Five Tips for Staying Cool This Summer
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Summer is officially upon us. With air as thick as wool, New England summers can have you reaching for light and refreshing foods with one hand (and a portable fan with the other). Good news for you: some summer-friendly foods will not only nourish you, but hydrate you, too. And, with days this hot, hydration is vital to staying healthy and energized.
Follow these five tips, and fill up on hydrating foods on a hot summer’s day:
1. Go for melons. These beautiful and tasty fruits are mostly water and have nutrients like vitamin C and potassium. And it’s not quite summer without watermelon, which is about 91 percent water. Try chilling it in the refrigerator for a refreshing treat or add chunks of your favorite — such as honeydew or cantaloupe — to a summer salad.
2. Make use of your freezer. If you like popsicles, you will love this simple and healthy shortcut to making your own popsicle “bites.” Rinse a bunch of grapes, allow them to dry completely, and pop them in the freezer for a few hours (or until frozen). The frozen grapes are perfect on a hot afternoon as a bite-sized snack. Plus, they’re naturally sweet, so you can enjoy this treat without the added sugars found in most popsicles. This trick works for most fruits, so feel free to experiment.
3. Hydrate with extra flavor. Nothing is more refreshing than a large glass of ice water on a hot and humid day. But plain water can sometimes get boring. Try adding fruits, like strawberries or blackberries to a pitcher of water to chill in the fridge. Other water flavor enhancers like cucumber or mint can also spice up your daily beverage.
4. Go beyond the salad. You don’t have to have a salad to eat these tasty, water-packed veggies: tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, lettuce, and even broccoli. These veggies have high levels of water that will help to fill you up and hydrate you, too. Try grilling tomatoes and even lettuce for a grilled salad. Make a chilled broccoli salad for a refreshing summer side dish. Cucumbers and peppers make a great addition to most sandwiches for some extra crunch or work well as an on-the-go snack.
5. Trade the hot for cold. Soup, that is. Gazpacho is a chilled soup typically made with vegetables, but fruit can be added, too. Try this traditional gazpacho from SkinnyTaste.com. It’s perfect for getting a hearty serving of veggies while also cooling you off in the heat of the day.