It’s hot. Really, really hot. Fifteen states in the Midwest, the Plains and the Southeast are under heat advisories, which means temperatures are predicted to rise above 105 degrees Fahrenheit … but it’s going to feel more like 115 degrees. Yikes.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against this heat wave? Stay hydrated. This not only means drinking lots and lots of water, but also considering what foods you’re eating.
Yes, that’s right. There are foods that can help you beat this heat, and lucky for you, they happen to be pretty delicious — and healthy — options.
Cucumbers: Sprinkle in a salad, dip in hummus, or just slice them up and enjoy. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body loses when it gets dehydrated.
Cantaloupe and other melons: Cantaloupe is known for its high beta-carotene content that gets converted into vitamin A, which is essential for the growth and repair of skin tissue. Melons of any kind bump up your fluid intake (especially watermelons, which are 90 percent water). Chop up the fruit and eat it plain or toss pieces of it into a spinach and lettuce salad with cheese, pine nuts and a basic vinaigrette dressing.
Figs: Summer is the season for fresh figs. Fresh or dried, sweet figs are one of the highest fruit sources of fiber, and they also contain significant amounts of minerals potassium (great for replenishing losses in sweat), calcium and iron.
Citrus fruits: Lemons, grapefruits and oranges are water-dense, sweet and delicious. Plus they pack a healthy dose of vitamin C — one of your body’s most commonly used antioxidants.
While you’re at it, stock up on onions, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, celery and spinach. These summer veggies have antioxidant properties that help minimize skin damage caused by prolonged sun exposure.
Protect your body during this heat wave and check out some of these delicious (and cool!) summer recipes: