Tara Gidus

Eats to Beat the Summer Heat

It’s heating up here in the sunshine state, and finding a way to cool off after a sweaty run is a must! Runners do their best to beat the heat by running before dawn and sporting lightweight moisture wicking clothing. Just as your wardrobe changes with the seasons, so should your diet. Here are my top eats to help protect your body from the heat.

Grapes:  Grapes are portable, low in calories, and can be eaten anytime, anywhere.  They have potassium, an important electrolyte lost in sweat.  Grapes of all colors -- red, green or black-- are also packed in antioxidants and polyphenols, natural plan nutrients that act as antioxidants.  One 3/4 cup serving has 90 calories and no fat.  My favorite way to eat them in the summer?  Frozen of course!

Watermelon: This fruit is a super hydrator because it’s 92% water! Added bonus: watermelon is rich in amino acid L-citrulline, which helps with improving circulation and reducing post workout muscle soreness. Watermelon salad makes a refreshing treat, enjoy by combining diced watermelon, feta cheese, and fresh mint.

Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are some of the best food sources of fiber, a key ingredient for keeping your body in running shape. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and keeps things moving all while providing mealtime satisfaction needed maintain a healthy running weight. Toss these beauties into a blender with Greek yogurt or milk and a banana and blend for a refreshing summer smoothie sensation.

Peaches: These fuzzy mouthwatering fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, a runner’s favorite inflammation fighter. Make peach salsa by stirring freshly diced peaches in with your favorite fresh salsa recipe, and serve over grilled chicken or fish or corn tortilla chips!

Tomatoes: High in carotenoid, lycopene, which acts as an antioxidant and has a connection to bone health. Tomatoes are also a great source of biotin, a B complex vitamin important in the metabolism and balancing blood sugar. Top fresh diced tomatoes on a taco salad or cut thick slices onto a cool deli sandwich.

Green Beans: Beans are plentiful when the weather gets warm, and a good source of fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin K. This vitamin is an important factor in healthy blood clotting and has an impact on the skeletal system. Low levels of vitamin K can be a risk factor for osteoporosis and stress fractures. In the summer, I like to eat beans lightly steamed and tossed with onions and pine nuts to create a light bean salad. This side is delicious served chilled.

How to do you cool off during the hot training months? Tweet me your ideas @DietDivaTara

Known as the "Diet Diva," Tara Gidus is a nationally acclaimed nutrition expert and the official nutritionist of runDisney.