Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, nutritious and delicious foods that can help support a healthy diet. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing snack or a satisfying meal, there are plenty of options to choose from. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best summer foods that can help you stay healthy and nourished all season long.
Watermelon is a summer favorite for many reasons. It’s refreshing, hydrating and packed with nutrients. One cup of watermelon contains only 46 calories, making it a low-calorie option for those watching their weight. It’s also a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and supporting overall heart health.
In addition, watermelon contains high levels of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. Lycopene is more abundant in ripe watermelon than in unripe watermelon, so choose watermelons that are fully ripe and have a deep red flesh.
Tomatoes are another summer staple that are loaded with nutrients. They’re a great source of vitamin C, potassium and fiber, and are low in calories. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.
In addition, tomatoes contain other antioxidants like vitamin A and lutein, which help protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals. Tomatoes are also a good source of folate, which is important for healthy fetal development during pregnancy.
Berries are a sweet and delicious way to add nutrition to your summer diet. Whether you prefer strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, all of these berries are loaded with antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Berries are also a great source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K.
One cup of strawberries contains 149% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C, while one cup of blueberries contains 24% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 36% of the daily recommended value of vitamin K. Berries are also low in calories, making them a great option for those watching their weight.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, leafy greens like spinach, kale and arugula. These greens are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and fiber. They’re also low in calories and can help you feel full and satisfied.
One cup of spinach contains only 7 calories, yet it provides 56% of the daily recommended value of vitamin A and 14% of the daily recommended value of iron. Kale is also a great source of vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium and potassium. Arugula is packed with vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and magnesium.
Grilling is a great way to add flavor to your vegetables without adding extra calories. Zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and asparagus are all great options for grilling. These vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied.
Zucchini is a great source of vitamin C, while eggplant is loaded with antioxidants like nasunin and chlorogenic acid. Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, while asparagus is packed with folate, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh, wild-caught fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel. These fish are a great source of omega- 3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain and heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce inflammation in the body, which can help lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and arthritis.
In addition, fish is a great source of protein, which is important for building and repairing tissues in the body. Fish is also low in calories and saturated fat, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight.
On a hot summer day, nothing is more refreshing than a tall glass of iced tea. Not only is tea hydrating, but it’s also packed with antioxidants like catechins and flavonoids, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of chronic diseases.
Green tea, in particular, is a great choice for summer because it contains high levels of catechins, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint are also great options for summer because they can help calm the body and mind, making them the perfect choice for a relaxing afternoon.
Yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium and probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help support gut health. Eating yogurt regularly can help improve digestion, boost immunity and even lower the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Greek yogurt, in particular, is a great choice because it’s higher in protein than regular yogurt. It’s also lower in sugar and calories, making it a healthier option for those watching their weight. Choose plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruit or honey for a sweet and nutritious snack.
In conclusion, summer is the perfect time to enjoy fresh, nutritious and delicious foods that can help support a healthy diet. Watermelon, tomatoes, berries, leafy greens, grilled vegetables, fish, iced tea and yogurt are all great options for summer. These foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, and are low in calories and saturated fat. So next time you’re looking for a refreshing snack or a satisfying meal, reach for one of these healthy summer foods and enjoy all the benefits they have to offer.
About The Author
Dr. Hannah is a highly-skilled and compassionate physician who completed her medical degree at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in 2014. She passed the Physician Licensure Exam in 2015, and has since gained experience working in various hospitals and clinics throughout Metro Manila. For three years, she served as a physician on duty at a dialysis institute, caring for patients with chronic lifestyle diseases.
As a primary care physician, Dr. Hannah is dedicated to providing patient-centered care that takes into account the whole person, not just their illness. She believes in empowering her patients to take an active role in their healthcare, and believes that this type of doctor-patient relationship is key to achieving optimal health.