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Summer is a great season to partake in the numerous delicious seasonal fruits.  Not only do these summertime fruits taste great, but they also give you many nutritional benefits. Some fruits to enjoy before the season ends include:

 

Berries: the phytochemicals in blueberries, strawberries and blackberries all boost immunity, and protect against heart diseases and circulatory problems.

Peaches and plums: full of vitamin C and beta carotene, peaches and plums help to eliminate free radicals from the body.

Pineapples: being packed with the most vitamins and minerals, pineapples are also a great digestive aid.

Papayas and mangoes: both are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene and fiber.

  • We consume about 25 pounds of bananas per person each year.
  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas.
  • Bananas don't grow on trees : trees have bark and banana plants don't have bark.
  • Bananas are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium.
  • A large portion of the calories in bananas come from sugars.

 

 

Recipe: Classic Banana Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cooking spray

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe: Banana Chia Pudding

1 ½ cups vanilla-flavored flax milk

1 large banana cut in chunks

7 tablespoons chia seeds

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Put milk, banana, chia seeds, honey, vanilla extract, and sea salt in respective order in the blender; blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until thickened, at least 2 hours. Spoon mixture into small bowls to serve.

(Continued from Part I…)

Health Tip #4: Dehydration 

Dry mouth and eyes, dry skin, a condition where sweating nearly stops, muscle cramps, nausea, heart palpitations and light headedness. To prevent dehydration, drink water, clear broths, and any other water replacements that contain electrolytes, like Gatorade. To combat dehydration, try fluid replacement and control through diet and fever medication. 

Health Tip #5: Foot Infections 

Sweating and humidity can increase your chances of foot infection during summer.
To remedy a foot infection, there are several anti-bacterial powders available in medical stores. And scrub your feet and the toes thoroughly to wash off the bacteria. For severe cases of infection, consult a dermatologist.

Health Tip #6: Summer Diet 

It’s always a good idea to switch up your diet in the summertime to eat foods such as watermelon, yogurt, berries and other fruits and vegetables. Such foods are low in calories and additionally require very little energy for digestion. These foods taste better when chilled and are therefore traditionally eaten that way. Naturally, eating chilled low-calorie foods feel good in the summer months, too. 

Health Tip #7: Food Hygiene 

Many dangerous bacteria and viruses thrive in the summer months as the temperature is conducive for their growth. The bad bugs usually enter the body through food and water. This is why maintaining good food hygiene is crucial in this season.

While Summer brings longer days, more sunshine, and carefree vacations, Summer can also bring a plethora of problems when it comes to your health.

To stay healthy all summer long, we suggest practicing these Summer Health Tips and share them with your friends and family members.

 

Health Tip #1: Heat Stroke

Heat stroke, a severe form of hyperthermia, occurs “when the human body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. This is a serious condition and needs immediate medical attention.” The remedy: It is important to lower the temperature of the body, immerse yourself in ice if you must or take a cold shower. You can prevent heat stroke by wearing loose and light clothes, drink water and do not overexert yourself during summer.

Health Tip #2: Heat Cramps

Muscle pains or spasms usually occur in the abdomen, arms, or leg and usually occur in coordination with strenuous physical activity. Home remedies: Rest in a cool place. Drink clear juice or electrolyte-enriched drinks. Do not go back to strenuous activity even after cramps subside since it may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. 

Health Tip #3: Heat Exhaustion

Heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, fainting, muscle cramps, and/or fainting are all signs of heat exhaustion.
The remedy:  Rest. Have a cool, non-alcoholic beverage, a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath. Wear light clothing if you plan to be in the sun all day.

(Continued in Part II…)

Ranked recently as the “top diet” by U.S. News and World Report, the DASH diet – or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension- is growing in popularity as being a diet followed by more than just those with high blood pressure.

 

According to reports, the DASH diet “involves manageable dietary changes that are flexible and rooted in proven nutritional advice.” 

The food options on a DASH diet closely mirror those of the U.S.  Department of Agriculture’s My Plate diet, with a focus on whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, fat or low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats, fish, and poultry. The plan also encourages participants to cut back on processed foods, sugary drinks, packaged snacks, and limiting red meat. 

There are two different options when it comes to the DASH diet. The standard DASH diet limits sodium consumption to 2,300 milligrams per day. The lower-sodium DASH diet calls for limiting sodium consumption to 1,500 milligrams per day. 

The daily DASH eating plan also involves, on average: 

  • 6 to 8 servings of grains, preferably whole grains
  • 6 or fewer servings of meat, poultry, and fish
  • 4 to 5 servings of veggies
  • 4 to 5 servings of fruit
  • 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • 2 to 3 servings of fat or oils 

Depending on your weight loss goals or management, you can choose a DASH plan that varies from 1,200 to 3,100 calories per day.

As with any diet plan, it is best to talk to your physician to find out if the plan is best for you and your health needs.