Enjoying summer doesn’t mean only having splendid holidays, going to the beach and sunbathing but feeling comfortable and positive after choosing and eating the right foods as well. Summer is that amazing time of the year when fresh and delicious vegetables and fruit abounds and which hide a lot of secret health benefits.
If you want to blow away the cobwebs this summer, in addition to other plans, add these foods to your diet:
Fresh sweet corn. Two antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin—in corn may act like natural sunglasses, helping to form macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays.
2. Iced Coffee
An iced coffee is a great way to start your summer mornings. Better yet: drinking a single cup of coffee daily may lower your risk of developing skin cancer.
3. Tart Cherries
They deliver a host of health benefits. You may have heard that drinking tart cherry juice can help you get a better night’s sleep and quell post-workout pain. But did you know that compounds in tart cherries may also help you slim down and get leaner? The anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.
There’s no question that sunscreen should be your first line of defense against the blazing summer sun. But eating tomatoes could give you a little extra protection: consuming more lycopene—the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red—may protect your skin from sunburn.
Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp and your mood stable. It also helps keep your body cool (by sweating) during hot summer months. The good news is that you don’t just have to drink water. You can eat it, too: in addition to delivering skin-protecting lycopene, watermelon is 92 percent water . Research shows that eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories.
Raspberries are a great source of fiber—some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber.
7. Iced Tea
If you drink tea regularly, you may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. Tea is rich in antioxidants called flavonoids. Regardless of the variety—black, green, white or herbal—maximize the power of tea’s flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. The citric acid and vitamin C in that squeeze of lemon—or lime, or orange—help preserve the flavonoids.
Fresh blueberries straight from the berry patch are a special treat. Turns out the antioxidants in them may help ward off muscle fatigue by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during exercise.
Photo credit: Eating Well Magazine