Beat the Heat

Heat

Temperatures reach the upper 80s and 90s and even higher in North Carolina during the summer months.  Staying cool can be tough.  Fortunately, our body has a natural way of cooling itself.  Through perspiration or sweating fluid is excreted through the skin that acts as a cooling agent to regulate body temperature within normal, healthy ranges.

Those exposed to high temperatures may be at risk of dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the body doesn’t have adequate fluid.  Fluid levels fall below normal when too little fluid is consumed and or too much is lost, or excreted.  Being dehydrated can affect how you feel and your ability to move and think.  Symptoms of dehydration include: increased body temperature, breathing and pulse rate; dry mouth; fatigue; weakness; dizziness; headache; and dark colored urine.[i]

Drinking water is one way to stay hydrated.  The Institute of Medicine reports that people get roughly 80 percent of their necessary water intake from drinking water and other beverages. The other 20 percent comes from eating foods.  Some foods have particularly high moisture contents and can be helpful when trying to stay hydrated, especially for those who don’t like to drink much.[ii]

The following are some examples of non-beverage foods (fresh, frozen, canned, or prepared) that are good sources of water.  When eaten, these foods can help you stay hydrated and in the hot summer months:[iii]

Applesauce Peaches
Apricots Pears
Beans Plums
Blueberries Pineapple
Cereals, (Cream of Wheat, oatmeal, and grits) Pumpkin
Celery Sauerkraut
Corn* Spaghetti
Cucumber Squash*
Frozen treats like fruit based popsicles, sherbets and dairy products, and ice pops Strawberries
Fruit cocktail Soups and broths
Gelatin (plain or flavored varieties) Tangerines (mandarin oranges)
Grapefruit Tomatoes
Lettuces (examples iceberg and romaine) Watermelon*
Papaya Yogurt

Are you looking for a way to beat the heat on a hot summer day?  Below is an economical make-your-own recipe for yummy frozen fruit pops!  Enjoy and stay cool!

 Frozen Fruit Pops[iv]

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

v  8 ounces crushed pineapple

v  1 cup yogurt, low-fat fruit (8 ounces)

v  6 ounces orange juice, frozen concentrate (thawed)

Instructions

  1. Mix the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Divide into 4 paper cups.
  2. Freeze until slushy – about 60 minutes. Insert a wooden stick half way through the center of each fruit pop.
  3. Freeze until hard or at least 4 hours. Peel away the paper cup before you eat the fruit pop.

Cost

Per recipe: $1.99

Per serving: $0.50

Source

USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Food and Drug Administration, DHHS, The Power of Choice

Notes

You can mix ingredients and freeze in ice cube tray instead of cups, making great “ice cubes” in fruit juice. Try other fruits or juice concentrates for variety.