5 Nutritionist-Recommended Fruits and Vegetables That Will Naturally Cool You Off
The oppressively hot weather usually has us running to the nearest neighborhood pool or even just the closest air-conditioned room — not our fridge. But there are plenty of natural (and yummy) ways to chill out this summer. As we sweat the days away, juicy, water-filled fruits and vegetables can help rehydrate the body and in turn, work as internal coolants — and we’re not about to pass up treats that are both tasty and utilitarian. Jenni Bourque and Mirna Sharafeddine, registered holistic nutritionists and the founders of Naughty Nutrition, a website dedicated to science-based health solutions that are realistic as well as tasty, dished to us how they stay cool as cucumbers (and watermelons, and berries… ) during even the most sweltering summer months.
1. Watermelon: No surprise here, but watermelon contains tons of water. In fact, it’s 90 percent water. And the other 10 percent is chock full of vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and potassium, making it not only hydrating but healthy. “We often forget how much water we lose from our bodies in the summer heat, and watermelon is one way to naturally cool and replenish without having to chug a big bottle of water,” Sharafeddine says. She recommends using the melon in chilled desserts and beverages such as popsicles and slushies for a snack beyond your typical wedge o’ watermelon.
2. Cucumber: If you’re looking for an invigorating munchie or even a cooling makeover, cucumbers are the cure. Like watermelon, cucumbers are about 90 percent water and contain electrolyte-balancing minerals such as potassium and magnesium. “Cucumber is one of those foods that not only hydrates but can also be applied as a refreshing mask to the face and body to help cool and hydrate the skin,” Bourque notes. Double the hydration by infusing your water with cucumbers, which she claims is one of the best ways to enjoy them. Or simply toss a few crisp rounds into a smoothie or salad.
3. Tropical Fruits: There’s a reason we gravitate toward guavas, papayas, and mangoes during the summer months. “These fruits are literally grown in temperatures that are extreme all year long; they were designed for heat waves,” Sharafeddine explains. “They’re totally satisfying when you’re feeling hot.” Thankfully, these fruits don’t just withstand the heat; they’re packed with vitamins and minerals and are majorly sweet. Sharafeddine says a cheaper way to enjoy these produce items is by purchasing them frozen and blending them with coconut milk for a truly tropical smoothie.
4. Lemon: Lemons are a solid solution to high temps. “The good old-fashioned lemon is one of the most underrated ways to stay cool during a heatwave,” Bourque says. “But really, the versatility of lemons is astonishing.” Lemons are refreshing, loaded with vitamin C, and considered an alkaline food, rather than acidic, once digested. Tame the fruit’s tartness in summer-friendly desserts such as cheesecakes and sorbets. Or squeeze them into your water for a makeshift, calorie-conscious lemonade.
5. Berries: All your faves — blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries — have a cooling effect on the body, and we’re *berry* excited about it. According to Sharafeddine, berries are considered cooling foods in traditional Chinese medicine and contain high amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber (which — bonus!— keeps the digestive system healthy). Berries, based on their range of flavors, can be enjoyed in a slew of recipes. “You can pretty much add berries to anything: your smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal,” Sharafeddine says. “Make berry sorbet or popsicles, or — our favorite way — just eat them whole like candy.”
What are your favorite fruits and veggies for keeping cool in the summer? Let us know @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)