Summer time means an abundance of fresh foods. Take advantage of this season by treating your body to healthy eating. Don’t go just by taste buds alone. You need a simple healthy eating guide that dietitians and nutritionists agree is best for you. A summer healthy eating guide is one that recommends the most budget-friendly, nutritious, delicious, disease-preventive, and low-fat foods available.
Here are some examples of healthy and affordable foods perfect for a hot summer day.
A summer healthy eating guide should include fresh sweet corn, which is rich in antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which help the skin form a macular pigment for your eyes. It also filters out skin-cancer causing rays from the sun. Eventually, these help prevent macular degeneration beyond the age of 60.
Of course, sweet corn is cheap, delicious, low in fat, and rich in carbohydrates and essential nutrients. And it goes well in salads, or with any meat or seafood.
Tomatoes and Carrots
Cheerfully-colored red tomatoes and orange carrots are delicious and cheap, and make a wonderful addition to salads, soups, or pastas. They turn a summer healthy eating guide into a gourmet Italian feast.
But beyond that, fresh carrots and canned tomatoes have lycopene, an important carotenoid that makes tomatoes red, protects your skin from sunburn, and may even prevent cancer in general. A recent study revealed that people who ate tomato paste or drank carrot juice exhibited 50% less skin reddening upon exposure to UV light, than those who ate none.
Nothing represents summer’s bounty like a big, fat, juicy watermelon. This giant of a fruit is a fat-free dessert filled with vitamins, and has enough water to help keep your body cool and hydrated during the hot summer months. The watermelon’s sweet flesh also has enough water and fiber to keep you feeling full, making you less inclined to gorge on fattier summer desserts like ice cream.
The incredible thing is that watermelon also has lycopene, the same skin-protecting substance found in carrots and tomatoes.
These deliciously tart little fruits have fiber and pectin, which both help your body lower cholesterol levels and prevent weight gain. A cup of raspberries has nearly 8 grams of fiber. But they’re delicious enough for you to eat another cup.
The addictive nature of raspberries is actually a good thing. In a two-year study, researchers discovered that people who ate 8 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories (without adding to their diet’s fat content)—or 16 grams for the usual 2,000 calories-per-day adult diet—actually lost nearly 5 pounds just by sticking to this diet alone.
If you love coffee, keep it in your diet for the summer by turning it ice-cold. A single daily cup of coffee not only keeps you more alert, but lowers your chances of getting skin cancer. In a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, thousands of women who drank at least one cup of caffeinated coffee a day were less likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancer (by about 10%, compared to other women who drank no coffee or decaffeinated coffee).
Extra Motivational Tips
If eating these foods still sounds unimaginative to you, there are ways of motivating yourself into eating them.
Go online, and look through a search engine for recipes that combine them. For instance, for a cooling drink, search for a recipe for Iced Raspberry Coffee. The flavor of raspberry and coffee actually go very well together, and when turned into an ice-cold drink, becomes a stunningly delicious drink. Or try creating a cold Raspberry-Watermelon mocktail; recipes for this are available online as well.
For a mealtime recipe, look for a vegetable stew or soup recipe that combines tomatoes, carrots, and corn. An example would be a modified Italian Minestrone, or a cold Bloody Mary-Gazpacho.
Once you take the time to make these drinks or dishes at home, take photos. Then create a Facebook fan page for your food photography and food explorations, where you can post and share them with your friends and the rest of the world. You’ll find yourself compelled to continue eating these healthy summer foods, just to generate enough content for your fan page.