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Hydrate and Energize: 10 Foods for Summer Health

Hydrate and Energize: 10 Foods for Summer Health

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Keeping fit and active is easy when you incorporate these healthy foods into your diet

Foods high in water content are great at hydrating you and cooling you down while out in the sun.

Summer is full of hiking trails, days spent by the sea, and plenty of outdoor activities that make hydrating and eating right necessary. Keeping fit and active is easy when you incorporate these healthy foods into your diet. Not only will you feel more energetic and hydrated, but you’ll be ready to take part in all of summer’s activities.

Click here to see the Hydrate and Energize: 10 Foods for Summer Health (Slideshow)

Foods high in water content are great at hydrating you and cooling you down while out in the sun. Foods like lettuce, citrus, and other summer fruits and vegetables hydrate us and lower our body temperature to stay cool. The high water content can thin the blood and assist your body in releasing heat.

There are several foods to help you cut down on calories and still feel full while giving you energy for summer activities. Cut back on heavy pastas and rice bowls, and chow down on a helping of quinoa instead, for example. Quinoa feels like a starch and fills you up like one, but is actually gluten-free and high in protein.

So, load up on these foods and hit the trails or the beach. Not only do some of these foods give you more energy, but they hydrate you as well for hot summer days.


Snack on a bowl of oatmeal before a hike or run. The oatmeal will hold you over until the end, but won’t weigh you down with carb overload.


These green fruits are full of magnesium and potassium, which helps your muscles function. Plus, it’s a nutrient-dense food, which means it will sustain you well through all your outdoor activities.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

This story was originally published on July 1, 2014.

The 10 Best Foods to Boost Your Hydration (and How to Eat Them)

I’ve recently come to the realization that when I’m feeling sluggish and tired, it’s often because I’m actually dehydrated. It usually happens around that 2 pm slump at work, when I’ve forgotten to refill my water bottle and reach for a coffee instead.

Did you know that when you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost 1-2% of your body fluid, which makes you lethargic? In fact, dehydration can lower blood volume, meaning you don’t get as much blood to your brain and your heart has to pump harder.

Okay, science class dismissed, and now the real question is: What else can we do about it besides drinking more water?

Since I for one find snacking to be more fun sometimes, I’m really interested in which fruits and vegetables do double duty in giving our bodies major doses of nutrition and hydration.

Scroll on for the 10 best hydrating foods and our favorite recipes for using them. Hint: these all have the bonus quality of being low-calorie because, well, water.

Why change your skin care routine for the summer?

For me living in the Midwest means there is a drastic change in the climate from one season to the next.

As the summer heats up I watch everything outside starts to sizzle and wilt between the warm temperatures and humidity. It feels like my skin could do that same thing if I didn’t change my skin care routine.

Each season requires our skin to be nourished in a different way. Much like, changing the foods we eat to what’s in the season to benefit our health. So here are five natural steps you can make to adapt your skin to summer.

Green Juice

We're not talking apple juice spiked with a hint of greens, but rather, veggie-centric juices that are lower in sugar and high in vital nutrients. "I like taking green juices with me to the beach, like Evolution Fresh. They're an alternate source of hydration and rich in nutrients. I would definitely look at the label, however. Mostly green juices will have less sugar content as a general rule. For instance, I would choose one like Essential Greens from Evolution Fresh," says Isabel Smith, MS RD CDN, founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. Bonus points if you can find one with ginger and lemon, which work to ease digestion and flush out your system, which can help reduce bloating.


Peaches. (Photo: David Kadlubowski/

Summer or not, you should always reach for seasonal produce first. Why? Seasonal fruits and vegetables dish up what the season craves. In the summer, peaches fit the coolant bill (whereas tubers and winter squashes warm us like space heaters in the winter).

At just 35-50 calories each, fresh peaches are crammed with vitamins A and C, riboflavin and potassium, essential nutrients for maintaining healthy skin and body. And take note: Dried peaches help regulate the body’s production of heat. For a sensational peach dessert, try my Strawberry Peach Sherbet recipe .

