Summer is an exciting season that gives us the opportunity to enjoy the best of what nature has to offer. One of the finest ways to experience summer is by enjoying the bounty of tasty fruits, vegetables, and refreshing treats that come with it. Perhaps the greatest part of doing so is that many summer foods provide notable health benefits. Get the most out of your summer and support your wellness by enjoying these 10 healthy summer foods.
*Everyone’s dietary needs are different, and some foods discussed below may not be suitable for each person. If there are any concerns regarding the effect of specific items on your health, be sure to speak with your doctor.
In America, corn is perhaps the quintessential summer vegetable. And for good reason! Summer corn is not only sweet and delicious, but it also contains beneficial antioxidants. Studies show that lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in great supply in corn, can help protect your eyes by supporting the formation of macular pigment. Macular pigment helps filter potentially harmful sun rays, which can damage the eye and contribute to loss of vision. You can increase your antioxidant values and protect your vision by including corn in your summer diet.
Studies show that eating avocados, a favorite inclusion in many summer meals, can improve wellness. This is primarily because avocados are a brimming with beneficial nutrients, healthy fats, and vitamins. Research suggests that increasing your avocado intake may improve cholesterol regulation, bone strength, mood, and immune function. You can attain these and other health benefits by eating more avocado.
Blueberries are impressively versatile and good for your health. These power packed berries can be eaten on their own or be incorporated into a myriad of other summer dishes. However, brightening your taste buds is not the only benefit of eating blueberries. Many studies show that blueberries are full of antioxidants that help combat free radicals, boost immune function, support brain health, and much more!
Raspberries are a highly “munchable” fiber-filled fruit, making them the perfect summer snack. Research shows that eating more soluble fiber, found in great supply in raspberries, helps regulate cholesterol values supporting cardiovascular health. It has also been suggested that raspberries may further protect heart health by discouraging weight gain and promoting weight loss! One study found that participants who ate about a cup of raspberries (equating to nearly 8 grams of fiber) per 1,000 calories saw a notable improvement in their weight loss efforts. With their tasty and weight-regulating qualities, it is hard to think of a reason you shouldn’t try to eat a handful of raspberries every day.
5. Tart Cherries
Sometimes we need to break up the sweetness of summer berries with a bit of tart. And there is no better way to do that then by sipping on cherry juice! Studies show that regularly drinking cherry juice can improve sleep quality, alleviate muscle pain, and may even improve immune function. Additionally, tart cherries contain anthocyanins, a naturally occurring substance that encourages fat burning and limits fat storage. If you enjoy a tart drink, consider making cherry juice your summer beverage!
6. Summer Squash
Squash, particularly yellow-skinned varieties, are highly versatile vegetables that contain a bounty of beneficial nutrients. Some supportive substances found in these power-packed veggies include copper, manganese, vitamin C, folate, fiber, and more! Besides important nutrients, summer squash also contains a high volume of carotenoids. These antioxidants protect against various illnesses, support immune function, and may even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Summer ripened tomatoes are not only delicious, but studies suggest they may also protect against sun damage. This is because they contain a great deal of lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their distinct red color. Research has found that increasing our lycopene values may help protect our skin from sun damage. In fact, one study found that participants who maintained a higher tomato intake over a 10-12-week period were less likely to burn when exposed to UV light compared to those who did not get more lycopene in their system. But keep in mind that eating tomatoes is no replacement for proper UV protection like sunscreen.
Watermelon is a popular summer item that is a powerful low-calorie hydrator. Keeping the body hydrated is important for maintain various areas of wellness including memory, mood, and temperature regulation through sweat. Studies have found that eating food with high water content, watermelon is 92 percent water, not only supports hydration but also promotes satiation. These qualities make watermelon an effective guilt-free snack that can keep you satisfied and hydrated in the hot summer sun!
9. Iced Coffee
Coffee is exceedingly popular and enjoyed year-round. But there is something special about drinking an icy coffee on a hot summer day. Not only can sipping on iced coffee boost your mood, it may also support your wellness! Research shows that regular coffee consumption may provide notable health benefits including increased burning of fat, reduced risk of nonmelanoma cancer, and protection against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s. Don’t be afraid to beat the heat with an ice-cold coffee!
10. Iced Tea
If coffee is not your scene, iced tea may be a better summer beverage for you! Much like coffee, tea contains caffeine, which can provide a nice pick-me-up on a long summer day. Also, studies show that regular tea consumption can reduce the risk of serious illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, improve bone strength, and support the health of your teeth and gums. Brewing your own tea and keeping a batch stored in your fridge will ensure that you always have access to a refreshing wellness-boosting beverage.
Achieve Greater Wellness by Eating Healthy Summer Foods
The type and quality of foods we eat has significant influence regarding overall bodily function and wellness. To maintain a high quality of life for ourselves, it is important that we eat plenty of fresh, organic, and nutrient-rich foods. Summertime foods, such as those discussed above, are not only delicious but also support many areas of wellness. By eating more of these foods, you can enjoy your summer to the fullest while also moving towards greater well-being.
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