Welcome summer with a change in your nutrition plan. Believe it or not, but your summer nutrition plan needs to be different than your usual one. Sure, the basics stay the same – you need to eat a balanced diet, watch your calorie intake, etc. However, there are some extra things that you have to pay attention to when the temperatures outside start to rise.
Here are a few smart nutrition tips to remember this summer:
1. Drink plenty of water. It is always important that you get enough water in your diet. Water helps to make all of your bodily functions work properly. It helps with the digestion of any of the other foods that you take in. Drinking water helps to keep your energy levels up. It’s particularly important in the summer since it’s so warm outside and it causes dehydration. Drink the minimum of eight glasses of water per day. Try to get in other forms of water as well.
2. Cut back on the caffeine. Not only do you want to make sure that you are getting enough water in the summer but you also need to make sure that you’re not getting too much caffeine. Among other things, caffeine can dehydrate the body, which will negate the positive effects of all of that water that you’re drinking. You can’t afford to have that happening during the hot summer months so you should cut back on coffee and aerated drinks. If you can’t stand to only drink water then you can add unsweetened herbal iced tea and low-fat milk to your diet.
3. Get in your proteins. Many people tend to reduce their protein intake during the warmer months of the year. Your body just doesn’t crave all of those meats in hot weather. However, you don’t want to neglect protein altogether. It’s an important part of your diet especially when you are very active outdoors and having to do with chlorinated swimming!
4. Be smart about your salads. Many people start to eat a lot of fresh salads during the summer months. This is a great idea because salads are easy to prepare, don’t require cooking in a hot kitchen and are healthy for your body. However, you do have to make sure that you’re using smart nutrition when you eat a lot of salad. The main thing is to pay attention to how much dressing you put on your salads and what type of dressing you are using. A fresh dressing made from lemons and olive oil is going to be a lot healthier for you than a creamy packaged dressing.
5. Get enough potassium. Many people tend to be more active in the summer months. There are more hours in the day so you have more time to get outside and horse around. Unfortunately, sweating during the summer months can cause muscle problems because it throws off your electrolytes. You can avoid this problem by making sure that you get enough potassium into your diet during the summer months. Good sources of potassium include bananas and several other fruits.
6. Make sure you get loads of vitamin C. Dehydration during summer can drain essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Make sure that you get loads of vitamin C. In the summer months, you can have your dose of vitamin C from raw mangoes (Kairi Panhe) as well as several kokum and amla based juices.
7. Eat fruit smoothies instead of ice cream. It’s tempting to eat some foods during the summer that really don’t offer the best nutrition for you. Ice cream is a terrific example of a summer food like this. Learn to make substitutions so that you’re eating foods that are just as refreshing but a lot healthier for you. Substituting fruit smoothing (made from milk, yogurt and fresh fruit) for your ice cream is a great example of how to do this. Another easy alternative is to have Lassi or buttermilk (with asafoetida)
8. Make sure that your food is fresh. All of that great nutrition that you’re getting from following these other tips is going to go right out the window if you make yourself sick by eating foods that aren’t fresh. This is a particular concern in the summer because the temperatures get warmer and foods spoil more quickly and can lead to stomach problems like gastro.