Summer is a time when we enjoy fun in the sun, and some of the most delicious foods we find all year round. Between the summer festivals and the vacations, we can end up eating a lot of less-than-healthy food items. If you want to stay on track with your diet, these are the best summer foods to enjoy:
Corn on the cob is one of the most delicious treats, and it’s a fairly healthy option thanks to its high fiber content. It’s lower in carbs than funnel cakes and fried potatoes, and you’ll find it’s an absolutely delicious treat when salted—but not buttered! Sweet yellow corn even has Vitamin A to improve your hair and skin health.
Freshly brewed iced tea (not the stuff you buy in cans) and sun tea are both excellent additions to your daily menu. Black tea contains a variety of antioxidants and polyphenols that will benefit your body, and the lemon used for the tea will give you an excellent dose of Vitamin C. Just make sure to limit the amount of sugar in the tea and you won’t have to worry about overdoing it on calories.
When it comes to summer fruits, there are few that can beat watermelon. Not only is it 90% water—and thus VERY hydrating—but it’s also rich in other minerals and vitamins your body needs. Best of all, it’s a source of lycopene, an antioxidant that can reduce prostate cancer risk and oxidative stress in your body. A few slices of watermelon on a hot day is an amazing way to cool down!
Berries are in full season during the summer, and there are few summer foods as great as berries. Blueberries and blackberries are loaded with antioxidants. Raspberries contain fat-burning properties that can suppress your appetite. Now that berries are everywhere, it’s time to add them to your diet and enjoy the wonders of these little “nutrient bombs”.
Squashes may be in season in autumn, but you’ll find zucchini are available most of the year around. It’s one of the most versatile of the veggies grown in the country, and it makes a delicious veggie addition to any BBQ or grilling party. It’s incredibly low in calories and high in fiber, and will deliver a hefty dose of Vitamin C with every serving.
Red meat deserves a place on your weekly menu, and nothing is quite as delicious as a grilled steak or burger. You’ll want to steer clear of the brats, sausages, and hot dogs (packed with fat and sodium), but you should always try to eat more grilled chicken and fish. As long as you don’t slather on the BBQ sauce but instead marinade the meat, you can enjoy to your heart’s content!
If you want something to make your summer dinner parties more delicious AND healthy, you can’t beat a shrimp cocktail. Shrimp is a high-protein, low-fat food, one you can eat without fear of overdoing it on the calories. Add in the delicious tomato-based marinara sauce—along with freshly diced avocadoes, cucumbers, and onions to make it a Mexican-style shrimp cocktail—and you’ve got a delightful, healthy appetizer.
Avocadoes are available most of the year in California, but for the rest of the country they are a primarily summer food. They’re also one of the healthiest foods around, thanks to their high-fiber content and their hefty dose of unsaturated fatty acids. Spread it on toast, make a homemade guac, or just eat it with olive oil and salt for a healthy treat!