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Foods that Beat the Heat

Now that summer is in full swing and warm temperatures are on the rise, it is always important to stay hydrated. It is also crucial to meet daily fluid requirements when temperatures soar. People meet about 80 percent of their daily water needs from beverages (water, fruit juice, milk, iced tea, and coffee), but the other 20 percent can be met by filling your plate with delicious fruits and vegetables. The dietary guidelines for adults suggest at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. Let’s talk about some fruits and vegetables that help you beat the summer heat.

Claudia Zapata, dietitian and blogger, statesthat eating asparagus and avocado are very important.

1. Asparagus

Asparagus has healing and cleansing properties and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. It is low in calories, but full of nutrients, rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, foliate and several minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and is a good source of fiber.

How to eat it: A good way to enjoy asparagus is by roasting or grilling. Toss it on the grill or grill pan with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lemon zest adds a nice flavor.

2. Avocado

Avocado is delicious eaten alone but also pairs well with almost anything. Avocado is known to contain heart-healthy fats, and is a rich source of 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B, C, E, K, folic acid and potassium. The fiber and protein in avocado helps keep you fuller longer and the fats helps the body absorb carotenoids, which protect against cell damage.

          How to eat it: People enjoy avocado with just a little salt and lemon juice, but another way to enjoy it is in sandwiches. Or, toss it with some cherry tomatoes, cheese and basil.

Robyn Webb, author of the award-winning cookbook, “The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook,” mentions two nutritious vegetables: broccolini and kale.

3. Broccolini

          Broccolini is more tender and sweet than broccoli. It is low in calories and sodium and has no fat. It’s also an excellent source of both vitamins A and C.   

          How to eat it: Steam one bunch of broccolini until tender (about six minutes) and drain. While it’s cooking, make a dressing by whisking together 2 tablespoons of vinegar, ½ tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove and ½ tablespoon of sugar. Drizzle the dressing over the cooked broccolini, and top it with some chopped red bell pepper and chopped walnuts.

4. Kale

          Kale is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K. It’s a good source of fiber, provides some calcium and other key nutrients and is a good source of antioxidants that can protect against cancer and other ailments. Kale is sturdier and more hearty that many other greens.

          How to eat it: Sauté 2 sliced garlic cloves on medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 3 cups of washed, stemmed, chopped kale and sauté it for two minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of low-sodium soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds. Sauté for one to two minutes.

We saved the best for last!

According to David Grotto, author of “The Best Things you Can Eat,” watermelon is a natural hydrator.

5. Watermelon

         A one-cup serving of watermelon contains lots of lycopene, which may benefit prostate health. The white part of the rind also contains the amino acid citrulline which boosts production of nitric oxide, helping keep arteries open to allow healthy blood flow.

          How to eat it: Cut watermelon into 1-inch wedges and serve ice cold. You can also enjoy it cubed in a fruit salad with mixed berries, a splash of wine and a pinch of sugar. In addition, one can add crushed watermelon to seltzer water or add watermelon cubes to water to make "spa water" which is refreshing on a hot afternoon.

            Synergy HomeCare of Edmond urges you to stay hydratedand eat plenty of fruits and vegetables during the summer months. If you or your loved one is experiencing difficulty with preparing healthy meals or doing the grocery shopping, Synergy HomeCare can help! Our Expert Care programs are individualized to fit your needs. Let us help with running errands and preparing healthy meals. Call us today at (405)254-3046 to schedule an in home consultation that is always free and always with no obligation.

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