The Best Yogic Recipes for June

While May was a clear transition between two seasons, June is when summer really kicks in. The temperatures are higher, the humidity is higher, and our heart rates naturally rise right along with them. That means no matter what your main dosha is, this weather will no doubt provoke the fiery Pitta within you. To combat this, stick to cooling, watery foods, and avoid heavy and fatty ones. Salads, smoothies, cilantro, cabbage, fennel, and cucumber are great fried foods and excess carbs, not so much. Most of all, be sure to stay hydrated! Your skin, your digestion, and your yoga practice will all thank you. With that said, here are five of our favorite hydrating summer recipes to help you have your healthiest June ever.

Tangy Lentil Salad with Dill & Pepperoncini—This tasty salad has an interesting combination of flavors and is pretty easy to put together. Hearty black beluga lentils and grated carrots serve as the base and are accented by pepperoncini peppers and a lovely tahini-dill dressing. Dill is known in Ayurveda to increase enthusiasm and is a powerful diuretic that reduces swelling.

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Crispy Tofu Bowl With Sweet Chili Sauce—While Ayurveda recommends reducing fried foods in the summertime, you might want to make an exception for this easy and delicious tofu noodle bowl. Bok Choy has anti-inflammatory benefits and has high concentrations of the antioxidants Vitamin C, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), and manganese, and zinc. The recipe includes several alternative sauce ideas including a peanut sauce, coconut curry sauce, and a tahini miso dressing.

Avocado Pasta with Herbs—Other than boiling the noodles, no other cooking is required for this quick flavorful and healthy vegan pasta meal. Avocados are packed with heart-healthy fats, fiber, powerful antioxidants, and immune system boosting zinc. The only downside is you’ll need to eat this meal soon after making due to avocados’ tendency to quickly brown.

Vegan Southern Potato Salad—Based on the traditional Southern-style recipe, this easy vegan Potato Salad recipe is perfect for your next summer cookout or picnic. Ayurveda considers potatoes to be grounding and soothing and can strengthen digestion. In excess, they can aggravate Vata and Pitta doshas. The creaminess of this recipe helps further ground Vata types.

Asian Slaw with Sesame Ginger Dressing—Whether it’s for a weekday lunch or a weekend picnic, this crunchy slaw recipe is sure to please. It’s dressed in zesty sesame ginger in place of the heavy, mayo-based dressing you’re used to. Go ahead and make this one ahead of time—it tastes better the next day!

Feta and Watermelon Salad with Cucumber and Mint—This feta and watermelon salad is deliciously hydrating to help you boost your water intake without feeling like you’re drowning. Chunks of feta cheese (or the vegan alternative the author suggests), watermelon, and cucumber dressed with a little oil and lemon juice makes the perfect summer recipe.

Vegan Mediterranean Artichoke Quinoa Paella—Looking for a hot weather recipe that isn’t a salad? This one’s for you. Instead of rice, the base of this paella is quinoa, giving it a fun texture and a protein-packed twist. Loaded with lots of veggies including artichokes, tomatoes, and carrots, this colorful dish looks impressive but only takes about 30 minutes to whip up.

Creamy Vegan Pea Salad—As veggies go, did you know that peas have a good amount of protein? Perfect for hot weather when other, heavier protein sources don’t sound as yummy as they do in winter. This versatile and unique salad combines peas, homemade vegan ranch dressing, and a smoky protein source of your choice (the author recommends tempeh bacon or blackened chickpeas).

10-Minute Chopped Thai Satay Salad—Craving colors on your plate? With brilliant purples, oranges, reds, and greens, this dish will definitely satisfy you. It’s easy to prep—just chop up your veggies, whisk together the dressing, and toss to combine. No muss, no fuss, all yum.

16 Healthy Beach Snack Ideas That Are Delicious, Filling, and Easy to Pack

Ready for your next beach trip? There are a few essentials you you&rsquoll need: a swimsuit, sunscreen, beach towel&mdashand the biggest must&mdashthe snacks. Not only will healthy snacks tide you over until dinner, but with all that swimming, you&rsquore sure to get hungry (and thirsty).

Before you start throwing just about everything from your refrigerator into the cooler, keep in mind that eating at the beach is a completely different territory than munching in the dining room. During those outings along the coast, your food will be susceptible to more heat and plenty of sand. Sandwich &ne sandwich.

Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D.N., author of Healing Superfoods for Anti-Aging explains that when you&rsquore packing healthy beach snacks, it&rsquos important to think about how they will react in the sun. If you think your snack has a good chance of spoiling or wilting, chances are it will. &ldquoOpt for foods that are lower in fat and protein, which tend to spoil especially quickly,&rdquo she says. &ldquoAlways pack any perishable snacks in a cooler.&rdquo (May we suggest this one from Yeti?)

Instead of carrying messy chicken wings or food that needs heating, aim for frozen fruit and spoil-proof veggies that&rsquoll quench your thirst, fill you up, and also act as a refreshing treat. Want some extra flavor? Ansel suggests adding a dash of your favorite spices or sea salt to your snack.

You can also get creative with your combos, says Lisa R. Young, Ph.D., R.D.N., author of Finally Full, Finally Slim. Snacks that are high in fiber with lean protein or healthy fats are ideal. &ldquoI love creating the &lsquoperfect pair,&rsquo like apple with nut butter or whole grain crackers with guacamole,&rdquo she says.

Not sure where to get started? Below, healthy beach snacks that are filling, portable, and delicious&mdashfrom sweet to savory.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods For The Indian Summer

With the mercury levels rising to new highs everyday, summer seems to completely drain us out. Temperatures have been scorching high and humidity levels have escalated to between 70 and 80 percent. Most of us feel dehydrated and low on energy in such a climate and we look for ways to cool ourselves. Our body needs cooling foods that will balance our diet and keep our energy levels stable. Here are 10 best cooling foods for the Indian Summer.

* Data courtesy: Ambika Choudhary Mahajan, a lifestyle blogger who write for, a blog where you will find a refreshingly delicious chutzpah of information on a variety of topics including health.

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

Curd/ Yogurt

Curd is a delicious coolant. You can make delicious - chilled spicy buttermilk, a glass of lassi or chachh and raita. You can also add fruits to the curds to make a lip-smacking and wholesome dessert or prepare dips during the summer season.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

Coconut water

An inexpensive coconut is full of health benefits and has wonderful cooling properties. It is laden with simple sugars, electrolytes and essential minerals which help keep the body well hydrated. In addition to that, there is evidence to suggest that coconut water has cancer fighting and anti-ageing properties as well.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

Another fruit that can help you keep cool. We are not suggesting you to buy the chopped watermelon slices sold by the roadside vendors. In fact, they should never be consumed if you want to avoid the risk of a diarrhoea infection. Bring home a watermelon, cool it and have lots of it to benefit from the antioxidants present in this delicious fruit.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for IndianSummers

This crunchy vegetable costs little, has lots of fibre that can help keep constipation at bay. It can make each of your bites crunchier and help you stay cool as a cucumber!

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

Mint is a simple, easily available, inexpensive herb which you can add to your curd to make pudina raita or have it in the form of chutneys besides using it in dips. The best thing about it is that you can grow it in a small pot at home for your use. Though it does not help bring down the body temperature, we love it because of the delicious and refreshing taste.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

Green veggies

Though green vegetables are good to have round the year, it is good to have lots of them during the summer months because they have a high water content. Avoid overcooking them because that can cause a loss of water contained therein.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

Onions have amazing cooling properties. You can add it to your curries, dips, raitas, salads and chutneys to help keep you cool. The red onions, in particular, are very rich in quercetin, which is a natural anti-allergen. Having lots of onions can provide you protection against sunstroke.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

This is another fruit which is nearly 90% water. Have lots of it in summers to stay cool and well hydrated.

Summer Care: 10 Best Cooling Foods for Indian Summers

The simple lime water or nimboo pani is not only refreshing, it also has health benefits for you. You can have it sweet, salted or add a dash of black salt and cumin powder to it. Have it chilled and beat the heat.

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This summer veggie—which has the highest water content of any solid food—is perfect in salads, or sliced up and served with some hummus, says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet: 10 Steps to a Thinner and Healthier You and a consultant to Mindbloom, a technology company that makes life-improvement apps.

Want to pump up cucumber's hydrating power even more? Try blending it with nonfat yogurt, mint, and ice cubes to make cucumber soup. "Soup is always hydrating, but you may not want to eat something hot in the summertime," Gans says. "Chilled cucumber soup, on the other hand, is so refreshing and delicious any time of year."

Five low-calorie summer drinks to keep you hydrated

Forget fat-filled iced lattes and sugary flavoured waters. These homemade summer drinks will leave you just as satisfied, minus the calories.

