cool off with food.

Ever notice how in the summer you start to crave more salads and raw foods? That’s because these foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness of leafy greens, fruits and veggies that are high in water, fiber and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these hot months. With that said, you should avoid heavy, dense or fatty foods in the summer as they slow the body down and cause it to heat up. Interestingly, red peppers are one of the few raw vegetables that have a warming effect on the body. salad

This summer, try some new veggies or salad combos and see how you feel! There are so many options out there — here are some ideas to get you started:

• pick your favorite leafy lettuce and top it with a variety of your favorite veggies—and throw in a new one to try
• fresh herbs are a great option to mix into the salad as they are full of flavor
• add different types of protein in like chicken, tofu, beans, fish, etc
• find light and healthy dressing at your local health food store, or mix up something easy, like lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil

This is a great opportunity to try a new vegetable from your local market— farmers market if you have one near you. what is something new you could try?  Fennel and mint? Throw in some basil?  Hearts of palm and watercress?  Whatever you choose, have fun with your food and stay cool.

Here’s to cooling off!