Have a Happy, Healthy Fourth of July!

Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and fainting, which is the last thing you want to happen right before fireworks. During the summer months, it is extremely important to take care of your body, especially when you’re getting blasted with the heat from the grill or running around with the kids.  Here are a couple of delicious Fourth of July inspired drinks and foods to keep you and your family happy and healthy.

bb7440_6fbed6e909dd992004f242e0d3f5ee40.jpg_srb_p_630_945_75_22_0.50_1.20_0It’s not the Fourth of July without watermelon!! This delicious fruit is 92% water, which is extremely important during the summer to avoid dehydration.  Some other foods that are great for hydration are celery, cucumber and iceberg lettuce. You can get dehydrated from not consuming enough water, eating foods high in sodium and running around in the heat for a long time. To keep your body in check, make yourself some Fourth of July inspired fruit infused water.  Add pineapple, strawberries and blueberries for a fun Fourth of July drink that everyone will love.

Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Go ahead and indulge!!! Chocolate has been scientifically proven to have cardiovascular benefits and can help prevent heart attacks.  According to a study from the University of Aberdeen, “Researchers discovered that those people who had a higher intake of chocolate were 11-percent less likely to suffer a heart attack than people who ate no chocolate at all. People who regularly consumed chocolate were also 25-percent less likely to die from a heart issue and 23-percent less likely to suffer a stroke.”

DON’T: It’s only natural to cheat on your diet a little bit on the weekend or when you’re on vacation, but the important part is making smart choices. According to a new study, eating a lot of trans fats can negatively affect your memory. Trans fats are known for raising the levels of  “bad cholesterol” and lowering the “good cholesterol” in your body. If that’s not enough to curb your cravings, trans facts may even cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to problems with memory loss. “The researchers discovered a fascinating link between trans fats and memory: for every gram of trans fats consumed on a daily basis, the memory performance of the men dropped significantly. In fact, men whose diet included a lot of trans fats (16-grams or more) were able to recall 12 fewer words than men who ate less trans fats.”

Make sure not to overhydrate your body, especially if you are playing sports.  exercise-associated hyponatremia (EAH), or overhydration, prevents the kidneys from producing enough sodium, which results in the cells swelling. Although it is rare, some athletes have died from overhydration, yet no one has died on the field from dehydration. For the athletes in your life, make a dish with cabbage, artichokes, Brussels sprouts or turnips. They are great to boost cell renewal, aid in bone health, regulate blood pressure and for muscle performance.

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For a real breakfast of champions, make a Firecracker Smoothie with bananas, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries to get tons of nutrients in a quick and easy breakfast that tastes amazing. Bananas have lots of Vitamin C and Potassium, which are good for managing your blood pressure and for your muscles. Blueberries help with memory loss, eyesight, and help relieve dry skin. Strawberries are filled with Vitamin C and are great for strengthening your immune system. Raspberries are also a great source of Vitamin C and fiber and are beneficial for diabetes management because they help to keep your blood sugar stable.

Have a happy Fourth of July!!