It is summer that amazing time of year when fresh produce abounds. There is an abundance of fresh, delicious and healthy choices during the summer. Better so far: many of summer’s fruits and vegetables are brimming with the secret of health benefits. Here are some of my favorites and 7 Healthy Summer Foods should Add to Your Diet why they are a particularly good choice in the summer as reported on in Eating Well Magazine.
Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. And did you know that 2 antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin in corn may act like the natural sunglasses, helping to form the macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays? It is true. The same antioxidants may also help to lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60 though much of the damage occurs decades earlier.
An iced pick-me-up is the great way to start the summer mornings. Better yet: drinking a single cup of coffee daily may lower the risk of developing skin cancer. In one of the study of more than 93,000 women, published in European Journal of Cancer Prevention, those who drank 1 cup of caffeinated coffee per day reduced their risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer by about 10%. And the more they drank up to about six cups or so per day the lower their risk. Decaf did not seem to offer the same protection.
They deliver the host of health benefits. You might have heard that drinking tart cherry juice can help you get the better night’s sleep and quell post workout pain. But did you know that compounds in tart cherries may also help you to slim down and get the leaner? When scientists at the University of Michigan Health System put rats on the high-fat diet supplemented with either a tart-cherry powder equal to 1% of weight of their total diet or the same number of calories from carbohydrate, those that got the cherry powder gained less weight and body fat. Why? The anthocyanins in tart cherries activate the molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.
There is no question that sunscreen should be your first line of defense against blazing summer sun. But eating tomatoes could give you the little extra protection: consuming more lycopene is the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red that may protect the skin from sunburn. In one of the study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 % less skin reddening after they ate 2 ½ tablespoons of tomato paste or drank about 1 2/3 cups of carrot juice daily, in addition to their regular diet, for 10 – 12 weeks. Supplements, although, were not as effective: in the same study, those who received the lycopene supplement or synthetic lycopene were not significantly protected against the sunburn.
Staying hydrated keeps the memory sharp and your mood stable. It also helps keep your body cool by sweating during the hot summer months. The good news is that you donot just have to drink water. You can eat it, too: in addition to delivering skin-protecting lycopene, watermelon is 92 % water hence the name. Another boon? Research shows that the eating foods that are full of water helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. (Interestingly sufficient, drinking water alongside foods does not have the same effect.
Sure, a tall glass of iced tea on the hot day is refreshing, but did you know it might also do your body good? Studies show if you drink tea regularly, you may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. Regardless of the variety black, green, oolong, white or herbalmaximize the power of tea’s flavonoids by drinking it freshly brewed. If you want to keep a batch of cold tea in your refrigerator, “add a little lemon juice,” The citric acid and vitamin C in that squeeze of lemon or lime, or orange help to preserve the flavonoids.
Fresh blueberries straight from berry patch are a special treat. Turns out the antioxidants in them may help to ward off muscle exhaustion by mopping up the additional free radicals that muscles produce during an exercise, according to recent research out of New Zealand.