From left, cucumber and lemon water, raspberry and mint water and DIY coconut water. Photo, Tara Miller.

This article was originally published in June 2013, and has been updated.

1. Coconut water
The water from the centre of young green coconuts, coconut water is a refreshing alternative when things get hot. It’s perfect for replenishing electrolytes after a sweaty workout session or a hot day at the beach and coconut water has more potassium and fewer calories than a regular sports drink (without the added sugar and weird dyes no less).

Coconut water is also great for a hangover (not that we ever get those…). It not only hydrates, but also replenishes the essential minerals and antioxidants you lost due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.

How to consume: Coconut water is sold in most health food and convenience stores, but of course you can always crack open a coconut yourself for that fresh, tropical experience. Drink it on its own or (if you’re not a fan of the taste) add it to smoothies.

2. Kombucha
This fermented, living tea is made with tea, sugar, yeast and live bacteria. Although the health claims surrounding this increasingly-popular drink have yet to be confirmed, we do know that the abundance of probiotics and living enzymes in the naturally-fizzy drink are great for digestion and our gut bacteria balance.

Since digestive health plays a huge role in immunity, mental health and energy levels adding kombucha (and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi for that matter) to your daily routine may not be such a bad idea. And although it’s just gaining popularity in Canada, kombucha has been a popular health remedy for centuries in China. Often flavoured with antioxidant-containing fruits and herbs, many now sip it as an alternative to soda or alcohol.

How to consume: There are several kombucha recipes available to make at home, however kombucha is so accessible now that you don’t have to go to all the trouble. I often recommend Tonica kombucha, which is made in Toronto, to my patients.

3. Homemade iced tea
Although not fermented, homemade chilled teas have their own nutritional benefits. The summer is a perfect time to enjoy all the healing qualities of herbal teas in its most refreshing form — naturally flavoured with fresh herbs, lemon and raw honey for a touch of sweetness.

A great substitute for their store-bought counterparts, which are full of sugar and artificial ingredients, homemade iced teas offer everything from digestive support (with peppermint tea) to the calming effects of chamomile, depending on what steep. Enjoy the added vitamin C from fresh lemon and the natural antibacterial properties of raw, unpasteurized honey.

Recipe: Steep peppermint tea in water for 30 minutes (two tea bags per litre of water). Add one tablespoon of honey per litre and chill. Add fresh lemon slices and be sure to drink cold. Or try this rooibos recipe (below) that’s caffeine-free, and helps regulate blood sugar:

Rooibos iced tea
2 litres of boiling water
4 rooibos tea bags
Orange slices
Fresh mint

Pour boiling water over tea bags in a large pitcher. Let steep for 8-10 minutes. Remove tea bags, add fruit and mint and let chill in fridge. Serve over ice.

4. Fresh juice
Not just for hydration, fresh juice delivers a quick energy boost. Full of vitamins and minerals, this hit of health is an energizing pick-me up on a hot day. Fresh juice is a great way to balance out summer’s ice cream cone- and beer-filled barbecues.

How to consume: With an abundance of juice companies popping up in the city, fresh juice is easier to buy than ever. However, if you have the time, and are willing, buying a juicer and juicing at home is a more economical option. Try juicing greens such as kale, with cucumber, parsley, ginger, lemon and green apple for sweetness. Trust me, you won’t need that cup of coffee in the morning after you get in the habit of using juice as a more natural pick-me-up.

5. Good old H20 with fruit, citrus and herbs
The classic combination of lemon and water jazzed up with fresh berries, cucumber and herbs — like mint and basil — make getting your daily requirements of water (which increases with the heat) much more enjoyable.

My favourite: Raspberries, mint and lime.

Tara Miller is a Toronto-based holistic nutritionist dedicated to helping people discover that small, daily changes can lead to optimal health, happiness and balance. She trained at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition and has a degree in psychology from the University of Guelph. She’s the owner of the Health Hut Boutique in Muskoka where she offers effective and toxic-free beauty, household and specialty food items. You can follow her blog at Tara Miller Nutrition.

Watch the video: BETTER THAN WATER! - Top Hydrating Natural Foods and Drinks You Can Take To Hydrate Daily (July 2022).


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