepping into Summer!

Keeping Hydrated & Healthy in the Heat

Summer Solstice has hit and we are making our way into my favorite season of the year!  So many fruits and veggies are sprouting out of the ground, the sun is shining, school is out & its time to go play outside!  

There are plenty of activities that take us out in the sunshine this season and not only is it important to keep our skin protected from the suns UV rays, we also need to be mindful in what we are feeding our bodies to keep us hydrated.  Summers bounty of fruits & veggies are loaded with water, vitamins & minerals that will keep our bodies healthy and satisfied on the hottest of hot days! 

 

Some Seasonal Highlights: 

  • Tart Cherries: They deliver a host of health benefits including compounds that may help you slim down as well as fight post-workout muscle pain!!  They have an active molecule, anthocyanins, which not only is a powerful antioxidant but also may act as a natural "sunscreen" protecting cells from high-light damage.

 

  • Tomatoes: Eating tomatoes could also give you a little extra sun protection: consuming more lycopene (the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red) may help protect your skin from sunburn. Lycopene is also well known as an incredible cancer fighting antioxidant!  

 

  • Watermelon: As the name implies, Watermelon is almost entirely water, 92% in fact!  Including this fruit in your daily diet will help you stay hydrated as well as keep your memory sharp and your mood stable.  So you don’t just have to drink water, you can eat it too!  Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories.

 

  • Iced Tea: A tall glass of iced tea (black, green, oolong, white, herbal) on a hot day is not only refreshing, but also does your body good!  Tea is full of specific antioxidants called flavonoids which may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and contribute to healthier teeth, gums and stronger bones!  Maximize the power of these flavonoids by drinking your tea freshly brewed or squeezing a lil' lemon juice in if you plan to store in the refrigerator.  

 

  •  Radishes: Water content: 95.3%!!  These refreshing root vegetables should be a fixture in your Summer salads. They provide a burst of spicy & sweet flavor, not to mention their beautiful color!  They are filled with antioxidants like catechin which is also found in green tea that has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.  

 

  • Spinach: Eating dark leafy greens is ALWAYS a good idea!  During the summer months, Spinach adds an extra benefit of having a high water content as well.  Spinach is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber, and brain-boosting folate, and just one cup of raw leaves contains 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E (an important antioxidant).  

More Summertime Tips... 

1. Keeping Skin Hydrated

 Not only do we need to drink (and eat) more water during the hot Summer months to hydrate us on the inside, we also need to keep our skin hydrated to keep it from becoming dry and damaged!   Enter Coconut Oil.. Not only is it great to cook with and contributes to weight loss, it can help keep your skin moist in these hot months!  Salt water and Chlorine can contribute to skin dryness so be sure to bring some with you poolside and at the beach :)

2.  Preventing Muscle Cramps 

Lots of things can cause muscle cramps, but in the heat of summer, overexertion and dehydration may be the culprits!  When we sweat too much and do not replenish with plenty of fluids (8-10 glasses of H2O) our systems can experience an electrolyte imbalance which causes our muscles to cramp.  It is important not only to hydrate with water but also with electrolyte beverages &/or foods that replace the sodium, calcium and potassium (the main electrolytes) in our bodies.  It is pretty difficult to find electrolyte drinks that don't have a ton of added sugar and other nasty additives like artificial coloring and preservatives!  My go-to (in the Summertime and beyond) is Coconut water :)  Eating foods rich in potassium can also help; Avocado, Spinach and sweet potatoes are my favs!!

3.  Escaping the Mosquitos!

Warmer temperatures doesn't just bring all the people outside, it also brings the bugs!  Prime biting time is between dusk and dawn so wearing long sleeve and pant clothing can help.  Sweet smelling lotions and perfumes can attract mosquitos so try and avoid overuse of products that contain them.  I am not a fan of repellents that have Deet (or any other chemical), so I suggest checking out some alternatives that will be kinder to the environment as well as your skin!  

Here are some essential oils that help keep the biters at bay: 

  • cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)

  • lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)

  • citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)

  • castor oil (mosquitoes)

  • orange oil (fleas)

  • rose geranium (ticks and lice)

 

Recipes Included.. Check out 'Recipes' on the Nav Bar: 

  • Summertime Crunchy Quinoa Salad
  • Summer Fruit Infused Green Tea