Only have a minute? Listen instead
Let’s be honest, as soon as summer hits we indulge in some ice cream, popsicles and beer for those who are old enough. Let’s be even more honest — we don’t really wait for the summer to enjoy those things.
As great as all that sounds amid these high temperatures, there is a chance we’re actually gaining more weight during the summer than during the winter season due to the amount of unhealthy snacks we eat. And let’s face it, with the Rio Grande Valley dealing with rising temperatures practically year-round, that’s a lot of ice cream we’re probably consuming.
But now that the summer has given us a reason to rush to icy cold drinks and snacks — and we’re certain the ice cream vendors in the Valley don’t mind — we decided to throw together a little something on how you can beat the heat and stay healthy.
So if you’re looking for a quick, healthy snack to cool off during these dog days of summer, here are a couple of ideas.
According to Lizlette Quintanilla, a dietitian at DHR Health, the most important thing is to replenish the amount of water we lose throughout the day.
She explained that about 20% of water intake can be consumed through the foods we eat. And if you guessed that she was going to suggest we prioritize something grown, you get a gold star.
“My biggest suggestions are going to be any fruit or vegetable,” Quintanilla said, joking that it’s what any dietitian would say.
Quintanilla suggests we eat fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, grapefruits and jicama.
“They are made up of over 90% water, so they’re going to be very good snacks to stay hydrated,” Quintanilla said, adding that fruits contain antioxidants such as vitamins A and C that help delay cell damage.
These fruits also help with digestion and improving immunity.
For those who aren’t too big on eating sugary fruits, she also recommended vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, bell peppers and celery.
It also couldn’t hurt getting creative when preparing some of these fruits and vegetables by incorporating some yogurt, or making a fancy fruit salad, or a frozen watermelon mix.
“Sometimes the way you present it makes it more appetizing,” Quintanilla said.
For those who just can’t bring themselves to eat food the earth produces, she sighed (not really) and suggested frozen yogurt, which is lower in fat, as opposed to ice cream.
“We’re not always going to be wanting to snack on fruits (or vegetables) but we’re just going to have put that creative twist in the preparation,” she said. “It’s really ironic, we think that the winter time is when we gain the most weight but sometimes I think it’s summer.”