7 Foods for a Healthy Summer
Just because the kids are out on vacation doesn’t mean that your nutritional habits need to go on vacation as well. Summer is a great time to enjoy the colorful choices of fruits and vegetables that are in season. Expand your diet by adding in fruits and vegetables that you might not normally try. Always keep in mind that maintaining a healthy weight involves 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Developing a broad spectrum of healthy food choices will help you win the daily caloric battle and keep your weight in check.
Below is a list of healthy summer fruit and vegetable choices for you to try over the next 3-4 months:
Apricots, Plums, and Pluots – Apricots, plums, and their hybrid child, pluots, can be used in many of the same or similar recipes. They are all summer stone fruits with apricots ripening earlier in the summer, and plums and pluots coming into season mid- to late-summer.
Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Strawberries, Cranberries and Raspberries) – Ripe, sweet, juicy local berries are a great treat for summer eating. Berries don’t ripen after picking, so choose bright, deeply colored berries without any mushiness. Store them covered and chilled. Rinse, and then pat dry just before eating or using.
Corn – How can it be summer without enjoying a great ear of corn? I am originally from Ohio, and we waited all year for the summer harvest and bi-color corn. Fresh sweet corn is one of the great treats of summer. Simply boil the ears in hot water, and serve with a little fat-free margarine, and you’ll find those tender ears are delicious.
Peaches and Nectarines – Juicy, tangy, sweet peaches and nectarines are a great summer treat. Remember, the only difference between peaches and nectarines is that peaches have a bit of fuzz on their skin whereas nectarines have smooth skin.
Squash – There are several easy ways to cook up summer squash – whether it’s of the butternut, acorn, spaghetti, or pumpkin variety. Squash is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, C, and E.
Tomatoes – If there is one summer produce item to grow yourself or seek out locally, it’s probably the tomato. Finding a good source for flavorful, ripe tomatoes will help top off your taste buds.
Watermelon – Watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydews are a juicy highlight of summer eating. Their naturally high water content makes them great for cooling off and re-hydrating in the summer heat.