It does not get hot here very often but when it does we feel it! With the temperature rising in the mountains, you might be starting to reach for some cooling and refreshing treats. Summer often inspires thoughts of ice cream, popsicles, coca cola and other childhood memories. While these foods might offer temporary cooling and a blast of nostalgia, they can actually inhibit your body’s natural cooling mechanisms. Now is a great time to put a spotlight on some foods that will support your body’s internal cooling system. Might be time to head to the weekly farmer’s market! Also, if you’re ready to give your body a nutritional blast for summer be sure to check out my 30 Day Nourishment Challenge!
Watermelon is one of my summertime favorites! A watermelon roughly contains 80-90% water making it a great thirst quencher. It also has a light taste of sweet sugar syrup that beats the neutral taste of natural water. Juicy and delicious watermelons are a rich source of essential vitamins like vitamin A, B and C and anti-oxidants. Eating a cool wedge of water melon sitting on your front porch is one of the best ways to enjoy the crunchy cooling fruit.
I highly recommend making yourself a watermelon drink: simply blend sizeable watermelon cubes with fresh lime juice and add in a few ice cubes.
This wonderful water-filled vegetable is not only a great way to beat the heat but it’s also low calorie, easy to digest and high in nutrition. healthy. What’s more when eaten with its peel, it is a good dietary fiber that helps prevent constipation and that in the long run, prevents extra buildup of heat in the body. So, use cucumbers and other leafy vegetables with high water content to make a fresh vegetable or fruit salad.
Coconut water is basically the translucent juice found inside a coconut when cracked open. The sweet water is packed with sugars, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes that make up this most refreshing natural drink. It replenishes and hydrates the body, keeping the body water levels balanced. It should be taken without any additional ingredients and immediately be used or stored in the refrigerator because it spoils easily. A simple way to enjoy this drink is by adding lime and mint leaves to iced coconut water.
What food screams summer more than summer squash? This creamy fleshy white food is a good source of anti-oxidants like carotenoids. It belongs to a family of plants that are related to watermelon and even cucumbers. Apart from having anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, summer squash has healthy nutrients that help regulate blood sugar in our bodies. You can prepare a healthy meal of this yummy food by steaming it, which helps to retain most of the nutrients contrary to boiling or cooking using a microwave. It is better to eat summer squash alone or 30 minutes before a meal to prevent bloating.
Once summer pops up, there’s a lemonade stand in every street you turn. Gulping down a chilled glass of good old lemonade is simply bliss on a hot sticky day. It has high water content and is rich in Vitamin C since it is made out of lemon. Though lemonade is great, try to avoid highly sweetened varieties or whenever possible, go for a natural sweetner like agave, honey or stevia.
Apples, lime, oranges, grape fruit, peaches, pears among others have high water content and are rich in Vitamin C. Citrus fruits also aid in digestion and help in the breakdown of fatty foods, thereby keeping you in shape. By releasing heat from the body, they regulate the body’s hydration levels. Toss a handful of citrus fruits in your fruit salad and enjoy a healthy and fruity desert that will keep you cool in the summer.
The idea of spicy foods in the summer may not be appealing, but spicy foods actually cool the body by increasing circulation of blood and by helping us break a sweat. This releases the excessive heat from our bodies. Adding spices like hot chili pepper, capsicum or ginger helps to rapidly raise your body temperature then lower it which lowers your internal body temperature. Might be time to have some Mexican or Thai food!
For tea lovers out there, it’s a relief there’s something called iced green tea which you can enjoy in summer. The light green drink originated from China and can simply be made by boiling green tea leaves in distilled water. Green tea is full of anti-oxidants and had anti-aging properties that keep your skin smooth from any wrinkles. Sunburns can be healed by taking green tea. Because of its slightly bitter taste, green tea maybe unpleasant but you can add a little zest by brewing it with mint leaves for a refreshing taste and serve over ice.
~Tamara Jacobi, certified holistic nutrition coach
Tailwind Jungle Lodge founder and manager, Tamara Jacobi is now introducing holistic health and nutrition services to guests of the Tailwind Jungle Lodge, a lodge located in the Mexican mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean.