Helping others infuse harmony into their every day living.

Eat Right for the Summer

Eat Right for the Summer

Just as when the weather changes, we change our outer clothing, the same is true for the foods we eat.  When we eat what is growing locally for the season, we know that we are eating to satisfy our body’s needs.  We can easily eat right for the summer months.  In the summer, the body requires foods that cool it down (with the opposite being the case for winter).  Raw foods have a cooling effect, while cooked foods have a warming effect.  There is an abundance of fruits and vegetables that come into season during the summer months.  This makes fresh fruits and salads excellent choices for a summer diet.

Listed here are five powerful summer fruits and their benefits:

Blueberry:  high in vitamin C for immune support, polyphenols for healthy bones, and anti-oxidants to reduce the risk of developing harmful plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart attack or stroke.  As an added benefit blueberries help keep blood sugar levels under control.

Avocado: high in fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins B5, B6, C and K, also have cell protecting antioxidants.  Avocados are full of the good monounsaturated fat.  These fats help reduce the risk of heart disease, and helps controls blood sugar levels.

Cucumbers:  an excellent source of the vitamins C, K and B5 beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and silica.  Cucumbers help to lower blood pressure, keep the body’s connective tissues healthy and help keep skin hydrated.  Most of the nutrients are found in the skin and seeds, so don’t peel away the skin!  Recent studies also show that cucumbers help prevent cancer and are anti-inflammatory.

Bell peppers: very high in vitamin C and carotenoids.  Carotenoids (found in bright red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables) are good for the eyes, some cancers and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

And lastly, my favorite, watermelon.

Watermelon: melons decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and and overall mortality, promotes a healthy complexion and hair, while providing increased energy.  See how melon impact these common, diet based, maladies:

Asthma prevention: The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables including watermelon.

Blood pressure: A study published by the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extract supplementation reduced ankle blood pressure brachial blood pressure and carotid wave reflection in obese middle-aged adults with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension and that watermelon extract improved arterial function.

Diets rich in lycopene may help protect against heart disease.

Cancer: As an excellent source of the strong antioxidant vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, watermelon can help combat the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Lycopene intake has been linked with a decreased risk of prostate cancer prevention in several studies.

Digestion and regularity: Watermelon, because of its water and fiber content, helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Hydration: Made up of 92% water and full of important electrolytes, watermelon is a great snack to have on hand during the hot summer months to prevent dehydration.

Inflammation: Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in watermelon that aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

Muscle soreness: Watermelon and watermelon juice have been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time following exercise in athletes. Researchers believe this is likely do to the amino acid L-citrulline contained in watermelon.

Summertime is all about bursting forth with health and energy. You can get your medicine from your foods, instead of (or in addition to) a pill or a bottle.

Watermelon benefits extracted from “What Are the Health Benefits of Watermelon”, by Dr. Megan Ware, RDN, LD

468 ad