06 Aug 10 Foods to Beat the Heat
I don’t know about you, but here in Maui, the mercury stays consistently in the high 80’s, which instantly makes me want to say sayonara to the stove and turn to more refreshing fare. Here are my top-10 picks for summer foods that keep you cool, hydrated, and healthy!
Watermelon — a no brainer, right? At 92% water content, this summer staple is more than a thirst-quenching treat; it’s rich in Vitamins C and A and has anti-inflammatory effects. You’ll also enjoy the healthful benefits of beta-carotene and antioxidant-rich lycopene with each bite.
Cucumbers — a member of the same plant family as watermelon, highly hydrating cukes contain potassium, magnesium, and help tonify the kidneys and flush toxins, so make them a regular on your summer plate (skins on!).
Zucchini — eating this summer squash raw (try this recipe!) or lightly steamed helps retain the water and nutrient content. Among other things, zucchini contains ample fiber, antioxidants, and helps regulate blood pressure.
Mint —use mint liberally in the summer months to flavor your food and drinks for when you need to cool off—and relax! Mint is easy to grow but can take over a garden, so best to stick to a small container.
Cilantro — you either love it or hate it, and if you’re in the former camp, you’re in luck, because according to Ayurvedic principles, cilantro is the ultimate cooling stimulant and tradition recommends increasing your consumption as a means of surviving torrid summers.
Celery — it’s made up of 95% water, is high in potassium and naturally occurring sodium, and acts as a powerful diuretic—without making you feel dehydrated. This means you can safely flush your system and avoid belly bloat when you eat celery.
Sweet Berries — not only are they in prime season during the summer months, but berries help quell fire and heat—what Ayurveda calls the “Pitta” qualities of the season.
Coconut Water — this refreshing drink helps beat tropical summer thirst. The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals to keep you hydrated. Always opt for pure coconut water over flavored varieties.
Cantaloupe — with 95% water content and a mere 5% sugar, cantaloupe makes an ideal sweet summer treat. It’s chock full of Vitamins A and C, as well as contains a moderate amount of B vitamins. Enjoy it in abundance, as ¼ contains a mere 50 calories!
Raw Radish — High in trace minerals and Vitamin C, this unassuming veggie also clears food stagnation and has a laxative effect due to its diuretic nature, all while having a cooling effect on the blood. Make this a spicy addition to your summer salads.