Hydrating and eating well in summer

Hydrating and eating well in summer

30 June 2022 Health Lifestyle

With the arrival of summer, it is common for our weight, but also our digestive system, to alter. This is due to changes in the timetable and the irregularity of our eating habits, as we eat more meals away from home and at different times than usual. It is therefore important to adjust our diet and hydration and adapt it to the summer context, in order to feel in top shape and maintain an optimal state of health. Here are 5 practical tips to help us achieve this:

Hydrate yourself

Water is the most hydrating drink, so its consumption should be slightly increased in summer as, with the rising temperatures, our bodies can become more dehydrated. On the other hand, the consumption of any alcoholic drink can lead to dehydration, so it is advisable to limit its consumption and prioritise other healthier alternatives such as sparkling water or refreshing homemade drinks by mixing mineral water with fruit (lemon, lime, strawberries, etc.) or aromatic herbs (mint, basil, etc.).

A correct supply of water guarantees our body the maintenance of an adequate body temperature, the transport of nutrients to the cells, the correct elimination of toxins and the proper functioning of the kidneys, as well as good hydration of the skin. In very hot weather, if the body is not provided with enough water, dehydration can occur. We will then feel tired, have headaches, have difficulty concentrating and our physical energy will decrease significantly, among other symptoms.

Eat seasonal foods

Melon, watermelon, strawberry, apricot, nectarine, tomato, aubergine, green bean, pepper and courgette are some examples of foods that are harvested between June and August because they reach their optimum point of ripeness; consequently, they will contain a greater contribution of antioxidant nutrients that are beneficial to health. In addition, eating seasonal foods has an economic benefit (they are cheaper) and a lower environmental impact, especially if we choose local fruit and vegetables. 

Limit the “Eating out” frequency

Eating out is more common at this time of year and we should not give up this act as it helps to break the routine and socialise with our environment. However, we must be aware of the frequency with which we eat these meals and learn to maintain a balance, as an excess of these meals can lead to imbalances in our digestive habits. Limiting the frequency of eating lunch and dinner out to twice a week could be a good strategy, as well as planning our daily menus to avoid over-consumption of take-away food when we do not have healthy alternatives in our fridge.

Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables

Summer is an ideal time to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables due to their variety and accessibility. To achieve these figures, we can alternate consumption of raw vegetables (salads) and cooked vegetables (grilled, baked or steamed) at lunch, dinner or in the form of snacks such as carrot sticks to take to the beach.  In addition, we should add three portions of whole fruit (avoiding juices) at any time and meal of the day (breakfasts, desserts, snacks, adding fruit to salads or snacks, etc.).

Avoid excess sweets

Ice cream and sugary drinks such as soft drinks and slushies are the most commonly consumed products in summer. However, we should avoid excessive consumption and reserve them for sporadic occasions as they contain high amounts of sugar, the chronic consumption of which can promote constipation and promote diseases related to insulin resistance. Instead, you can prepare healthier alternatives by making homemade sugar-free sorbets (by freezing the fruit pulp and then crushing it in a food processor) or fruit kebabs dipped in melted pure chocolate. As for drinks, there are sugar-free options, or you can prepare healthy smoothies with milk, yoghurt or unsweetened vegetable drinks to which you can add any ripe fruit and crushed dates to sweeten the result.

Remember, as the temperature rises, we lose more body fluid, so it is necessary to replace it by drinking more water or other drinks or foods that contain it, which will help to replace the constant losses through sweating. If you have any doubt, you should always consult your doctor.

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