However long we’ve got summer for, the past few days across the UK have proved that the weather forecasters got it right – we’re in the middle of a heat wave.
The intense heat can cause low energy and lack of appetite, so spending time creating lavish dishes is not high on anyone’s agenda – and who wants to be inside and risk missing out on the sunshine?
Here are some hydrating ideas to help you keep your cool this summer – easy to prepare, quick to clear away and with some surprising summer health benefits on top!
Dehydration makes you feel thoroughly rotten, and has serious health repercussions too, so it’s imperative to stay hydrated. Keep topping yourself up with water – coconut is great, but tap water will do fine too – and eat these high-water content foods to added hydration – water relief!
Water melon is rich in antioxidants, which limit the UV-radiation on your body so is perfect for summer, although all melons are perfect as a cooling treat. Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries are all alkaline yin fruits which, according to traditional Chinese medicine generate a cold energy in the body. Vitamin C-rich berries and fruits such as kiwi provide a natural sun block (although you will still need traditional sun-block).
Pomegranate is extremely rich in antioxidants, ellagic acid and has anti-inflammatory agents, which can help your skin to resists cell damaged caused by UVA and UVB rays. The fruit has been proven to help fight against ageing and sun-damage to our skin, and contains antioxidants, ellagic acid and anti-inflammatories which help skin to resist damage caused by UVA and UVB rays.
You can eat a lot of fruit every day, but do give thought to the sugar intake.
Cucumber and celery are very high water-content foods. Although it is not true that celery is calorie-free, it is extremely low in calories and with 95% water content, is excellent to maintain hydration. Cucumber helps your body produce collagen, which has anti-cancer properties.
Tomatoes are one of the top sun protection super foods and all types are full of antioxidants that help to protect your skin from UV-radiation, as well as vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene, known as a potent cancer preventer. Red tomatoes are 94% water, green slightly lower at 93%.
And while it may be the last thing you fancy trying in hot weather, give a moment to consider curries and chillies. They help cool the body down by stimulating heat receptors in your mouth, which enhances circulation and triggers sweating. Or you could just stick with the watermelon…