Summer is a time for fun and play! It’s when you take your summer vacation to lounge on the beach and sip cocktails, or you take a few days off work for a road trip to a nearby city. You’ve worked hard to get in shape all year long, and you’re finally bikini ready. But just because you’re taking time off, that doesn’t mean you can let your diet slip. You still have to make sure to eat healthy, and one of the best ways to do so is to add summer squash to your diet.
The Joy of Summer Squash
Summer squash, like all orange foods, is loaded with Vitamin A. This means that you get a healthy dose of beta carotene with every serving of squash. The Vitamin A will help to prevent the degeneration of the cells in your eyes, and will boost your skin, hair, and nail health. Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for a healthy body, making summer squash one of the best foods to add to your summer diet!
Summer Squash Smoothies
If you’re looking for a way to stay healthy, fruit and veggie smoothies are definitely the way to go! Smoothies will help you to consume more fruits, veggies, and liquid without overdoing it on the calories. Summer squash makes for a brilliant addition to your smoothies. It has a hint of sweetness, but the flavor isn’t so overpowering that it will mask the fruit flavors. Summer squash mixes wonderfully with citrus fruits, tropical fruits, and carrot juices. If you want to make your smoothies healthy, it’s a good idea to add summer squash into the mix.
Summer Squash Soups
You may think that soup is an odd summer meal, but what else are you going to eat on those nights when the summer breeze turns chilly? After a long day of playing in the sun, you’ll need something rich and warm to restore your energy. Summer squash makes for amazingly smooth and creamy soups. It’s easy to blend and makes a silky puree. Add in carrots, onions, and colored bell peppers, and you have a soup with just enough sweetness to make it stand out from all your other favorite soups. It’s a delicious addition to any diet menu!
Feed Your Brain
Did you know that summer squash is a brain food? It’s loaded with manganese, a mineral that can enhance your memory and recall. It can also speed up your skin healing process, helping you to recover from wounds at a faster rate. You can’t get manganese from dairy products, so adding more summer squash to your diet is a good way to get more of this important mineral.
Pair it With Dark Greens
Summer squash is rich in one very important nutrient: folate. This B vitamins will enhance fertility, improve reproductive function, and improve the health of your colon. Dark, leafy greens are another great source of folate, so eating these foods together will be the best way to get a lot more folate in your diet.
Nourish Your Eyes
Vitamin A isn’t the only awesome nutrient in summer squash. You also get a lot of zeaxanthin and lutein, two antioxidants that will do wonders to keep your eyes healthy. To get as much of these antioxidants as possible, stew the squash whole (skin, seeds, and all). The skin contains a lot of antioxidants, so you want to leave it in the water as you cook the squash. Turn the water and squash flesh into a soup and get all those vital nutrients!