Feel your BEST this summer with a few healthy tips

Food picture

Bostonians, Summer is finally here! Summer means trips to beaches on the Cape, laying out on the Boston Common during your lunch break and summer produce! Here are a few diet tips to keep you feeling healthy this summer.

Fiber

There’s nothing worse than some post BBQ bloating. Most bloating is caused by stomach  upset. For those feeling the bloat, fiber is your secret weapon. Fiber is indigestible by humans which causes it to pass through our digestive system without being absorbed. Because of this indigestibility, fiber also slows down the absorption of other nutrients and keeps you full for longer. Here are some of my favorite sources of fiber:

  • Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber and hydration. Some of my favorite fruits and vegetables are in-season during the summer months. Also, summer dishes offer a variety of opportunities to get in your daily servings! My go-to ways to get my fruits and vegetables in the summer include
    • Fruit smoothies
    • Fruit salads
    • Homemade popsicles (no added sugar)
    • Grilled pineapple
    • Vegetables on the grill (my favorite is asparagus + balsamic vinegar)
    • Summer salads
    • Veggie burgers (you could use a big piece of lettuce as the bun for even more veg!)
    • Hard, crunchy veggies as substitutes for tortilla chips in guacamole and your other favorite dips
    • Zucchini noodles

  • Whole grains. Whole grains are an important aspect of our diets and a lot easier to incorporate than people might think. For example, did you know that popcorn is a whole grain? My favorite whole grains in my diet during the summer are
    • Whole wheat pasta in pasta salads
    • Quinoa in anything and everything
    • Whole wheat buns for cookouts
    • 100% whole wheat GG crackers for charcuterie plates
  • Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein PLUS  an incredible source of fiber in our diets.  Here are a few ways to include these nutrient powerhouses:
    • Healthy bean dips
    • Alternatives to meat in tacos
    • Black-bean burgers

Water

Though it may sound contradictory, bloating is sometimes caused by water retention in the body as a result of dehydration. When your body is not receiving enough fluid, it holds onto the water to maintain a homeostatically favorable water content. Hydrating your body by drinking water will allow the body to let go of this water that it is storing in your tissues. It is common for this water retention to pick up in the hot summer months as we are sweating more and losing more water than in the colder months. Proper hydration also allows the kidneys  to effectively cleanse our bodies of any   non beneficial materials. This hydration also aids the digestive system and allows it to function properly. Here are some tips on how to make sure you are getting enough water this summer:

  • Insulated water bottle. An insulated water bottle is definitely worth the splurge for beach days and days spent out in the sun; owning one will reduce your carbon footprint, save you money and keep your water cold. In my experience, a water bottle with a straw has caused me to drink a lot more water throughout the day without even realizing it.
  • Alternating alcoholic drinks with water. Alcohol consumption can increase during summer months. When drinking alcohol, a good hydration technique to practice is to alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water. This method can keep you on track to having a happy, healthy, hydrated night.
  • I love experimenting with different fruits and vegetables to add to my water. Lemon and lime, melons, cucumber, berries – the possibilities are endless!

Summer is the time to relax, unwind and enjoy.  Stay healthy and hydrated this summer with a few of these tips. Remember, summer goes by quick in New England so keep healthy to feel your best!

Co-written by intern Maddie Metzger, Boston University Nutrition & Health student & big fan of Summer in New England.