Summer in Rhodes has arrived. The sea, the countryside, swimming, various summer sports and high temperatures began to make their presence felt. This is probably the best time to adopt a healthier diet, which will help the body adapt to the heat and contribute to overall good health. In the summer months we usually abandon heavy cooking, sauces, fried and spicy foods, which are more suited to the colder times of the year, and opt for foods that are easily digestible and cool. In this way, we help our body to adapt to changing weather conditions, to function under very high temperatures, relieving it from the process of digesting meals very rich in calories and fat. In addition, life may be carefree in the summer, but fun in the sun can have consequences for the body.
Fortunately, here in Greece and in Rhodes at this time of year there are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods, such as, for example, berries (rich in antioxidants), tomatoes, sweet peppers (a good source of vitamin C) and protein-packed fish. So emphasize the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are abundant in the summer months (peaches, apricots, cherries, figs, melon, watermelon, etc.) and help to better hydrate your body. The role of fruit and vegetables is important because, in addition to fibre, they provide you with vitamins and minerals and help maintain the balance of electrolytes in the body.
Therefore, a goal for the summer could be to consume 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO), while emphasizing variety. By choosing the right foods in your daily diet, you will also help prevent or relieve the following conditions that occur in summer, such as dry skin, fungal infections, cramps, dry hair and dehydration.
10 healthy tips for the summer
- Drink plenty of water (8-10 glasses per day) and avoid drinking soft drinks because they are high in sugar.
- Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables often, which are in abundance in summer.
- Prefer eating fish 3-4 times a week.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol increases fluid loss and body temperature.
- Avoid saturated fats. Your diet should be low in fats which are mainly found in sweets, ice cream and fried foods.
- Prefer your diet to be low in sauces, fats, spices and seasonings so that it is more digestible.
- Don't eat ice cream often because it is high in calories. Choose sorbet ice cream (granita, γρανίτα in Greek) or light type, which are low in fat.
- Eat frequent and small meals.
- Eat a light dinner, so that you can also have refreshing drinks and feel light.
- Do not skip your medication, if you are taking any, and contact your doctor for any health-related problems.
By Moraris K. Emmanuil, M.Sc Dietologist & Nutritionist, Specialized in Sports Nutrition / dimokratiki.gr