cool & hydrated as a cucumber
Cucumbers - they're in season in many parts of the country now (not where I live, but they're coming soon!) What are the benefits of eating these delicious, summertime bites? Think they're only crunchy and tasty in a salad?! Well, they're ultra hydrating! They're comprised of 96% water! Why do you care? In the summer, we lose fluids faster than during cold weather. While that is obvious to most, you're losing more than just water in your sweat. You're also losing electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals in your body that carry charged particles. These charged particles are responsible for maintaining the proper balance in many of your body's systems, mainly your kidney and nervous system function. When electrolyte balance is off, you can have difficulty contracting muscles, concentrating, filtering your blood, and in extreme cases, you can lose consciousness.
Common electrolytes that are obtained through your diet include: Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium
Diets rich in fruits and vegetables replace electrolytes lost on a daily basis. You do not need to consume processed sports drinks like Gatorade, filled with dyes, sweeteners, and artificial flavors. Rather replace electrolytes lost by eating hydrating foods like cucumbers, celery (natural source of sodium), coconut water, greens, carrots (potassium), tomatoes, green peppers, watermelon, grapes, and the list goes on. Less hydrating, but a great source of potassium-beans and sweet potatoes after an intense sweat are also good choices.
Cucumbers also provide that satisfying cold, crunch we desire when we're dehydrated as well. Combining cucumbers in your water adds a bunch of flavor, as well (plus, it just makes things looks fancy). For a great way to replace electrolytes, combine an acidic food like citrus, water, and cucumbers for a refreshing and hydrating drink.
Cucumbers are great for munching, scooping up your favorite hummus, or spiralized into a healthy noodle! For how to turn cucumbers & carrots into a satisfying pasta, check out my Asian Miso Noodle Salad, great cold!
Or top them with my Chive Cashew Cream Cheese for an easy and beautiful summer appetizer!