Summer: Nutrition, Sun Protection, And Everything In Between
Today is the first day of the summer vacation, and preparations for the heat, summer camp and school holidays are at their height. Strauss Group’s Chief Dietician, Amali Messika, reminds us that it’s no less important to tailor our daily diet to the season. You’ll be surprised at the foods that will make the task an easy one!
All of us know that it’s important to drink plenty of water, but still, we don’t always make sure to do this. Besides carrying a bottle of water with you at all times and making sure to refill it during the day, it’s also important to make sure that your meals contain plenty of fluids.
There are many fruits and vegetables that are particularly rich in fluids, and of course you can include beverage-based foods in your diet, such as water/milk/drinking yogurt with added fruit and veggies to prepare delicious smoothies. We are all familiar with the risks of exposure to the sun, and we need to prepare and protect ourselves against them by limiting exposure during the hottest hours of the day, wearing appropriate clothing, a hat, sun protection cream, etc.).
Besides all of these, studies have shown that there are foods that have developed their own protection mechanisms against the sun, and they contain beneficial ingredients such as lycopene and Vitamin A. When we consume these foods they tend to also build up under our skin and may help us to delay reddening of the skin as a result of exposure to the sun, and consequently, researchers claim that we should consume foods that are rich in these ingredients, particularly in summer.
Lycopene is among the food components associated with protecting the skin against the damage caused by the sun’s harmful radiation. Lycopene is a bright red carotene and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical that also acts as an antioxidant. It is found in tomatoes, watermelon and red grapefruit and is the agent that gives them their color. So, besides eating the foods that are the most closely associated with summer – watermelon, skewers of summer fruits such as apricots or nectarines, which contain Vitamin A, and watermelon cubes can be frozen and taken to the swimming pool, beach, or any other outdoor activity.
stay in control, it's important to allocate the daily quantity of fruit we plan to eat in advance
So what should we eat?
You can prepare a smoothie made of yogurt, watermelon plus another fruit that you like and freeze it in a popsicle mold. Watermelon can also be frozen in slices with a stick inserted in them to make a watermelon popsicle that is tasty, nutritious, and even provides protection against the sun. As for tomatoes, cherry or regular tomatoes can serve as an ingredient when preparing vegetable skewers. Of course, you can always eat your typical summer foods like salad or pizza, and make your own gazpacho.
Pay attention to quantity, not just quality
Another subject that comes up in summer is the wealth of summer fruits and foods that make the heat easier to bear, such as ice cream and popsicles. Indeed, they contribute to fun and enjoyment, but uncontrolled consumption is liable to contribute more than a few calories as well. To stay in control, it's important to allocate the daily quantity of fruit we plan to eat in advance, for example by cutting a thin slice of watermelon and making sure not to go back to the fruit and shave off additional "slivers", one bit at a time… Eat slowly and wait until you feel sated. Wishing us all a great, nutritious summer!