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Monday, July 6, 2015

Summertime superfoods: Best foods to beat the heat

Staying hydrated is a key component of healthful living, as water comprises approximately 60% of our body weight. However, as we get older—and as the weather gets warmer in summer—it can become more difficult to stay hydrated. As we age, mechanisms for triggering fluid intake (i.e., feeling thirsty) weaken, and water retention capability changes, which can lead to serious consequences.

According to the Mayo Clinic, dehydration, which occurs when you lose more fluid than you consume, can lead to severe complications including heat injury (such as heat exhaustion or the more severe heatstroke), swelling in the brain, seizures, kidney failure and shock. Dehydration can even affect your mood, energy levels, ability to focus, alertness, and short-term memory.

The best treatment for dehydration is prevention; by drinking water and other fluids throughout the day, especially after strenuous activity or profuse sweating, staying hydrated during summer is a snap.

6 super-hydrating fruits and vegetables

But drinking water isn’t the only way to keep your fluid levels high. While warm summer weather makes hydration all the more important, it also means an abundance of super hydrating fruits and vegetables that can contribute to your fluid intake and give you a boost of nutrients to boot! Check out the list below for some ideas as to what to pick up on your next grocery run.

At approximately 96% water, it’s no wonder that juicy, crunchy cucumbers are hydrating. Toss sliced cucumbers on a salad or add them to a pitcher of water for a refreshing burst of hydration. Grate cucumbers and mix with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and dill to make a tasty tzatziki dip for fresh veggies and pita chips.


Celery is well known for being mostly water (and rightly so, at 95%), but this crunchy vegetable also packs a phytonutrient punch and supports digestive tract health due to its high fiber content. Cut celery stalks into sticks to dip in hummus or tzatziki, top with peanut butter and raisins for a classic snack, or add to a chopped salad for extra crunch.


A good source of vitamins A and K, phytonutrients, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenols, as well as iron, fresh spinach is also 92% water. Use spinach as the base for a summer salad, add to green juices, or pack leaves into a sandwich.


A true summer fruit, tomatoes are 94% water and, like spinach and broccoli, are high in phytonutrients. In addition, tomatoes contain beta-carotene and lycopene, two antioxidants that have both been linked to prostate cancer prevention and may help reduce damage caused by sun exposure. Add tomatoes to salads, blend with other vegetables to make a refreshing salsa or gazpacho, or dice and toss with basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a tasty bruschetta mix.


Known for its high vitamin C content, tart grapefruit boosts immune function and may reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels. At 91% water, grapefruit is especially refreshing in hot summer weather. Peel, segment, and toss in a salad, juice and enjoy, or make grapefruit lemonade.
Grapefruit is contraindicated for consumption with many medications, so check your medication labels or ask your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.


Last but not least, watermelon, at 92% water, is a summer staple. Watermelon contains lycopene, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, to name but a few nutrients. However, to reap the most antioxidant goodness from this melon, allow watermelon to ripen fully before consuming. Puree chilled watermelon and add to lemonade for a refreshing beverage, slice and eat, or arrange with basil and feta cheese for a refreshing salad.
While staying hydrated in summer is crucial, there’s no reason it can’t also be fun. In addition to drinking water, fruits and vegetables like those listed above are a great way to keep your fluid levels high and sneak in some extra nutrients.

Source: https://www.healthwaysfit.com