We are what we drink! The calories in a beverage are often a high source of calories with very few nutrients. Try one of my summer libations that are high in the good things with less of the unhealthy ones. Even more importantly, they are tasty and refreshing too! In the heat of the summer, it’s important to keep well hydrated and water is the most essential nutrient to life. The familiar term “getting 8 glasses a day” is a good recommendation to begin drinking and it can be individualized based on a person’s body size, health condition and fluid losses through exercise. Many of us have a good regulator of fluid needs through our sense of thirst but this sensation often decreases when people get older and they may need to be reminded to “drink up”.  Staying well hydrated is a great way to help us achieve natural weight loss since many of us eat when we are thristy. Making drinks out of fruits and vegetables also helps ensure that we getting our needed daily amount of 5 or more a day!

In addition to our fluid needs, it is also important to maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. Electrolytes include sodium, calcium, chloride, bicarbonate, potassium, magnesium and phosphate. Normally, our bodies do a good job keeping themselves in balance but certain diseases, medications, high intensity exercise and high temperatures may make it a challenge to maintain them.

Here is a list of electrolytes and some of the best food sources of these. As with fluid needs, a healthy electrolyte balance and nutrient needs varies for each individual.

Electrolytes in Our Body and Food Sources:

Calcium: dairy products, green leafy vegetables, some beans and tofu

Sodium: table salt is usually the place where many of us get this

Magnesium: green leafy vegetables, legumes and whole grains

Phosphorus: animal products like dairy and meat, dried beans

Potassium: fruits, vegetables, fresh meat

Try these fun smoothies that I have created! I used local produce and seasonal ingredients to make them! It you have not had time to freeze the fruit ahead of time, add a few ice cubes. I had fun putting some of them in some vintage glasses and relaxing with these drinks outdoors!

 

It's hot outside but this smoothie can help keep you cool!

It’s hot outside but this smoothie can help keep you cool!

Cucumber Peach Basil Smoothie

Stay as cool as a cucumber this summer with a smoothie that features some of the stars of summer. Cucumbers contain vitamin K, molybdenum, pantothenic acid and potassium and peaches are high in vitamin A and C. Basil is rich in vitamin K, maganese, copper and vitamin K. This recipe makes one smoothie.

1 cucumber partially peeled and sliced

1 peach sliced, place in freezer to get frozen

1/2 lime squeezed

1/2 tablespoon fresh basil

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

Honey to taste or other sweetener

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a tall, cool glass!

Sit out on the patio or deck with this little drink!

Sit out on the patio or deck with this little drink!

Watermelon Cooler

In addition to the phytochemical lycopene which is connected to cancer prevention, watermelon has vitamin C, pantothenic acid, copper, vitamin and potassium. We often don’t think of herbs as having a lot of nutrients but mint has manganese, copper and vitamin C.  This makes two coolers that can fit into larger wine glasses.

3 cups watermelon, seeded, cut into chunks and frozen

Juice from one lemon

1/2 tablespoon mint

Place ingredients in a blender and process. Pour into glasses.

 

An easy way to enjoy the berries of summer and get refreshed!

An easy way to enjoy the berries of summer and get refreshed!

Berry Herbal Sparkler

Frozen blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries become the ice cubes that don’t water down your drink when they melt. A sprig of fresh thyme for a stirrer gives this tea an added treat! Blueberries are rich in vitamin K, C, manganese, fiber and copper. Raspberries vitamin C, maganese and fiber. Strawberries are high in vitamin C, maganese. Thyme has vitamin C, maganese and iron. Makes one serving.

 

One sprig of thyme

Berry herbal tea (I used Wild Berry Zinger )

1/2 cup frozen berries, I used strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

Honey to taste or other sweetener if desired

Garnish with fresh berries

Make a mug of herbal tea and add honey if desired. Allow to cool, add water and add to a large glass. ( I used a mason pint glass.) Add frozen berries to cool and flavor the drink and add the garnish!

Hope that you get a chance to sit back and relax enjoying a healthy, cold beverage! Your body will thank you!

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