Summer is here! Now light food tastes particularly good: watermelons, tomatoes and cucumbers, mediterranean pasta salads, fish and healthy barbecues are all very popular. It's best to serve them with water flavoured with mint, herbs or strawberries. Our 6 best nutrition tips for hot temperatures.
Today the stove stays off
Who needs pizza, roast pork, greasy grilled sausages and dripping burgers in summer? They only make us sluggish, lie in our stomachs for a long time and demand the last bit of energy that we can still muster at midsummer temperatures.
And even if the cool evening hours whet our appetite again, we'd better give up hearty dishes like grilled sausages or fatty meat. It takes several hours for the body to digest them. Of course, the quality of sleep also suffers from this - and that is often reduced in hot weather anyway.
Our organism must already invest a lot of energy to cool us down. If it puts additional energy into digestion, we feel weak and tired.
It's much better to eat light food in summer. It refreshes and gives energy, and on top of that it fits perfectly into our healthy diet.
Light and fresh: 6 tips for healthy summer cooking
1. Drink plenty of water!
Actually an old hat, but it is always important to remember: On normal days, adults should drink about 1.5 to 2 litres of water, on days with high temperatures the requirement quickly increases three to four times.
We lose a lot of fluid through sweating. It is important to replenish this quickly, preferably before we even feel thirsty - because by then it is actually already too late and there is already a deficiency in the body.
It is a good idea to always have a water bottle with you when you are out and about. That way you always have your refreshment at hand.
Provide for culinary variety. If you find pure water too boring, simply create a new summer drink every now and then: the water can be refined with mint, lime, lemon, ginger, cucumber slices, elderflower syrup, strawberries or herbs. A spritzer made of herbal teas or diluted juices (good for the electrolytes) is also a nice alternative. It becomes even more inviting if you arrange the water nicely in a large carafe.
2. No cold drinks
Even if it is very tempting: Cold or even ice-cold drinks only refresh us for a short time. Immediately after drinking, we become even warmer than before. The reason: the body tries to adjust the liquid it drinks to the body temperature and uses a lot of energy in the process. This really makes us sweat.
Sounds paradoxical, but it has a long tradition: In southern countries, people like to drink warm teas, for example peppermint tea. From our body's point of view, this tea already has the perfect temperature.
3. Watermelon, cucumber and tomatoes
Water-rich fruits and vegetables should not be missing on any summer menu. They have a positive effect on our water balance and are refreshing.
Watermelon, pure or as a salad is great: You can refine it with mint, rocket and feta or enjoy it sweet with mint and rose blossom water or pomegranate seeds.
A cool cucumber soup is a nice summery lunch dish - and can be served with yoghurt, sour cream or salmon. The classic vegetable soup from the south of Europe is gazpacho: the mix of pureed cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers with a dash of olive oil tastes delicious, fills you up and is pleasantly light.
4. Mediterranean way of life as a rolemodel
The countries around the Mediterranean are showing the way: They take a siesta at noon. Only in the cooler evening hours does life come back into the streets, cafés and houses. Then they eat together: Fresh fish with rice, Mediterranean noodle salad with olives, peppers and good olive oil or a couscous salad with vegetables and parsley. A light spice in the food is also quite pleasant: it stimulates perspiration and cools the skin.
5. Eating small portions
In hot weather it is advisable to eat smaller portions - but preferably more spread out over the day. This is easy on the body and circulation.
6. Grilling healthy food
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Picture: istockphoto.com | sveta_zarzamora, AlexRaths