As the summer temperatures climb, you may find yourself too hot to feel hungry, and the thought of a hot piece of cheesy pizza may not sound like the most refreshing food. However, pizza can be an excellent way to keep you cool and provide you with essential summer vitamins, if you know which toppings to select.
Pineapples are one of the few moisture-rich toppings that really retain their water, even when they are baked for an extended amount of time. When you order pineapple on your pizza, be prepared for an extra rush of liquid with every pineapple slice. This can help keep you hydrated during the hot summer months.
Mandarin slices on your pizza work the same way as pineapple chunks. The skin around the mandarin helps keep moisture in, making the dish slightly more friendly for the hot weather.
Barbecue sauce is a quintessential part of summer. The flavors may remind you of parties and picnics shared with friends and family. While barbecue sauce is traditionally used as a marinade for meats, pizza presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy the smokey, tangy flavor of barbecue with less or no meat.
It may be counter-intuitive to eat spicy foods when it is hot out, but if you try hot peppers on your pizza, you may notice that the sweating they cause actually helps keep you cool longer than cold foods. Of course, you should use your best judgment with this topping. On days when the temperature is well over 100 degrees, and your body temperature is already rising, you may want to skip the hot peppers. However, on days when the temperature is barely 100 degrees, this topping can be just the inspiration your body needs to start its natural cooling process.
Spinach contains a large amount of water, high levels of magnesium, which you may lose when you sweat, and an important summer vitamin called lutein. Lutein is thought to protect the eyes from sun damage, which is more likely to occur during the sunny summer months. A great reason to eat your lutein on a pizza is that it is absorbed better when it is combined with high-fat foods, such as cheese. You are not limited to spinach, though. Most dark green vegetables contain lutein, so feel free to add broccoli if that is more to your liking.
During the summer, you might be tempted to skip the heavy tomato sauce and opt for a lighter pesto on your pizza. However, you should keep the tomato sauce as the weather heats up. Tomatoes, especially fresh summer tomatoes, are high in lycopene. Lycopene helps prevent sun damage to the skin, almost like a natural skin block.
Fish may remind you of the sea and water, which may help you cool down mentally. However, they also contain a high amount of potassium, which helps to regulate many of your critical bodily functions. People tend to lose a lot of potassium when they sweat. Drinking water will help keep you hydrated, but it is important to eat foods that are high in potassium as well. Three ounces of anchovies can provide you with 12 percent of your daily potassium needs.
Bonus Tip: Skip the Protein
The protein in meat requires a lot of energy to digest. This can make you feel sluggish and can increase your body temperature while you digest. During the summer, it is best to skip or reduce the meat toppings and opt for as many fresh vegetable toppings as you can.
Try adding these seven toppings and reducing the cheese and meat on your pizza for a perfect hot-weather meal.