When summertime rolls around, not only do we see the temperature and our daily activities change, but we also tend to see our diets change as well. This tends to be due to the temperature outside, as well as having more availability of fresh produce. When it comes time to eat in the summer, we want to lean more towards fresh fruits and vegetables, which are in season during the summer, as well as having meals with a base of whole grains. Integrating whole grains into our diet will not only provide us with numerous health benefits, but it will also help to give us the energy we need to power through each day. In addition to that, adding fruits and vegetables into our diet will not only help us meet our daily requirements for fruit and vegetable intake, but they will also help hydrate us, which is super important during these hot summer months. Below are a few foods that we can add to our diets this summer that will provide us with numerous health benefits.
Not only are blueberries a nice refreshing snack to have on a hot summer day, but they also provide us with many health benefits. One of the first benefits that we see from blueberries is that one serving of them contains one-quarter of our recommended daily vitamin C. Another benefit that we see from blueberries is that they can actually help reduce the risk of developing harmful plaques in your arteries, which in turn helps to reduce our risk of heart attack and stroke.
This might not be one of the first foods that we think of when it comes to our summer diets, but avocados can be thrown into many of our summer meals to help provide an extra kick of flavor, or just to help provide added benefits. We can add avocados to things such as salads, burgers, tacos, guacamole, and so much more. When we tend to think of avocados and the health benefits that they provide to us, the first thing we usually think of is the healthy fats they contain. However, they also provide us with several other healthy things including fiber, vitamins B5, B6, C, K, folate, and potassium. Since avocados contain all of this, they are known to help improve cholesterol levels and help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Cucumbers are a nice versatile go-to snack when it comes to these hot summer months. They’re easy to throw in a baggie for a snack on the go, or you can throw them in your water for a nice refreshing taste. Not only are they easy, but they are a quick high-fiber, low-calorie snack. In addition to that, cucumbers also provide us with several other benefits and contain a lot of nutrients which include: beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, silica, vitamins C, K, and B5. Some of the benefits that we can see from this is lower blood pressure, more hydrated skin, and they have even recently been found to be an anti-inflammatory.
Bell peppers aren’t usually food that comes to mind when people are thinking about what they want to eat, but they are a food that we need to add more of into our diets. Bell peppers can be a quick and easy grab-and-go snack, or they can easily be added to several different types of meals. One-half of a cup of green, yellow, or red bell peppers contains more than 230% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake and are only 20 calories. Bell peppers also contain phytochemicals that are known to be associated with reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and age-related eye diseases.
Mangos are another one of those foods that are nice and refreshing to add to our diet during the hot summer months. They also have several added benefits for us, besides just being a refreshing snack. Mangos are high in vitamins A and C. By eating one cup of sliced mangos you can consume about 25% of your daily vitamin A intake (which is good for eyesight) and about 75% of your daily vitamin C intake (which is good for the immune system). In addition to that, mangos are high in fiber and potassium and have even been found in recent studies to help regulate blood sugar and reduce body fat.
Let’s be honest, tomatoes aren’t one of the first foods we think of when it comes to foods that we want in our summer diet. However, adding tomatoes into our diets can actually provide us with several benefits. Something as simple as adding 1 cup of tomatoes into your salad can give you as much as 40% of your daily vitamin C intake and 20% of your vitamin A intake, and better yet is only 35 calories. In addition to that, tomatoes are good sources of folate and potassium and have also been found to be an antioxidant, as well as an anti-inflammatory. Finally, tomatoes contain heart-protective qualities that will help lower cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides.
Those are just a few of the many types of foods that we can add to our diets in the summertime, as well as any time of the year. Most of these foods are ones that are ripe during the summertime and are therefore another reason to try and consume more of them during these hot summer months. As you can see, most of them provide us with several health benefits that I’m sure most of us weren’t aware of, and are all easy foods that we can add to our diets.
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