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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and a News Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently a journalism student at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

5 Foods You Need to Steer Clear of During the Summer

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As one of the more social seasons, summer is the time that brings a long and large menu of delicious foods to satisfy our appetites. From barbecued meals to that family recipe of creamy potato salad, to just about everything at the state fair, there is so much to indulge in. 

But there is also a plethora of seasonal menu items that can aggravate you in some unfavorable ways, pointing to issues like, fatigue, skin irritation, increased body temperature and decreased digestion. When dealing with the excruciating humidity or an upcoming heat wave, use every defense to help you stay as cool as possible.

Fried Foods

Whether it’s funnel cake or fried anything, there’s no avoiding greasy food or fried dough in the summer thanks to innovative chefs and their delectable recipes. However, when planning meals and treating yourself to desserts, stick to cool and naturally sweetened foods and not cooked, hot foods. Fried foods are heavy in trans fats, but it makes them harder to digest and increase inflammation in the body. Further, it’s hard to burn calories off when they clog your arteries and cause lethargy.

Spicy Food

Between jalapeños and cayenne pepper, spicy food brings an exciting kick to the dining experience. But while spicy food can help maintain a healthy body weight and increase longevity, there’s a darker side you might not realize. If you didn’t notice by now, spicy food is the worst to consume in the summer. Because the heat of spicy food mixes with the temperature of the season, it can have you react in a way that leaves you irritable and over-heated. Even when cooled down with milk or water, your body’s internal temperature rises, as does inflammation, which can also result in a flare-up of previously existing eczema, rosacea, pityriasis rosea and acne.

Shellfish

Seaside escapes and weekends on the lake epitomize summer. But common lore states we should only be eating shellfish in months ending with the letter “R.” The New York Times reports the particular class of seafood to be problematic in the summer due to massive blooms of algae that accumulate along the coastlines during the warmer weather — known as the “Red Tides.” Researchers suggest if we eat locally harvested oysters, muscles and clams as opposed to mainstream and cultivated, we could develop “paralytic shellfish poisoning” as shellfish absorbs all the toxins from the tides. Word to the wise too, if shellfish doesn’t taste great and is unpleasantly thin, milky and soft, best to avoid it at all costs.

Sugary and Caffeinated Beverages

Cold iced coffees or mama’s sweet tea brew is the ultimate quench buster during humid days. But the reality is both can dehydrate you. Our beloved refreshments like coffee, tea and fruit juice made from concentrate are diuretics and not ideal for a sweaty afternoon. Whether caffeinated or sugary, these drinks cause us to make more bathroom runs as they free us of salt and water. Additionally, sugar content in these drinks cause blood sugar spikes that eventually leave you tired, hungry and even more thirsty. Plus, they’re empty calories, as opposed to smoothies, which can boost your energy.

Alcohol

A summer without a few cocktails or a frosty beer isn’t really summer at all, is it? But while lounging back in some pretty drinks to cool off during a hot backyard BBQ might seem like a good idea, alcohol and heat don’t blend. When you drink alcohol during the summer, you risk heat stroke and dehydration. Additionally, you experience severe thirst since alcohol unfortunately lowers your body’s ability to tolerate the heat. When this happens, not only does cooling off take longer, but the liquor acts as a diuretic, flushing out hydrating necessities. Ultimately, it leave you likely feeling bloated and stuffy-headed.

What are some foods you stay away from during the hot, summer months? Share with us in the comments below.

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