The summer heat can take its toll on our bodies, but the correct diet is essential in combating the sluggish summer feeling we sometimes get.
Swide approached a Milan based nutritionist for some handy advice on summer nutrition. Our source has an 11-year experience in all things related to nutrition, with the specialization in childhood and adult obesity, diabetes, and diseases of the bone like osteoporosis as well as kidney diseases.
Here is her on you can eat yourself fit, healthy and bronzed this summer.
What foods to you advise to eat in the summer months?
My main piece of advice if of course to drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water a day. Best to drink during the whole day as to integrate the hydro-saline losses which are higher in summer months. Generally eat foods which are rich in water, vitamins and minerals: at least to portions of vegetables and 2-3 portions of fruit per day. Do choose seasonal fruit and vegetables if you can.
Foods which help the tanning process are…
All yellow fruit and vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkin, peppers, melon, peaches and apricots. Otherwise opt for super greens; spinach, chicory, endive, lettuce and lamb’s lettuce. These foods contain beta-carotene, a proto-vitamin that gives the skin that characteristic golden hue.
Are there any supplements you advise to integrate your diet with over the summer? To whom would you prescribe them?
In truth, a healthy and balanced complemented with plenty of water should be enough, in a healthy person, to guarantee an adequate intake of minerals and vitamins. I would advise hydro-saline supplements to people who do a lot of sport and subject their muscles to intense exertion.
A day at the beach, what to pack for lunch?
I advise to eat light, easy digestible, low fat foods. For example a Caprese, mozzarella and tomato salad with oregano and whole grain bread. Or Parma ham and melon accompanied with crackers, or even barley or spelt wheat salad with vegetables and cheese. Cous-cous with natural tuna and tomatoes is also a tasty alternative. All these dishes are complete as they contain carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. And they’re all dressed with super healthy extra virgin olive oil.
And what to do if that sluggish feeling takes over in the summer heat?
Drink, drink drink. I can’t stress enough how drinking 1.5-2 litres of water every day is the number one summer rule. If that’s not enough, hydro-saline supplements may also help to pick you up.
Pearl barley salad with apples, pomegranate and pine nuts
Ingredients: 50gr pine nuts, 1 small shallot (minced), 500gr pearl barley, already boiled and at room temperature, 1 large Fuji apple, diced in 2cm pieces, pomegranate seeds from 1 pomegranate, chopped flat-leaf parsely, 3 spoons of white wine vinegar and 4 tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper.
Preparation: Toast the pine nuts on a medium heat on a non-stick pan. In a bowl add the salt, pepper, oil and vinegar and the minced shallot and whisk into a vinaigrette. Add the apples, pomegranate, pine nuts, parsley and pearl barley and toss before serving. The dish can be prepared the night before. Keep refrigerated.
Interview by: Valentina Zannoni
With thanks to K.C.