Five Real Foods to Add to Your Diet This Summer

Five Real Foods to Add to Your Diet This Summer

Summer is the season of dietary regret. Most of us enter the year with the best of intentions. We’re going to exercise more. Eat better. Cut down on unhealthy vices. Unfortunately, sociological research suggests that most New Years resolutions fall by the wayside before the end of January. This leaves many of us staring down the barrel of another summer without the requisite level of health and fitness to take full advantage of the beautiful weather.

Forget regret. A wise man once said: you can abandon all hope of a better past. What you can and should do is focus on the present. Summer isn’t just the best time to be healthy; it’s one of the best times to get healthy. Opportunity for outdoor exercise abounds, whether you live in Chicago or San Diego, and some of the healthiest super foods on the planet are finally in season. By the time June rolls around, healthy treats like berries and oranges suddenly become abundant and inexpensive.

So don’t fret because you failed to meet your health goals before Memorial Day. Skip the burgers and hotdogs at your next barbecue and reach for one of these real summer foods instead.

Blueberries

Blueberries are often touted as one of the world’s greatest super foods. This deep purple berry will be in season across the United States from late May to late August. Aside from the delicious flavor, blueberries pack a slew of powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that have been linked to significant neurological benefits. And don’t be afraid to stock up. New studies have shown definitively that you can actually freeze fresh blueberries without doing damage to their anthocyanin content.

Strawberries

You may be accustomed to eating strawberries year round, and if so, good for you. But did you know that local strawberries picked in-season actually carry significantly higher levels of the antioxidants that make them such a super snack? Unlike blueberries, strawberries are a surprisingly delicate fruit. Fluctuations in storage temperature, pressure and humidity can cause nutrient loss of up to 95%. When you buy strawberries out of season, there’s a good chance they were transported over a long distance in sub-optimal conditions. This summer pick up your strawberries at the local farmer’s market or better yet—pick them yourself.

Blood Oranges

Let me be clear: all oranges are good for you. This fan-favorite citrus is fat-free, cholesterol-free, fiber-packed and notoriously high in vitamin C. What you probably didn’t know is that blood oranges actually have around 40% more vitamin C per gram than their sweeter counterparts. Residents of southern California have the good fortune to enjoy locally grown blood oranges fresh from the orchard in summer and winter, but the most of us have to wait until mid-may before this delectable fruit starts popping up in farmer’s markets.

Beets

You probably don’t associate root vegetables with summer, but any farmer will tell you that the warmer months are ideal for harvesting and eating beets. Summer beets are grown everywhere that there’s soil, which means you can probably find a local source without too much trouble. They’re high in phosphorous, iron, vitamins A, B, C, beta-carotene and folic acid. Recent studies have also shown that beets can have a priapic effect in men with erectile dysfunction, making them the perfect treat for a little summer lovin’.

Water

Good ol’ H2O. While you’re out there frolicking in the summer sun, don’t forget to hydrate. Water is often overlooked, but it’s a key mineral and necessary for many of the body’s most important chemical processes. Interestingly enough, our brains are imperfect at interpreting signals of dehydration. We often confuse dehydration for hunger, which leads to overeating and excess weight gain. Help yourself stick to your summer diet plan by making a point to consume eight solid glasses of water per day—at least. After a couple weeks of counting you’ll find it becomes second nature.


 

 

 


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