By Tammy Stokes, Founder Cafe West Express
When the weather is hot, stay cool with seasonal summer favorites that are light, delicious and nutritious. These summer picks will help to keep you hydrated, healthy and looking your best for beach season. I’ve listed my favorites for you and why you should consider making them part of your summer menu too.
A low calorie bundle of nutrients, apricots are packed with vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and fiber. This sun colored fruit is perfect when paired with nuts like almonds for maximum absorption of the fat soluble vitamin A they contain.
Avocados contain monounsaturated fat that helps to lower cholesterol. They are a great source of fiber and potassium too. Summer picnics call for guacamole. Pair them with your own homemade chips using sprouted corn tortillas lightly toasted in the oven till they become crisp.
Blueberries are brain food. Of course, not only are they good for your brain, but they are good for your health too. They contain high doses of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to prevent premature aging so you can enjoy many more summers to come.
Cherries are loaded with things that don’t show up on a nutrient panel like: quercetin a flavonoid with cancer fighting compounds and ellagic acid containing antiviral and antibacterial properties. A delicious summer dessert is frozen, pitted cherries stirred into your favorite yogurt. The cherries semi freeze the milk making it taste like ice cream. Have you ever had Cherry Garcia from Ben and Jerry’s? This is just as good without the guilt.
Cucumbers are mostly water. According to the USDA, one medium cucumber contains about 194 grams of fluid meaning there is almost 1 cup of water in every cucumber. No wonder cucumbers are good for your summer skin. They are delicious in your summer salads too. One more thing, because they are very low calorie and contain fiber, they are also good for weight management. Another reason to eat them this beach season.
Radishes are a good source of vitamin C, B6, magnesium and calcium. They also contain fiber which is good for your gut health. As far as looking good in your bathing suit, radishes are also a natural diuretic helping to purify the kidneys and flush out excess water or bloat. Love them in salads or in a summer vegetable crudités.
Tomatoes contain a variety of powerful phytochemical that fight disease. One of these compounds is the carotenoid, lycopene. Lycopene protects against certain cancers like prostate, lung and stomach. The anticancer properties are especially beneficial when consumed with fat-rich foods like olive oil or avocados - sounds like a perfect summer salad recipe.
Watermelon is a summer icon. The fact that it’s mostly water and fiber, it promotes weight loss too. This also makes it a great detoxifier. It contains lycopene and vitamin A plus, it helps to keep you hydrated in the heat of the summer. Be sure you take one on your next picnic.
The complete list of summer produce can be found here.
This summer be sure to enjoy fruit bowls, summer salads and lots of beach time fun.