Contributor: Andrea de la Chapelle
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
As temperatures rise, our bodies tend to crave wholesome foods that will give us the nutrients we need to survive the heat. However, what’s in sight might not always be the best for your health. Instead of choosing the bag of chips at a barbecue, or the sugary treats at a summer birthday party, opt for any of these 3 super foods that will conveniently be in your reach (and in season) this summer.
Watermelon: the melon of all melons
Is there anything more satisfying than sinking your teeth into a juicy piece of watermelon on a warm summer day? Luckily, this refreshing piece of scarlet red fruit has a vast amount of nutrients that will do your body good, including 20% of your daily vitamin C intake, fiber, and antioxidants. For our active readers, watermelon is especially beneficial for you this summer. Rachel Swalin, a contributor for Health.com, states that drinking watermelon juice after an intense workout can actually feel soothing on the muscles. This is because watermelon contains an organic compound called citrulline, which is known to lower blood pressure and improve artery function. The next time you break a sweat, relax your blood vessels by drinking a glass of refreshing watermelon juice.
Avocados: our favorite fat
Avocados grow in warm climates, so it’s only natural for us to add this delicious fruit (yep, you read that right!) to our meals during the summertime. Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving, according to Kathleen M. Zelman, an RD and reviewer for WebMD. They’re also an excellent source of B, C, and E vitamins, which aid in helping our bodies fight off disease and infection. Avocados are high in monosaturated fat, the good kind of fat that can lead to lower cholesterol levels. So feel free to indulge in the guacamole this summer, but be sure to eat in moderation. Need a quick, healthy snack? Slice an avocado in half, and add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the center for a flavorful metabolism boost.
Peaches: the summertime staple
Whereas avocados contain a large amount of fat, peaches contain no fat whatsoever. While they may not contain fat, eating a peach can still fill you up. This soft, furry fruit is filled with vitamin A, which is extremely important for healthy vision. It’s also high in vitamin C, which serves well for our immune system and acts as an antioxidant. The vitamin C also helps fight skin damage caused by the sun and air pollution, which is something to consider as we’re adventuring outside all summer long. Andrea Cespedes, a writer for LIVESTRONG.com, states that peaches are known to be a dietary aid because it can easily replace added sugars. Tip: For breakfast, slice up a peach and put it on top of your oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or whole grain cereal. Enjoy guilt-free sweetness!