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6 healthy ways to eat and drink yourself cool in the heat

It's summer and for many of us, that means cooling off with a delicious smoothie. (Thinkstock)

When temperatures rise, I don’t complain, but I do make some changes to help stay cool and hydrated. Goodbye, hot morning coffee, and hello iced!

Glasses of seltzer mixed with 100 percent orange juice also become a staple. I want to be able to enjoy the heat — not let it get the better of me. My nutritionist pals are the same way. Here’s how they stay cool:

1. Drink infused water.

“My new and favorite way to cool off is with wild blueberry infused water. You take a water bottle with an infuser and fill the infuser with about 1/2 cup of frozen wild blueberries, plus a few mint leaves. The water immediately turns a pretty shade of purple and is absolutely delicious! Wild blueberries are packed with antioxidants and have a wonderful sweet-tart flavor.”

Frances Largeman-Roth, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Eating in Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family”

“I drink infused water to beat the summer heat. Place sliced fruit or, better yet, cucumbers, in the center infuser of a pitcher and pour in the water. Keep the pitcher in the refrigerator for a refreshing no-calorie, no-sugar-added chilled beverage. Research also suggests that drinking water before your meals may help with weight loss.”

Joan Salge Blake, registered dietitian nutritionist, author of “Nutrition & You” and clinical associate professor at Boston University

2. Enjoy homemade ice pops.

“I love homemade ice pops to keep me cool. My favorite at the moment is my green smoothie variety. You blend two ripe bananas, 2 cups of baby spinach and 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Then pour the mixture into eight pop molds and freeze them. The best part is that you get the nutritional benefits of whole fruits and veggies, no added sugar and only 40 calories per pop.”

Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “The Superfood Swap: The 4-Week Plan to Eat What You Crave Without the C.R.A.P.”

“For a super fun and hydrating treat, I love my ice pops made with frozen grapes and coconut water. Just fill ice pop molds with halved grapes, pour in 100 percent coconut water to just cover the fruit and then insert the stick handles. Place the molds in the freezer for at least three hours, or until frozen. Grapes are an excellent source of vitamin K, coconut water adds natural electrolytes for hot summer days and each pop is only 20 calories.”

Patricia Bannan, registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Eat Right When Time is Tight”

3. Grab a smoothie.

“In the summer, I have smoothies most days for breakfast, and, sometimes, another one for a mid-afternoon snack! I love that I can pack a bunch of fruits, veggies and protein powder into one nutrition-filled cool treat. I pack it with ice and use frozen fruit so it’s nice and cold to protect me from the Florida heat, which is necessary even at 7 a.m.!”

Tara Collingwood, registered dietitian nutritionist and sports nutritionist in Orlando

“During the summer, I especially enjoy my green smoothie recipe. Add 1 tablespoon of raw shelled hemp seeds to a blender and blend them until powdery. Add 1 cup each of frozen mango cubes and chopped English cucumber, 3/4 cup each of apple juice (or water) and baby spinach, several fresh mint leaves, a generous squirt of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root; blend until pureed. It provides a delightful way to boost fruit and veggie servings along with a punch of plant-based protein from hemp seeds.”

Jackie Newgent, registered dietitian nutritionist, culinary nutritionist and author of “The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook”

[See: 5 Healthy — and Tasty — Smoothie Ingredients.]

“On a hot summer morning, I always want an ice-cold smoothie for breakfast! My favorite blends together 1/2 cup low-fat milk, 6 ounces of low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened wild blueberries, half a banana, 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup. I love my recipe for a blueberry peanut butter smoothie because it combines all of my favorite ingredients to create a fueling breakfast that’s loaded with satiating protein, fiber and healthy fat. The fruit and dairy also contain hydrating water, which is essential on a hot day.”

Amy Gorin, registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in Jersey City, New Jersey

4. Skew watermelon.

“I eat watermelon all summer long in a variety of ways: straight up plain, pureed in cocktails, added to salads or on skewers. My recipe for watermelon, feta and mint skewers is so simple. You thread watermelon cubes, feta cubes and mint leaves on kebabs and then drizzle them with aged balsamic vinegar. I especially love watermelon because it’s a great source of antioxidants, and is super refreshing and hydrating all at the same time.”

Jessica Levinson, registered dietitian nutritionist, culinary nutrition expert and owner of Small Bites by Jessica

5. Freeze grapes.

“Frozen grapes are my go-to! Just rinse then freeze them and you’ll have orbs of sorbet-like refreshment at your fingertips. They are also great to use for chilling beverages without watering them down.”

Ellie Krieger, registered dietitian nutritionist, award-winning cookbook author and host of “Ellie’s Real Good Food” on public Ttlevision

[See: 11 Wonderful Ways to Use Watermelon.]

6. Put a spoon to gazpacho.

“I like to remind people to look beyond beverages to hydrate and seek out water-rich foods. Pineapple cucumber gazpacho is a perennial summertime favorite in my house. Add 4 1/2 cups of chopped pineapple, 4 cups of chopped cucumber, 1 diced jalapeño pepper (with one or two seeds kept in if you like heat), one diced scallion, 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice, a handful of chopped cilantro and 2 teaspoons of sea salt to a high-powered blender and puree to desired consistency. This gazpacho is hydrating while also providing lots of vitamin C, potassium, fiber and phytonutrients.”

Rachel Begun, registered dietitian nutritionist, nutrition advocate and certified natural chef

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6 Healthy Ways to Eat and Drink Yourself Cool This Summer originally appeared on usnews.com



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