“Our best bet is to avoid
hot foods and heavy meals,” said Sharon Saka, registered
dietician in Suffern, N.Y. “Eating smaller amounts more
often and staying hydrated is essential.” Saka suggested
taking advantage of summer fruits and vegetables, and drinking
at least six to eight cups of decaffeinated fluid a day, especially
if you are outside and exercising.
Kiwi, Papaya, Raspberry Fruit Salad
These three fruits area a powerful combination loaded with
cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and
beta-carotene. Vitamin C is crucial to beefing up our immune
system, and studies show it reduces high blood pressure.
Kiwi and papaya contain more vitamin C than oranges do. One
kiwi has 117 percent of the recommended daily allowances
(RDA); papaya contains 313 percent.
Papaya and kiwi also add potassium, which helps your body stay
hydrated, regulates your nerves, heartbeat, and blood pressure.
This underrated mineral is necessary for normal blood clotting,
and it helps your body absorb calcium, which is especially
important for people at risk for osteoporosis.
Raspberries contain eight grams of fiber and are rich in vitamin
C, in addition to their regulatory qualities. The right amount
of fiber in your diet helps reduce the risk of colon cancer
and lowers your cholesterol levels. (Recommended serving size:
1 kiwi, 1 medium papaya, 1 cup raspberries)
Chickpeas and Green Salad
Substitute lettuce with spinach and get a Popeye-size dose
of iron. Add chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and
provide 20 percent of your body’s daily folate needs.
Folate helps your body produce red blood cells and has been
proven to prevent birth defects. Chickpeas are also rich
in vitamin B6, which aids in the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates,
and fats, and has been used by nutritionists for PMS relief.
Mix in some cherry or grape tomatoes and get even more fiber,
plus 19 percent vitamin A. (Recommended serving size: 1/3
cup of chickpeas, 3.5 oz. of spinach, 3.5 oz. of tomatoes)
Fruit Smoothies or Ice Pops
Blend papaya, kiwi, and raspberries with some crushed ice,
or put a pureed fruit mixture into ice-pop molds and freeze
them overnight, for a fast food treat.
Crushed pineapple is a great frozen fruit snack and another
good source of vitamin C and thiamin. Thiamin helps release
the energy from carbohydrates and ensures that the brain and
nerves have enough glucose. (Recommended serving size: 1 kiwi,
1 medium papaya, 1 cup raspberries, ½ cup crushed pineapple)
Tuna or Chicken Salad in a Green Pepper
A scoop of tuna or chicken salad in a green pepper (or any
colored pepper) is a quick and simple summertime snack. In
addition to the protein in tuna and chicken, you get fiber
from the pepper, along with 159 percent of the RDA for vitamin
C and some vitamin A too. Vitamin A, or retinol, is essential
for healthy vision, skin, and growth. (Recommended serving
size: 2 oz. of canned tuna or chicken, 1 tablespoon low-fat
mayo, 1 green (or any color) pepper)
Cantaloupe and Ricotta Cheese
Cantaloupes contain 108 percent vitamin A RDA and 98 percent
vitamin C. Ricotta cheese is a good source of protein and contains
17 percent calcium, equal to drinking a ½ cup of milk.
Ricotta is a delicious substitute for cottage cheese and is
lower in sodium and calories. (Recommended serving size: 1
cup cantaloupe, ¼ cup part-skim ricotta, 1 slice whole
wheat bread, 1 small whole wheat pita)