Summer superfoods to cool down | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Summer superfoods to cool down

Tamsin Edwards

Many of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that surround can help us maintain optimal energy levels despite the heat of the day.

It's hot! And we're all reaching for a drink to help us hydrate, replenish ourselves and cool down.

It's all too easy to crack an ice cold beer at this time of year, or sip on an iced latte on route to the beach, but how can we really maximize the benefits of our daily hydration options?

Luckily for us, plenty of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that surround us currently are super-powered to help us stay fresh, glowing and operating at optimal energy levels despite the heat of the day.

Cucumber: The No. 1 source of cooling power! Easy enough to chop up and throw in a salad, or blend into a smoothie, this versatile and little known superfood also can be sliced up and placed over your eyes for instant refreshment. Cucumber contains ascorbic and caffeic acids that can help prevent water retention on these hot days. It is high in antioxidants, a diuretic and kidney tonic (helping to reduce that hot day puffiness), while also being alkalizing, antiinflammatory, and hydrating. On top of all that, research shows that cucumbers have anti cancer skills — helping bind and convert the hormones that cause estrogen-related cancers.

Mint: What could be more refreshing on a hot day than an iced mint tea with slices of fresh lemon? Mint is a naturally cooling and energizing herb that doubles as a fantastic anti spasmodic (when taken as a tincture) and digestive aid. The energizing power of it should not be underestimated on a sweltering day!

Matcha: King of the green powders right now, you can't even open Instagram without being bombarded with photos of delightfully creamy looking lattes and smoothies. Matcha contains l-theanine, a compound that helps alleviate stress and anxiety, while also being packed full of fibre, potassium and chlorophyll. It's stacked to the brim with polyphenols as a result of originating from the Tencha bush, a shade-grown plant that is protected from direct sunlight. Growth of the plant is slowed down, which reduces photosynthesis and stimulates chlorophyll production. The end result is a powdered tea with maximum health benefits and nutrients. Drink daily for antioxidants, improved concentration, lowered anxiety, metabolism boosting properties, and detoxification powers.

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Hibiscus: So wonderfully pink! Hibiscus tea can help relieve high blood pressure, and alleviate digestive and immune system problems, while assisting with inflammation. It works to speed up metabolism, too, so it may be beneficial to those looking to lose weight. Try mixing it with apple cider and ginger slices for a super refreshing iced tea.

Lemon: Not only lemon, but all citrus fruits should make it into your everyday during summer. They provide a shed load of vitamin C which works as an antioxidant, fighting off those free radicals, keeping your skin and immune system healthy. They also make plain old water taste delicious!

Coconut oil: One of the super powers of coconut oil (among the hundreds we already know of) is that it acts as a natural sunscreen. While it's SPF is very low (4-5), when mixed with other natural oils and ingredients it can provide decent protection. At Elevate, we carry sunscreens by Pantry Products and Avasol that both contain coconut oil alongside other natural ingredients to provide optimal coverage. Coconut oil also helps lubricate the skin and calm the nervous system. Try blending it into a banana and cacao smoothie with a date and a spoon of almond butter.

Melon: Watermelon is the optimal choice as it contains the most amount of water, but cantaloupe is a pretty close second. Did you know that melons are packed with digestive enzymes? Eat them on their own a half hour before a meal for their digestive boosting powers. The high water content also makes them great for your skin, just what we need on a dehydrating summers day.

MatchA Mojito

8 organic mint leaves

1 ounce organic lime juice

1 teaspoon matcha (we love Lioness Organics' MMmatcha)

4 ounces filtered water

2 ounces sparkling water

1 teaspoon maple syrup

A handful of ice cubes

Muddle the mint in a cocktail shaker or jar. Add the lime juice and mix together. Add the water, matcha powder, ice and maple syrup.

Put a lid on and shake vigorously.

Pour into a glass. Add 2 ounces of sparkling water, and garnish with a mint leaf.

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About the Author

Tamsin Edwards is the Office Manager at Elevate Wellness Center. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call us at 530-541-9355. Visit http://www.elevate- wellness.com or follow us @elevatewellnesscenter.