Add these in-season superfoods to your diet today for a healthy, nutritious summer!
Eating a variety of heart-healthy foods is key to maintaining a balanced diet. Some foods, called superfoods, are especially good for you because they contain many important nutrients that work together to benefit overall health. Check out these ten summer superfoods that are in-season right now, and find out why you should add them to your diet today!
Beets. Beet root, the red or yellow vegetable that is commonly referred to as a beet, can help prevent cancer and inflammation, lower blood pressure, and increase energy and performance during a workout. But did you know that beet greens—the leaves that are connected to beet root stems—are also edible and good for you? Eat beet greens raw or cooked to support brain and bone health and give your immune system a boost!
Berries. Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are among the best sources of antioxidants (substances that help prevent or delay cell damage and aging). Eating berries can help reduce inflammation, prevent or manage arthritis, improve learning and memory, and guard against age-related conditions. Berries are also low in calories, are a good source of vitamin C, and are full of fiber to keep your digestive system healthy.
Cherries. Along with helping reduce inflammation and joint pain, cherries are a good source of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your internal clock and sleep cycle. Eating cherries can improve both the quality and length of your sleep. (Find a few more tips for better sleep here.)
Cucumbers. Made of 95% water, cucumbers can help keep you hydrated during hot summer months. These veggies also help eliminate toxins, manage diabetes, reduce cholesterol, maintain healthy blood pressure, and reduce the risk of some types of cancer.
Kale. The vitamins and minerals in kale, when digested, may help prevent cancer and inhibit growth of cancerous tumors. If raw kale upsets your stomach or causes discomfort, try it sautéed or blended into a smoothie, like this one!
Mushrooms. Studies have shown that several types of mushrooms can prevent DNA damage and prevent or slow the growth of cancer. Eating mushrooms regularly may decrease the risk of breast cancer in women.
Spinach. Full of vitamins A and C as well as folate and magnesium that promote healthy muscle and nerve function, spinach can help protect against osteoporosis, arthritis, and some types of cancer. Eating cooked spinach can help your body absorb more calcium and build stronger bones!
Swiss chard is low in calories, high in fiber, and filled with antioxidants that help prevent cancer and heart disease. Magnesium and potassium found in Swiss chard can help regulate blood pressure and prevent osteoporosis.
Tomatoes. Potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C found in tomatoes work together to make your bones stronger. Eating tomatoes can also lower your LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol and help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, both of which promote heart health. Tomatoes may also help protect your skin from sun damage and wrinkles, making them a great food for summer!
Watermelon contains an antioxidant called lycopene, which may help lower risks of heart disease and cancer. It’s also a great source of vitamin A, which can help keep your skin and hair healthy. Eating watermelon can also help keep you hydrated, since its 92% water! This sweet fruit makes for a great healthy summertime dessert or snack, like these Summer Snowballs.
Want to learn about more foods you can eat to boost your health? Don’t miss our Ultimate Guide to Superfoods!
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“Nutrition,” Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. Accessed April 12, 2017.
“Summer Superfoods,” NorthShore University Health System. Accessed April 12, 2017.
“Summer Superfoods,” Wellness Foundation. Accessed April 12, 2017.