The (surprising) Importance of Summer Eating

It’s hot hot hot hot hot hot hot!

We’re officially in the dog days of summer. It’s hot, humid (depending on where you are), and I find it hard to do anything but sit on my patio with a cold beverage.

Ahhhhhhhh

…have I mentioned I LOVE summer? I love the heat (now that I live in a dry climate), the sun, and I spend LOTS of time at the lake on my paddleboard. 

But I haven’t always worshipped the sun. Many years ago I would burn to a crisp if I even thought about going out in the sun. I had mild heat stroke quite a few times, and sitting in an air-conditioned house was all I wanted to do at this time of the year.

But not anymore. I don’t even have air-conditioning in my house :).

The difference was simple – I started to eat seasonally.

I started eating seasonally in the winter and noticed a HUGE difference (click here for more), but I wasn’t expecting to see as big of a difference during the other months.

Man, was I WRONG!

In the summertime our body needs two important factors from our diet:

It needs to cool the *insert f-bomb* down

AND

It needs to protect itself from the free radical damage caused by too much sunshine (simply put – a sunburn is mostly just free radical damage).

Happily, ALL of the foods that are grown during the summer are exactly the foods your body wants! It’s funny that we even try to question the genius of nature :)

For example:

Cooling foods – these are watery foods that ripen at this time of the year (mid-july to mid-august). Foods like watermelon & other melons, cucumber, leafy greens, berries, mint, and celery.

Other cooling foods that aren’t exactly local are: coconut, turmeric, green tea, and pineapple.

These foods also give your body a HUGE hit of antioxidants, which I use as an internal sunscreen. I find that for me, when my antioxidant levels are high, my tendency to burn my very fair Scottish skin is greatly reduced.

Here's more on some issues with sunscreen.

It really is that simple – head out to the farmers market and load up on all of the beautiful fruits and veggies available at this time of the year. Then notice how you feel on hot days – are they more tolerable? Is the heat more manageable?

Try it and see if it works for you! If it doesn’t…well, you got to eat some lovely foods and that’s not so bad :). And let me know how it goes for you! Leave your comments below :)

Bonus, here's one of my favourite cooling summer drink recipes (and I’ve heard it goes well with vodka…:)

Enjoy summer eating!