To stay hydrated during the hot summer months, I fill a 2 liter water bottle with filtered water and carry it everywhere. Not surprising, I have BPA-free water bottles in cool colors for my kids too. My concern is, too often they return at the end of a long day in the sun with their bottles still half full.
How can you make sure your kids are staying hydrated when they are too busy at play to drink enough water? Nature’s way of hydrating us during the warm summer months is to provide foods that have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fiber and vitamin content of these foods work together, acting as our internal air conditioning.
Here are five of my favorite cooling summer foods:
1. Green Salads – Most lettuces are 90% water, and greens are a nutritional powerhouse. Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless.
2. Watermelon – More water than any other fruit or vegetable, watermelon is a great alternative for the lunch box. Containing vitamin C, hydrating salts, calcium, and magnesium.
3. Berries – Also packed with water, berries are extremely high in antioxidants and low in sugar for many added health benefits.
Click here and scroll down for last month’s popular strawberry smoothie.
4. Cucumbers – Made up mostly of water, cucumbers contain hydrating and nourishing nutrients. The caffeic acid in cucumbers, for example, has proven to reduce skin irritation and swelling. Slice them and use to hydrate and reduce swelling in puffy eyes! See this month’s recipe for cucumber salad here.
5. Pineapples – In addition to their hydrating factor, pineapples contain Bromelain, an anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy, immunity boosting enzyme. Pineapples are also great for helping the body to detoxify and lose weight.
Note: Dehydration can very quickly lead to a trip to the ER, so be aware of the signs: dry mouth, thirst, dry skin, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and lack of concentration. Urine output is decreased and bright yellow in color.
Have fun with your food and stay cool!