Eat.Fit.Well

The 10 Superfoods You Should Be Eating This Summer


by Kristine Cannon - July 9, 2018


Photo Credit: by Foodie Crush
Photo Credit: by Foodie Crush

With summer comes packed social calendars, warm nights in the backyard, family barbecues, weekends spent outdoors and, if you’re lucky enough, plenty of road trips — and if you’re even luckier, an extravagant vacation overseas. Sure, we all spend these months a little differently, but there’s one thing we’re all guilty of doing: indulging on a little too much food. And when that happens and we’re ready for a detox, we know we can always turn to the three “s”’s — (protein) shakes and smoothies and salads.

But let’s add a fourth “s” to that list: superfoods.

Now, many superfoods tout plenty of health benefits, including anti-aging, weight loss and reducing one’s risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, stroke and cancer. But, really, at the core of it, superfoods typically are rich in antioxidants, which protect against the harmful effects of free radicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit many aspects your body and brain, including fighting mental disorders and heart disease, improving eye health and more.

What’s important to note about superfoods is that you can’t simply add a superfood to an already poor diet. However, add superfoods to a healthy, balanced diet, and you’re more likely to see an improvement in your overall wellness.

"No food, including those labelled 'superfoods,' can compensate for unhealthy eating," a dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA) Alison Hornby tells the National Health Service. "If people mistakenly believe they can 'undo' the damage caused by unhealthy foods by eating a superfood, they may continue making routine choices that are unhealthy and increase their risk of long-term illness."

She continues to say that it’s best not to concentrate on any one food in hopes it’ll work miracles. "All unprocessed food from the major food groups could be considered 'super.' All these foods are useful as part of a balanced diet. You should eat a variety of foods … to ensure you get enough of the nutrients your body needs. Focusing on getting your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is a perfect way to start."

That said, here are 10 superfoods you should add to your diet this summer.

Avocados

Get the recipe for this avocado toast at <a href="https://cupofjo.com/2012/06/the-best-avocado-toast-youll-ever-have/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Cup of Joe</a>. Photo Credit: by Cup of Joe.
Get the recipe for this avocado toast at Cup of Joe. Photo Credit: by Cup of Joe.

Avocados are one powerful fruit, packed with 20 different vitamins and minerals. Plus, they don't contain cholesterol or sodium, and they're low in saturated fat. Instead, they’re filled with healthy fats and fiber that’ll help keep you fuller longer.

"The pro-inflammatory omega-fats in avocados are also shown to have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease,” Frida Harju, nutritionist at Lifesum, told Insider.

Basil

Get the recipe for this avocado basil pesto at <a href="https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/lightened-up-pesto-a-recipe-for-creamy-avocado-basil-pesto/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Ambitious Kitchen</a>. Photo: Ambition Kitchen.
Get the recipe for this avocado basil pesto at Ambitious Kitchen. Photo: Ambition Kitchen.

“Basil has antioxidant properties and provides almost 25 percent of the vitamin K a woman needs in a day,” dietitian Marisa Moore, RDN, told Reader’s Digest.

In addition to its antioxidant properties, eating basil or throwing a few leaves into your iced tea is a fantastic way to de-stress. Basil is also a great source of iron, and it'll help detoxify the liver. So if you overeat one day, make some basil pesto.

Blueberries

Get the recipe for these healthy blueberry vanilla yogurt popsicles at <a href="https://www.lynzyandco.com/blueberry-vanilla-yogurt-popsicles/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Lynzy & Co.</a> Photo Credit: by Lynzy & Co.
Get the recipe for these healthy blueberry vanilla yogurt popsicles at Lynzy & Co Photo Credit: by Lynzy & Co.

Blueberries are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber and other antioxidants. According to NHS, this fruit can help protect against heart disease and improve your memory.

"While research on the health claims of blueberries is inconclusive, they are a fantastic choice as one of your five portions of fruit and vegetables a day," Hornby told NHS. "They are low in calories and high in nutrients, including phenolic compounds with an antioxidant capacity significantly higher than vitamins C or E. Try adding them to your breakfast cereal, including them in a packed lunch or mixing with low-fat yogurt for a delicious dessert."

