Hydrate and energize: 10 foods for summer health

Keeping fit and active is easy when you incorporate these healthy foods into your diet.
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Summer is full of hiking trails, days spent by the sea, and plenty of outdoor activities that make hydrating and eating right necessary. Keeping fit and active is easy when you incorporate these healthy foods into your diet. Not only will you feel more energetic and hydrated, but you’ll be ready to take part in all of summer’s activities.

Foods high in water content are great at hydrating you and cooling you down while out in the sun. Foods like lettuce, citrus, and other summer fruits and vegetables hydrate us and lower our body temperature to stay cool. The high water content can thin the blood and assist your body in releasing heat.

There are several foods to help you cut down on calories and still feel full while giving you energy for summer activities. Cut back on heavy pastas and rice bowls, and chow down on a helping of quinoa  instead, for example. Quinoa feels like a starch and fills you up like one, but is actually gluten-free and high in protein.

So, load up on these foods and hit the trails or the beach. Not only do some of these foods give you more energy, but they hydrate you as well for hot summer days.

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Oatmeal

Snack on a bowl of oatmeal before a hike or run. The oatmeal will hold you over until the end, but won’t weigh you down with carb overload.

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Avocados

These green fruits are full of magnesium and potassium, which helps your muscles function. Plus, it’s a nutrient-dense food, which means it will sustain you well through all your outdoor activities.

More: Check out these surprising facts about avocados

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Almonds

Almonds are great to snack on throughout the day and especially before doing physical activity. They can help you stay hydrated and give your muscles strength and power. Try eating plain and unsalted versions.

More: Pecans, almonds, and 8 more of the best nuts for your health

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Bananas

Bananas are a great pre-and-post-workout snack. They are potassium and magnesium-rich, which can help prevent cramps and bloating.

More: Don’t throw away overripe bananas! They’re nature’s gift to the home cook

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Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits are some of the most cooling foods around. That includes oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. Try adding a few orange or grapefruit segments to a salad or peeling and eating on the go. Lemons and limes also make great additions to marinades and salad dressings.

More: Enjoy the crop that had the whole summer to sweeten

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Watermelon

Nothing says summer like watermelon, and the pink, fleshy melon is a dieter’s best friend. Not only is it sweet and refreshing, but it’s also full of water (hence the name) and healthy. Eating foods that are high in water helps you to stay fuller longer and keep you hydrated in the summer heat.

More: 5 tantalizing watermelon recipes for summer cookouts

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Leafy greens

Leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and iceberg lettuce are high in water content and can help to lower your body temperature in the sun on a hot day. Make a raw spinach salad or add a few leaves to your summer sandwich.

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms can offer a meaty bite to stir-fry or salads with empty calories. They are loaded with antioxidants and help to boost the immune system. Instead of a heavy beef burger, try grilling a large Portobello mushroom as a patty substitute.

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Quinoa

Quinoa isn’t really a grain, but is actually related to spinach, beets, and Swiss chard. Quinoa can trick you into thinking you are actually eating a starch, without the carb overload. Plus, it’s high in protein, minerals, and vitamins.

More: Toss quinoa with fresh summer fruits and vegetables for an easy and healthy salad

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