You know summer’s the perfect time to switch to flip-flops, but did you know it’s also the right time to change your diet? Being outdoors more often—and sweating—ups your risk for health problems such as dehydration, skin sensitivities, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The simple (and delicious) solution? Eat local, in-season fruits.
As its name implies, this fruit is a hydration hero, and fluids are exactly what you need when the heat is on. “Watermelon’s high water content keeps you cool and hydrated. High water content will also keep you feeling full, which could curb cravings. As an added summer bonus, Watermelon also contains lycopene, which protects skin cells from sun damage.
The sweet citrus fruit is rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s crucial in the summer. You lose potassium through sweat, which puts you at risk for muscle cramps. Eating oranges replenishes your supply and keeps muscle cramps away. Oranges are also about 80% water, so popping a few juicy slices will keep you hydrated during your sweatiest summer days.
Salads with Dark, Leafy Greens
Leave steamed veggies behind and fill up on fresh, raw spinach and kale come summer to save your skin. “Carotenoids in orange and dark-green foods, which your body converts to vitamin A, protect skin from sun damage.. They decrease sensitivity to UV light and mend flaky and dry skin, strengthening the skin’s defenses against damaging rays. Spruce up your salad with other high-carotenoid sources, like carrots, apricots, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, salmon, milk, egg yolks and cayenne pepper, to make an even healthier meal.
Strawberries and Blueberries
Sweet, juicy berries are filled with flavonoids, powerful disease fighters found in many fruits and vegetables. Among their other pros, they increase blood flow to skin and decrease sensitivity to light, which improves skin’s appearance, structure and texture.. With more daylight hours and time spent in the sun, that’s key. And because berries are so high in flavonoids, one recent study showed they might help slow cognitive decline. Other great sources of skin-boosting flavonoids: bananas, citrus fruits, broccoli, artichokes, walnuts, pistachios, cashew, dill and thyme.
Although it could be lumped in with nuts as a healthy source of monounsaturated fat, it’s such a superfood it deserves a placeholder of its own.