The beach and lake season is currently upon us and if you have not done so already, it is time to gear up and get into the summer mode.  Your efforts towards being hydrated and energized throughout the summer season largely depends on your dietary habits. What you eat can both help you in achieving your fitness goals or sabotage them all together. To promote fat loss, you have to ensure that you stay hydrated and eat energizing food. Hydration promotes metabolism, tones muscles, promotes bowel movement, detoxifies the body, and lowers stress levels.  The following are some food products and recipes that will help you achieve your  health and fitness goals this summer.

Coconut WaterCoconut and splashing water

Coconut water hydrates your body more than water. The electrolytes and sugar in coconut water provide optimal absorption from intestines to the body tissues. Coconut water is also a natural diuretic. It helps in flushing out waste and toxic elements form the body. The waste and toxins create inflammations, which results in fatigue and weight gain. In fact, a large part of body detoxification results in weight loss due to the removal of the wastes from the body.

Coconut Water Detox Tonic Juice: For this recipe, you will need 12 ounces of coconut water, a green apple, half a cup of water, a cup of pineapple chunks, a juice of single lime and lemon, and a quarter cup of mint leaves. Just mix all the ingredients for a perfect summer drink!

Berries and Tomatoes

Berries have extremely high content of antioxidants, fiber, and water, apart from being very delicious. Berries promote hydration and weight loss, and also help in reducing the risk of disease and illness. Blackberries are the best variety of berries from a health perspective.

Tomatoes have a very low calorie content, and very high content of vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene, and various other minerals and vitamins. Tomatoes are very useful in avoiding nutritional deficiencies which lead to food cravings and eventual weight gain. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, which protects against harmful UV radiation from the Sun. Tomato paste or sauces accentuate the effects of lycopene.

Blackberry Salad: For making a healthy blackberry spinach salad, you will need three cups of baby spinach, a pint of blackberries, a pint of halved tomatoes, six ounces of feta cheese, a sliced green onion, and fourth of a cup of chopped walnuts. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and garnish with some edible flowers.  You can then add your favorite lite olive oil based or flavored vinaigrette dressing.

Watermelon

Watermelon has a water content of more than 90%! It is also rich in lycopene. Watermelon helps body tissues in receiving the nutrients required for smooth and efficient body functioning, leaving you feeling energized!

Watermelon Salsa (For 8): For this dish, you will need 3 cups of diced watermelons, 2 jalapeno peppers, a third cup of chopped cilantro, quarter cup of lime juice, a third of a cup of red onion and salt for taste. Mix all the ingredients and add salt for a refreshing summer dish!

Topic for Discussion:

What is your favorite, healthy summer food or recipe?

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