The Mediterranean Diet team is now offering some food tips to fight the heat of these days. Our cities are getting hotter and hotter because of environmental pollution. This encourages us to stay inside with air-conditioned. To cool off, however, there is not only air condition. It is also usefull a proper nutrition based on the choice of the healthiest foods and a few simple rules. In summer the water demand increases and decreases that one of food. To maintain a constant body temperature our body and fight the heat of these days increase the perspiration and this leads us to consume more water.
If the outside temperature increases from 24 to 31 degrees, it doubles the water loss through the skin. Have you ever wondered what sets our desire to drink to fight the heat of these days? In a gland in the brain, the hypothalamus there is a small area called “thirst center” which works like a switchboard. It receives signals of lack of water by the cells (in particular nerve) that begin to dehydrate and it sends the signals to the other parts of the brain that give the drink order, making us feel thirsty.
But in summer it is better not to wait to be thirsty. We should drink at least two liters of water a day to fight the heat of these days. If you aren’t lovers of pure and natural water do not search the mineral one but drink juices, teas, herbal teas, centrifuges. It is not truth that ” the more you drink the more you sweat” . The excess of water is excreted by the kidney and skin: the sweat is useful to cool our body temperature.
Of course for our body heat is a stress and with heat everything becomes more difficult. To relieve to strain further our body and to fight the heat of these days it is better to eat digestible and low in calories foods and avoid fatty foods, fried foods, sauces and gravies.
The type of cooking has a lot of influence on lightness of the dishes and to fight the heat of these days. Cooking simpler (raw or steamed, baked or grilled) is the most useful way to fight hot. Theis way of cooking preserves the nutritive value of food (vitamins …). Among the foods of animal origin eat preferable the fish, lean meats, cheese and fresh cheese.
We should minimize salty foods, not just meats and sausages as well as cheese and canned foods, crackers and cakes with salt. The salt is unhealthy because the sodium in the salt holds liquids in the body, with the effect of inflating the stomach. Balance the action of sodium with the potassium, the mineral content in abundance in fruits and vegetables (in particular: kiwi, bananas, apricots, watermelon, potatoes, spinach, endive, artichokes), whose consumption thus helps us to reduce swelling.
Some useful rules
When going to the supermarket in summer it is better to follow the rule of “little and often” . In summer foods preserves themselves badly and perish very soon and in animal origin foodstuffs there is a risk of bacterial contamination. It’s better then to consume them within 24 hours at most, in order to avoid possible gastrointestinal disorders. Only the freshness of foods fully enhances all health benefits that fruit and vegetables in season ensures: minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Every day, we should consume 2-3 portion of fruits and 2-3 of vegetables: in fact the body can only absorb small amounts of vitamins at a time and it is wrong to concentrate in a single meal the whole fruit or vegetable of the day.
To make our everyday menu more refreshing we can inserted a fresh plate like a cream of vegetables or legumes (such as the Spanish gazpacho), a salad of cereals (such as the Lebanese tabbouleh), or a yoghurt dessert or a fruit sorbet (preferably homemade and without sugar added). Accompany your lunch or dinner with a refreshing infusion chosen between the list below.
Tips for young
Children suffer heat a lot because their temperature control system is not fully developed. To fight the heat of these days we have to pay a lot of attention because little children could become dehydrated more easily because they “forget” to drink. it is good to remind them to drink offering them a glass of water.
An example of a daily summer menu.
Breakfast: replace milk with fresh and healthy alternatives such as yogurt or rice or soy milk (with added calcium). Never forget the fresh fruit in the morning. You can choose between juices, smoothies, natural fruit or fruit salad, and then one or two slices of bread with jam.
Snacks of mid-morning and afternoon: fruit or small light sandwiches (eg. with tomato and ricotta). Avoid classic sandwiches with salami and sausages or with cheese because they are too fatty and salty.
An important lunch but not heavy: our body needs complex carbohydrates deriving from pasta and other grains. We prefer prefer rice, barley and so on, served with vegetables or simple sauces. Cold dishes such as salads, pasta or cereal grains are very light. You can prepare them with raw or cooked vegetables and small amounts of protein foods of plant origin. Consume legumes (soybeans, peas and so on) and animal eggs, cheeses or tuna preferably 2-3 times a week.
Dinner should be lighter than lunch. Open your dinner with a refreshing dish of cooked or raw vegetables, such as mashed or creams of tomatoes, salads or dips. Follow with main courses of fish or meat, cooked with little fat and easily digestible. Remember that a laborious digestion is tiring, and makes you sweat more.
Healthy green tea cup with tea leaves
We suggest some infusion suitable to summer time for their refreshing power but also for their refreshing, remineralizing and tonic capacity. You can enjoy tem hot, warm or cold.
Melissa 30, 30 Fennel, Anise 30, 10 Licorice. Yellow color and pleasantly spicy aroma, an infusion perfect to drink after a meal, instead of coffee.
25 mint, basil 25, 20 Savory, Horsetail 20, dill seeds 10. Amber in color, taste very fresh, thirst-quenching, an infusion decidedly tonic, but not exciting. A few leaves of fresh mint makes it even more refreshing.
Karkadè, fragrant verbena, sweet orange peel in equal parts. Red, combines the action of the mineralizing karkadè with an intense aroma, sour and sweet at the same time. The addition of fruit, enhanced by sweeter notes.
To prepare more cups: pour a tablespoon in a quart of boiling water. For a cup: a teaspoon in a quart of water.
Turn off the heat and leave in infusion for five minutes. Filter and drink more cups per day, adding as desired honey or fruit pieces. Prepare the infusion in the morning for all the day, cool it in the refridgerator or with ice when served.