Available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, tomatoes are a nutritious and delicious addition to any summer meal. One medium tomato is approximately 95 percent water and helps keep the body hydrated.
Tomatoes are also high in lycopene, a phytochemical that has potent antioxidant properties that protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Other vital nutrients in tomatoes include potassium, folate, dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, niacin, and vitamins B6, C, A, K and E.
Add fresh tomatoes to salads, sandwiches or soups to keep yourself healthy year-round. You can also drink tomato juice.
The sweet citrus fruit is rich in potassium, a nutrient that’s crucial in the summer. “You lose potassium through sweat, which puts you at risk for muscle cramps,” says Erin Palinski, RD, CDE, LDN, CPT, author of the forthcoming Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “Eating oranges replenishes your supply and keeps muscle cramps away,” she explains. Oranges are also about 80% water, so popping a few juicy slices will keep you hydrated during your sweatiest summer days.
- Summer Squash
The nice flavor and creamy texture of summer squash go well with many summer meals. It is a great source of the antioxidant vitamins C and A. It also provides energy-boosting B-vitamins. Several components in summer squash also help keep insulin metabolism and blood sugar levels in balance.
In addition, summer squash provides vitamin K, choline, zinc, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, and magnesium, as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Add fresh, raw summer squash to salads and wraps. You can also have baked, stuffed or sautéed summer squash dishes.
A cup of freshly boiled corn with salt or sugar is a healthy summer treat. Rich in two powerful antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin, corn helps protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays. These antioxidants also reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Corn also contains thiamin and folate that provide energy to the body. Plus, corn has vitamin B that lowers stress and cholesterol levels.
A bowl of corn soup, a plate of corn salad or simply boiled corn, you can include corn in your meal plan in different ways.
Hey, wipe that sour look off your face! This tart, sunny-colored fruit is a pretty sweet superfood. Lemons are packed with flavor, but (thankfully) not calories. The juice of an entire lemon has only 12 calories but a whopping third of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Those antioxidants, known as flavonoids, could make lemons a good way to decrease heart disease risk, reduce inflammation, and fight some cancers.
- Raspberries and Blackberries
These berries are great sources of fiber. “Raspberries are a food that goes unnoticed a lot—they can be very expensive off-season—but there are a lot of awesome qualities in the powerful little raspberry,” says Ross. “They’re very high in vitamin C and have 8 grams of fiber per cup.”
- Salad with dark and leafy green
In order to save your skin, leave behind the steamed vegetables and fill up on with raw, fresh spinach. Glassman says that Carotenoids present in orange are dark green foods, which is converted to vitamin A by our body resulting in skin protection from sun damage. The sensitivity is decreased to UV light and the dry skin and mend flaky helps to strengthen the skin’s defenses against damaging rays. You can also spruce up your salad with other high carotenoid sources like apricots, watermelon, pink grapefruit, milk, cayenne pepper, carrots, cantaloupe, tomatoes, salmon and egg yolks, to make your meal healthier.