Aah, the glories of summer . . . more daylight, flowers, no snow and ice, open windows . . . just what we were dreaming of last March. Unfortunately, what we didn’t bargain for was waking up to find the temperature is already 86 degrees and climbing along with 75 percent humidity.
While some people love the heat and humidity of August (I certainly do), others don’t. But, even those who enjoy hot and humid weather need to remember to hydrate. When temperatures soar, our bodies lose hydration more rapidly than on cooler, less humid days. This can be a time to be more conscious about what we ingest.
I’m sharing a few tips about how you might find some relief from our August weather and ways to help your body cope.
To hydrate, the first thing most people think about is water, which you probably already know that you should drink regularly. If you get bored with drinking straight water, try adding a few drops of fresh lemon or lime juice or infuse it with watermelon rind or sliced cucumbers for flavor. If you prefer herbal tea try chrysanthemum, chamomile or calendula either hot or cold or at room temperature. These teas are considered to be anti-inflammatory and may also provide a gentle liver cleanse. Coconut water is also a good way to stay hydrated while also providing a good source of potassium, which we tend to lose when we sweat.
Drinking water, or for that matter, any liquids is not the only way to hydrate. Did you know that most fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of water? Watermelon is pretty obvious, but even broccoli and carrots contain a high percentage of water. So, don't cook on a hot day, and fix a salad with lots of leafy greens such as romaine, spinach and dandelion, steamed broccoli and carrots (cool to room temperature first before adding) cucumber, radish, hard-boiled egg, walnuts for crunch, and add an avocado to give it some creaminess. Top it off with a light dressing of olive oil, vinegar and some finely chopped herbs like basil, parsley or cilantro.
Looking for something to snack on in the middle of the day between meals? Munch on some celery or fennel which can help cool the body, aid digestion and are known to lower high blood pressure. Celery with its spicy, fresh crisp snap and fennel with its anise, licorice flavor, are both great for replenishing fluids.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Hope Hathaway M.s. L.Ac. , is a NCCAOM Board Certified Diplomate of Acupuncture. Read more about her services at www.hopehathaway.com.