Summer Cooling Foods

July 2021 - Nutrition

It’s hot hot hot hot hot hot hot!

We’re officially in the dog days of summer. It’s hot and it’s hard to do anything but sit on the patio with a cold beverage. Ahhhhhhhh…

…Have I mentioned that I love summer?? I love the heat (now that I live in a dry climate), the sun, and lots of time spent at the beach.

But I haven’t always worshipped summer. Many years ago I would burn to a crisp if I even thought about going out in the sun. I’ve even had mild heat stroke a few times. Sitting in an air-conditioned house was all I wanted to do at this time of the year.

Not anymore! I don’t even have air-conditioning in my house. And the solution was simple—I started to eat seasonally.

I started eating seasonally in the winter and noticed a huge difference in my tolerance to the cold, but I wasn’t expecting to see as big a difference in the other months. Man, was I wrong!

In the summertime our body needs two important factors from our diet: it needs to cool down, and it needs to protect itself from the free radical damage caused by too much sunshine (simply put—the aging effect of a sunburn is mostly free radical damage).

Happily, all of the foods grown during the summer months are exactly what your body wants! It’s funny that we even try to question the genius of nature.

For example: cooling foods—these are watery foods that ripen at this time of the year (mid-July to mid-August), they are perfect for increasing hydration and lowering body temperature.

  • watermelon
  • cucumber
  • celery
  • zucchini
  • radishes
  • watercress & leafy greens
  • berries
  • mint
  • tomatoes

Other cooling foods that aren’t exactly local are grapefruit, coconut, turmeric, green tea, and pineapple.

These foods also give your body a huge hit of antioxidants, which I use as an internal sunscreen. I find if my antioxidant levels are high my tendency to burn my very fair Scottish skin is greatly reduced.

It really is simple—head to Nature’s Fare and load up on all of the beautiful local fruits and veggies available at this time of the year. Then notice how you feel on hot days—are they more tolerable? Is the heat more manageable?

Try it and see if it works for you! If it doesn’t…well, you got to eat some lovely foods and that’s not so bad.

Lisa Kilgour, RHN is Nature’s Fare Markets’ Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She is Board Certified in Practical Holistic Nutrition and provides free half hour one-on-one nutrition consultations in our stores. Book your free appointment today.
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Article was published in The Good Life magazine.

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