June 5, 2012

Beat the Summer Heat with the Food You Eat

Why is it that in the summer we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fiber and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these warm months.

There is no better season than summer to have fun creating your own fresh, tasty, creative salad combinations. By simply tossing together several of your favorite raw veggies, naked or with a light dressing, you have a perfect meal for a hot summer’s day.

Try your favorite leafy lettuce with various sliced, diced or grated veggies. The possible combinations are endless. Don’t forget to use tons of fresh herbs in your salads too. They are a wonderful calorie free option to mix in and are packed full of flavor. Experiment with adding diverse forms of protein to your salads, such as nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, fish or poultry. Pick up a light and healthy dressing at your local health food store, or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil.

This is a great opportunity to try a new vegetable from your market. What are some creative flavors you’ve never tried before? Fennel and mint? Daikon radish and arugula? Summer squash with watercress? Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and stay cool. Happy summer!

Cooling Foods:
Bamboo shoot, banana, clam, crab, grapefruit, lettuce, persimmon, seaweed, star fruit, water chestnut, watermelon, lotus root, cucumber, barley, bean curd, chicken egg white, marjoram, oyster, pear, peppermint, radish, strawberry, tangerine, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, pineapple, turmeric.

Heating Foods (have a minimal amount of these or only at night when temperatures drop):
Pepper, cinnamon bark, ginger, soybean oil, red and green pepper, chicken, cherry, chestnut, chive, clove, coffee, coriander (Chinese parsley), date, dillseed, garlic, green onion, guava, leaf mustard, leek, nutmeg, peach, raspberry, rosemary, shrimp, spearmint, sweet basil, tobacco, vinegar, walnut, shallots, spring onion, apricots, blackberries, mangoes, peaches, cherry, mandarin orange, grape.

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