Water and Rainbows!
Yes, the kids are
back in school. But that does not mean summer is over.
August and September are actually when most of us experience the peak
of summer heat, and enjoying some of natureís finest diet foods.
Itís a good time to review some great diet tips for summer.
Water Ė Stay Hydrated
the elixir of life. But most of us donít get enough water.
It is easy to get dehydrated when our summer activities distract us
from the heat and our thirst. Water is naturally the best
thirst-quencher, and it adds no calories!
usually drink when we are thirsty, but did you know that by the time
you feel thirst, you are already dehydrated? In addition, thirst
sensation diminishes with age, so we need to be conscious of these
things and drink often.
should you drink if not water? Well, there are plenty of
nutritious liquids to choose from like fruit and vegetable juices, milk
or broths. Be aware that caffeinated, carbonated, alcoholic and
high-sugar drinks can act as diuretics and are not great for
hydration. Certain foods can also add fluid to your diet.
At meal or snack time, think of juicy nutritious foods like gelatin,
yogurt, melon, and tomatoes.
is the best time to enjoy natureís most colorful diet foods. When
you think about meeting your fruit and veggie needs, think of a
rainbow. Fruits and vegetables come in all colors of the
spectrum, and each color adds different nutrients to our diets.
Red fruits and veggies contain lycopene, which may
help reduce risk of several types of cancer. Anthocyanins in
strawberries, raspberries, red grapes act as powerful antioxidants that
protect cells from damage. Antioxidants are linked with keeping our
hearts healthy, too. Keep fresh or canned diced tomatoes on hand
for a low-cal, nutritious toss-in for any dish.
Orange and yellow foods usually get their color from carotenoids.
Beta-carotene is good for the eyes and mucus membranes.
Carotenoid-rich foods also can reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and
can improve immune system function. Try sliced mangoes or peaches
as toppings for waffles, pancakes, yogurt or pudding.
Many green fruits and
vegetables contain lutein. Lutein
works with another chemical, zeaxanthin (found in corn, red peppers,
oranges, grapes and egg yolks) to help keep eyes healthy. Together
these chemicals may reduce risk of cataracts and age-related macular
degeneration. Leafy greens are good sources of folate, which
keeps hearts healthy and helps reduce risk of birth defects. Try
roasted peppers as a side dish with any meal. Spinach adds great color
and texture to salads.
and purple foods contain natural
plant pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins act as powerful
antioxidants, protecting cells from damage. They may help reduce risk
of cancer, stroke and heart disease. Try berries as a quick
cereal topper or mix some into a green salad.
White fruits and
vegetables can be good sources of potassium, and they may contain
health-promoting chemicals, which may help lower cholesterol and blood
pressure and help reduce risk of stomach cancer and heart
disease. Try a frozen banana, or chop cauliflower into your next
enjoy the sunshine. But donít forget the water your body
craves! And go ahead, sample several every day from the rainbow
of foods nature provides for our summer smorgasbord.