Summer is the perfect time to switch to flip-flops, but did you know it’s also the right time to change your diet? Being outdoors more often—and sweating—ups your risk for health problems such as dehydration, skin sensitivities, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The simple (and delicious) solution? Eat local, in-season fruits. Their nutrients are at their peak in the summer!
We picked 10 best foods to help your body look and feel its best during the hottest time of year!
While tomatoes are filled with antioxidants and Vitamin C, they also contain beneficial phytochemicals such as lycopene, which contribute to chronic diseases—especially cancer.
Part of the summer squash family, zucchini contains a fiber called pectin, which is linked to increasing heart health and lowering cholesterol.
As its name implies, this fruit is a hydration hero, and fluids are exactly what you need when the heat is on. Watermelon’s high water content keeps you cool and hydrated. That same high water content will also keep you feeling full, which could curb cravings. As an added summer bonus, Watermelon also contains lycopene, which protects skin cells from sun damage.
The sweet citrus fruit is rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s crucial in the summer. You lose potassium through sweat, which puts you at risk for muscle cramps. Eating oranges replenishes your supply and keeps muscle cramps away. Oranges are also about 80% water, so popping a few juicy slices will keep you hydrated during your sweatiest summer days.
Protein-packed, portion-controlled and easy to tote in your beach bag (just freeze a cup before you go, so it stays cool until you’re ready to snack), yogurt is made for summer eating. The protein satisfies your growling tummy, which will keep you from overloading on salty, high-calorie snacks at your barbeque. Pick brands that are low in fat and high in protein, like Dannon Oikos Non-Fat Greek yogurt. It has twice the protein of regular low-fat yogurt. Yogurt also adds a dose of probiotics, beneficial bacteria that keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
Blackberries and Raspberries
These berries are great sources of fiber. Raspberries are a food that goes unnoticed a lot—they can be very expensive off-season—but there are a lot of awesome qualities in the powerful little raspberry. They’re very high in vitamin C and have 8 grams of fiber per cup.
Apples, Figs, and Pears
These foods are high in fiber too. Keep the skin on apples and pears for the maximum nutritional impact. Be sure to wash thoroughly before eating or, even better, opt for organic—apples are part of the Dirty Dozen, meaning pesticide residue could linger on the skin. Two medium-sized dried figs contain more than 1.5 grams of fiber.
If you’re looking for drinks more exciting than water to keep you hydrated, you may want to go green. Green tea is the perfect way to supplement your water intake when it’s super-hot outside. Studies have suggested that green tea may be helpful in fighting cancer and heart disease, lowering cholesterol, revving your metabolism and even keeping dementia at bay. And if sipping a hot drink in a hot month isn’t your cup of…well, tea, try it on ice—the cooler temp doesn’t compromise its nutritional benefits.
Snack on handfuls of almonds, cashews, and peanuts to get your fill of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are thought to lower bad cholesterol levels.
Although it could be lumped in with nuts as a healthy source of monounsaturated fat, it’s such a superfood it deserves a placeholder of its own. They’re so good for the heart and overall wellness.
Font: Woman’s Day