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Summer Super Foods

Jul 25, 2011

Summer Super Foods

As the weather heats up, you may find yourself craving cool, crisp, refreshing meals. You’re in luck! Summer produce will cool you down and leave you feeling light and refreshed, while giving you the feeling of fullness. Fruits and vegetables anytime of year are nutritional powerhouses. But summer produce has an edge up with the variety that is available. Below are some summer super foods, just in time to shape up for summer!

Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are the most common cosumed berries and are all very high in vitamin C. This vitamin is important for your immune system but it also helps in collagen production to maintain skin elasticity. Berries are also a great source of fiber since the seeds are found in the fruit. Because of their lower sugar content, berries are lower in calories than most other fruits. While the serving size for fruit is typically ½ cup for 60 calories, the serving size for berries is 1 cup for 60 calories.
When to eat them(all the time): Add berries to yogurt for breakfast, put them in a salad for lunch, pair with some nuts for a trail mix type snack or eat fresh berries for a light summer dessert.

Melons: As with berries, melons are also low in calories. They have a very high water content making them ideal for proper hydration during the hot summer months. They are a great source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health. Watermelon is high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help to reduce your risk for certain types of cancers.
How to use: Melons are a great complement to cottage cheese. This meal pairs fiber (melons) with protein (cottage cheese) to keep you full and satisfied and adding a muscle building combo. They also make a great side dish for any backyard BBQ.

Bell Peppers: There are four common colors: red, yellow, orange and green. Green is the least sweet tasting but all are great sources of vitamin C. In fact, did you know that a red bell pepper has three times more vitamin C than an orange? One whole bell pepper is about 25 calories with 3 grams of fiber. Bell peppers can be used for many different dishes and add some punch to your salads or meat.

Tomatoes: Nothing screams summer more than fresh red tomatoes. Be it Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoe,any of these will add flavor and nutrition to your summer meals. Tomatoes are high in vitamin A and C. They also contain lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against cancer.
When to use: The most common way to use tomatoes is slicing them for sandwiches or salads. Pairing them with a small amount of fresh mozzarella and basil can be a nice appetizer or snack.

Spinach(#1): Spinach could top any list of super foods given its stellar nutritional profile. When eaten raw, spinach is very high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K and folic acid. Cooked spinach is also high in calcium and iron. These nutrients help in building bone density, boosting immunity, promoting eye health and may enhance mood. The bad part about this supper food is that i doesnt have a long shelf live and can die within 3 days.
When: Start your day with spinach by adding a handful to your morning smoothie(believe me you really dont taste it but rather get a boost of energy). ! If you want a more traditional approach, add it to eggs, put on sandwiches or use as a base for salads.

Feeling well absolutey means eating well! So to end your summer eating heathly and beating the heat, use these fresh, cool, summer produce to give you the feeling of summer with a healthy bite!


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