Broccoli

Get the recipe for these healthy broccoli tots at <a href="https://gimmedelicious.com/2015/05/17/healthy-baked-broccoli-tots/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Gimme Delicious.</a>. Photo: Gimme Delicious.
Get the recipe for these healthy broccoli tots at Gimme Delicious.. Photo: Gimme Delicious.

Rich with vitamins C, A and K, and calcium and fiber, broccoli is believed to reduce the risk of mouth, throat and stomach cancers. And, according to a 2012 study in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, broccoli helped reduce cholesterol. One way to add broccoli to your summer diet is adding it to salads, stir fries and even soup.

Corn

Get the recipe for this chili lime corn salad at <a href="https://lovelylittlekitchen.com/chili-lime-sweet-corn-salad/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”> Lovely Little Kitchen</a>. Photo: Lovely Little Kitchen.
Get the recipe for this chili lime corn salad at Lovely Little Kitchen. Photo: Lovely Little Kitchen.

Nothing screams summer like grilled corn. Not only is corn rich in potassium, protein and antioxidants, but it also promotes healthy vision and has resistant starch, which helps with weight control.

Grapes

Get the recipe for this healthy chicken salad with grapes, apples and tarragon-yogurt dressing at <a href="https://twohealthykitchens.com/healthy-chicken-salad-with-grapes-apples-and-tarragon-yogurt-dressing/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Two Healthy Kitchens</a>. Photo: Two Healthy Kitchens.
Get the recipe for this healthy chicken salad with grapes, apples and tarragon-yogurt dressing at Two Healthy Kitchens. Photo: Two Healthy Kitchens.

Similar to the other items on this list, grapes are also a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins. It's believed grapes can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2013 study in BMJ.

Kale

Get the recipe for this southwestern-kale-power-salad at <a href="https://cookieandkate.com/2015/southwestern-kale-power-salad/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Cookie + Kate</a>. Photo: Cookie + Kate.
Get the recipe for this southwestern-kale-power-salad at Cookie + Kate. Photo: Cookie + Kate.

Kale is high in fiber and has plenty of potassium, which could help reduce the risk of heart disease. This leafy green also contains antioxidants, calcium, vitamin C and iron. It's suggested kale can help lower glucose levels and support heart health.

"Green leafy vegetables are some of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet," Sharon Palmer, the Plant-Powered Dietitian, told Insider. "They are packed with nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, and are linked to benefits like eye health."

Peaches

Get the recipe for this grilled flatbread with peaches and arugula pesto at <a href="https://www.foodiecrush.com/grilled-flatbread-with-peaches-and-arugula-pesto/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Foodie Crush</a>. Photo: Foodie Crush.
Get the recipe for this grilled flatbread with peaches and arugula pesto at Foodie Crush. Photo: Foodie Crush.

What's more refreshing than biting into a juicy peach? If you're looking for a solid source of vitamin C, reach for this fruit. According to two studies, both from Texas A&M, peaches also fight off diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as kill breast cancer cells.

Salmon

Get the recipe for this garlic herb roasted salmon at <a href="https://rasamalaysia.com/garlic-herb-roasted-salmon/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Rasa Malaysia</a>. Photo: Rasa Malaysia.
Get the recipe for this garlic herb roasted salmon at Rasa Malaysia. Photo: Rasa Malaysia.

According to the American Heart Association, salmon is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a great source of protein and a great source of B vitamins and potassium. AHA recommends eating at least two 3.5 ounce servings of fish a week.

Turkey

Get the recipe for this Greek turkey burger at <a href="https://www.budgetbytes.com/greek-turkey-burgers/" target="_blank" rel=”nofollow”>Budget Bytes</a>. Photo: Budget Bytes.
Get the recipe for this Greek turkey burger at Budget Bytes. Photo: Budget Bytes.

Instead of opting for beef patties at your next barbecue, choose ground turkey instead. Turkey is a healthier, leaner option, it’s an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids, and makes you feel fuller longer. Plus, due to the tryptophan in turkey, it also supports healthy levels of serotonin in the body, according to Medical News Today, and it's a good source of protein and essential amino acids.

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Kristine Cannon is a professional writer and editor. You can find her work on Canadian Pharmacy online, SheKnows, Taste Company, Alternative Press, Scottsdale Living, AZRE Magazine, AZ Business Magazine and Experience AZ.


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