By Paola Bassanese
Keeping the body well hydrated and nourished in the summer months can be a challenge. Heavy foods are off the menu but light foods can make you hungry and craving for treats.
The best strategy is to have filling smoothies in the morning which will nourish and refresh with plenty of vitamins, minerals and fluids, and having light meals at dinner to avoid sleepless nights.
Here’s a list of summer foods:
1 Almonds and pine nuts. Not strictly “cooling” foods but both almonds and pine nuts are packed with minerals to replenish those lost during sweating. Magnesium is particularly important for hydration as it is sweated out in the heat. Magnesium is also a muscle relaxant so it will prevent muscle cramps at night. Pine nuts have a compound that decreases the appetite so they can be useful to feel full without having to cook sumptuous meals.
2 Smoothies. Freshly made smoothies first thing in the morning are feeling and hydrating. It’s best to mix fruit and vegetables and dilute with nut milks like coconut milk, hazelnut milk or almond milk. See our smoothie recipes.
3 Salads. Mixed salads are perfect for the summer months. Lebanese Fattoush salad has refreshing ingredients like radishes and toasted pitta bread for a crunchy finish.
4 Sushi. You can’t go wrong with sushi or sashimi but check that the fish is fresh and organic. For a more complete meal add a seaweed salad as seaweed is a rich source of minerals.
5 Chilled soups. Cook and author Delia Smith has some nice chilled soup recipes worth trying. Of course Gazpacho is THE summer soup par excellence but if you don’t fancy its strong flavours there’s other versions.
If you are fasting during Ramadan, the NHS has some good guidelines and meal plans.