“7 Healthy Foods to Have In Your Kitchen This Summer” – Sarah Marrs, RDN
Ahh… summertime! The kids are out of school, the days are longer, and the weather is nice and warm. Better yet: there’s an abundance of fresh and healthy foods that are in season and just plain tastier in the summer months. Here are a few of my favorites and why you might want to add them to your grocery list this summer.
Aren’t they beautiful? Berries come in so many different colors and shapes! More importantly, they are packed with antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants are substances that prevent or delay certain types of cell damage in our bodies. We all know fiber helps keep us “regular”, but did you know that having a high fiber diet may help reduce your risk or heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers? High fiber diets have also been associated with lower body weights.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a phytonutrient and carotenoid pigment (in other words, it’s what makes the tomato red!). Lycopene is also a powerful antioxidant that may protect against some cancers and cardiovascular disease. It’s received the most attention for it’s potential in protecting against prostate cancer in men.
Like tomatoes, watermelon contains lycopene. They are also 92% water (hence the name). Eating foods with high water content has been shown to keep people satisfied on fewer calories. Eating hydrating foods will also help keep your body cool, your memory sharp, and your mood stable.
- Plain Greek Yogurt
While Greek yogurt isn’t a “summer food” per se…it’s just a cool and refreshing food to enjoy on a hot summer day. It may not sound very appetizing to sit down with a bowl of plain yogurt, but top it with some fresh berries and honey and you’ve got yourself a tasty and satisfying snack! It can also be used as a substitute for sour cream or as a base for chicken salad or making your own veggie dip!
- Raw Nuts/Seeds
Good any time of year really, but especially nice to have on hand in the summer. Nuts and seeds make great snacks for summer road trips or poolside. High in fiber and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are a good choice for any seasons. Just be mindful of portion sizes. They may be small, but they are mighty in calories and nutrients!
Consisting of 96% water, cucumber is a low-calorie vegetable that has more to offer then just water and electrolytes. Cucumbers also contain potassium, antioxidants, and Vitamin K. Slice it up and serve as a refreshing low calorie snack, add it to salads, or make your own infused water with cucumber slices and fresh mint!
This nutrient all star contains over 15 vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of healthy fats and fiber and are sugar free. In fact, they have the least amount of sugar per serving than any other fresh fruit (yep…they’re a fruit)!