Nutrition Tips for Summer

Nutrition Tips for Summer

Posted by EyePromise on Jun 1st 2023

Summer vacation is here for many people, and that means life looks a little different. Less routine. More outdoor time. Longer days. It’s great for some reasons and not so great for others. For example, nutrition starts to take a hit during summertime because we tend to opt for those quick, convenient meal options vs. the labor-intensive meal plan. However, we’re sharing tips for staying on top of your nutrition this summer.

Eat a Balanced Meal

This suggestion is likely nothing new, but it can be difficult to ensure your meals are balanced in the midst of summer fun. Meals that are a little lighter tend to be favored in the hotter months, so think tacos, wraps, and sandwiches. Additionally, fried foods should be avoided. The best practice is to look for whole grains as a base, lean proteins, and lots of vegetables. Meals can also include a healthy fat and/or calcium-rich dairy/plant-based alternative. Options for each of these categories are below.

Whole Grains

  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Whole-grain bread
  • Whole-grain cereal
  • Sweet potatoes

Lean Proteins

  • Grilled chicken
  • Shrimp and other types of seafood
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Veggie or turkey burgers
  • Very lean organic cuts of red meat

Vegetables (* indicates in season during summer)

  • Leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, etc.
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes*
  • Bell peppers*
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant*
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Squash*
  • Onions

Healthy Fats (moderation is key)

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Walnut oil and other plant-based oils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Nut butters
  • Olives
  • Hummus

Calcium-Rich Foods

  • Low-fat milk
  • Almond milk
  • Greek yogurt
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Plant-based yogurt
  • Reduced fat cheese

Stay Hydrated

This may be the most important tip for the summer months. And winter months. And all year round! Your body is made up of about 60% water, yet many don’t drink the 11-16 cups of water each day. Additionally, we need to drink even more water when we sweat, which is ALL. SUMMER. LONG. If you’re sweating for longer than 60 minutes, consider adding a sports drink or gel to replace electrolytes. Here are some other tips to help you stay hydrated this summer.

  1. Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Adding fruit or cucumber to water to give a fresh taste.
  2. Eat foods with a high-water content like melons and citrus fruits.
  3. Freeze fruits to eat as a chilled snack. Fruits that freeze well include (* indicates in season during summer):
    • Bananas
    • Grapes
    • Melons*
    • Berries*
    • Oranges
    • Cherries*
    • Peaches*
    • Pineapples*

4. Use the frozen fruits to make a smoothie and add ingredients like Greek yogurt or chia seeds for enhanced nutritional value.

Portion Control

We want your main meals to be focused on good, wholesome, healthy foods, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a treat every now and then. That includes the occasional “cheat” meal like pizza or barbecue. The key to both enjoying your favorite “bad” meal and staying on track is moderation and portions. Pay attention to the appropriate serving size and try not to overindulge.

Minimize Caffeine Intake and Avoid Alcohol

This suggestion probably scares a lot of people considering summer is one of the most popular times for social drinking and who doesn’t love a good, iced coffee. However, caffeine can increase the risk of dehydration throughout the day due to its mild diuretic effect. Again, moderation is the key, so try and limit caffeine intake to 1-2 cups a day.

Alcohol also has a diuretic effect and dehydrates you faster. Here comes our favorite word: moderation! Yep, moderation is once again the phrase that pays, so be conscious of what and how much you’re drinking. Try to limit it just one drink or less, and drink lots of water before, during, and after. If possible, choose lower-calorie drinks like light beer, a small glass of wine, or hard liquor mixed with calorie-free club soda, ice, or water to help keep your nutrition on track, too.

Eat Regularly

Notice that our very first recommendation was balanced MEALS. Not 1 big meal a day. Not skipping meals to skip calories. Those are not sustainable or nutritional methods. Finding a meal plan that fits your lifestyle will benefit you in the long run. For active individuals, consider higher levels of protein and carbohydrates for muscle building and energy production during activities. For more sedentary lifestyles, focus on micronutrient intake. Continuous snacking throughout the day can also help keep your metabolism active, but make sure you’re swapping your cookies, candies, and chips with fruit, nuts, and low-fat yogurt.

Maintain Your Vitamin Regimen

It’s important to remember that even with a well-balanced diet, nutritional deficiencies can still occur. Therefore, it’s important to stay on top of (or start) your supplement routine. Specifically, during summer, your eyes are exposed to bright sunlight and harmful UV and blue light at a higher level. Make sure you’re protecting your eyes from the inside out with an eye vitamin designed with the ingredients necessary to boost your “internal sunglasses.”

Learn more about building your eyes’ internal protection.

Let’s make this summer all about finding your best nutrition self! These tips are a great place to start, but make sure you’re talking with your doctor or a dietitian to ensure you’re eating right for your lifestyle.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.