During the summer months, it takes more effort to keep your body properly hydrated and protected because you’re constantly sweating and moving around.  While drinking plenty of water can help keep you feeling your best, it also doesn’t hurt to consume the right foods. So which items are summer must-haves?  Keep reading to find out.

Zucchini

Put a healthy twist on your traditional spaghetti dish by swapping out pasta for zucchini “noodles”.  You can easily get the noodle effect by using a spiralizer, julienne peeler or a mandoline.  From there, you can either bake, boil or sauté your “noodles”.  Zucchini is great for combating dehydration because it’s made of 95% water.  Plus, it’s low in calories so adding it to your meal plan can help you reach your weight loss goals.

Watermelon

Watermelons are a staple at many picnics for a good reason.  It’s delicious, has high water content and is packed with nutritional goodness.  Watermelons contain high levels of vitamins A and C which are essential for a healthy immune system and good vision.  Consuming the fruit can also help prevent asthma, lower your risk of cancer and reduce muscle soreness.

Cherries

Having trouble sleeping?  Eat a cup of cherries.  This tart, sweet fruit has a high melatonin content which makes them a natural sleep aid.  Cherries have also been known to lower blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of colon cancer and improve your memory.

Tomatoes

The best way to keep your skin safe from the harmful sun is to apply sunblock every few hours. But did you know that eating tomatoes can also provide skin protection? Tomatoes contain lycopene which can help prevent painful sunburns. The next time you plan to spend an extended period of time in the sun, consider helping yourself to a serving of tomatoes first.

Corn

There’s nothing like eating fresh roasted corn on the cob in the summer.  Aside from being delicious, corn contains lutein and zeaxanthin which can protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging UV rays.  That doesn’t give you permission to leave home without your sunglasses though.  Eating corn may also help lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration which is a common cause of blindness in the elderly.

Apples

Due to its high fiber content, eating an apple a day can lower your risk of heart disease, normalize bowel movements and lower bad cholesterol.  It can also help you earn brownie points with your dentist.  Eating an apple causes your mouth to produce more saliva which washes away bacteria and food particles.  As a result, you minimize your risk of tooth decay leaving you with a whiter, healthier smile.