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Cool summer fruits and veggies

April 15, 2013 6:23 PM |

As the days of summer get longer and warmer, it can seem nearly impossible at times to keep cool in the blistering heat. Staying cool can depend on much more than just icy-chilled beverages and air conditioning, the foods you eat help too. From ripe and juicy litchis to tangy oranges, this vibrant season enjoys a particularly abundant and colorful array of fresh and seasonal foods. These fruits are simply superb for helping us lower our body temperature to stay cool and refreshed, despite the soaring temperatures! Here are 3 cool fruits and chilled out veggies that will help you stay energized and cool..

Water rich fruits - Fruits that have high water content, and are loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants, are your best bet for staying cool this summer. These include grapes, apples, pears, peaches, berries, dragon fruit and star fruit, but especially watermelon and litchis. Fruits can be incorporated into your diet in so many different ways. Simply whiz them with milk or yogurt for a healthy smoothie or eat them raw for a mid-morning snack. Nothing screams summer-time like a big wedge of watermelon. A long-time child favorite, it’s time to bring this summer staple back into your diet. Watermelon is made up of 90 percent water, which assists in keeping you well-hydrated in the heat. In addition, watermelon contains loads of vitamins A and C, has no fat and is packed with lycopene, an antioxidant which may aid in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Citrus fruits - Citrus fruits, including oranges, grapes, lemons are among the most cooling of all fruits. Aside from their delicious taste, citrus fruits can keep you healthy and looking younger. Citrus is considered a super-food for healthy skin due to its wide array of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants, including flavanones, and vitamin C. Citrus is also considered to be especially important in digestion as it helps aid the breakdown of rich and fatty foods. Start every day with a tall glass of chilled lemon water. This slightly acidic drink helps to cleanse your system and energize your body. Pack loads of oranges and grapes in your lunch box and store cool in the refrigerator and eat as a between meal. This way you will not just stay cool but will also stay away from munching unhealthy foods during the day.

Cool veggies - There is an abundant supply of vegetables that can help lower body temperature when the heat soars. The best examples are cucumber, radishes, lettuce and leafy greens such as spinach and fresh herbs such as mint. They all contain a significant amount of water and can actually thin the blood and assist your body in releasing heat, which has a cooling effect. There are a myriad of ways to incorporate these vegetables into your diet. Toss them into a vibrant summer salad, wrap them in rice paper to create Thai-inspired veggie rolls or purée them into a cooling green chutney. a) Both mint and peppermint have amazing cooling and relaxing properties, and their brisk aroma has the ability to chase away sluggishness when the heat soars. b) Radishes are summer gems, they certainly don't get enough credit! Radishes have a very high water content and are a great source of vitamin C. c) Cucumber’s especially high water content, coupled with its fresh and crunchy taste, make it a perfect summer veggie. Surely there is nothing as ‘’cool as cucumber’’.

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