Summer Foods With Big Health Benefits

 In Nutrition

With summer comes an abundance of fresh, healthy foods to eat. Did you know that some of our favorite foods of summer also pack a big boost to your health? The next time you attend a summer barbeque, don’t feel guilty for chowing down on these summer favorites.

Watermelon: The food most associated with a long, hot summer is also one of the most beneficial. Not only is watermelon very low in fat, it also contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, even tomato, which has long been considered the lycopene champion! Lycopene has great skin protecting benefits, which is great no matter if you are young or simply young at heart.

Grilled meat: Grilling meat sometimes gets a bad rap, due to the danger of meat forming a substance called malondialdehyde when grilled over high heat, which is linked to cancer and heart disease. However, when meat is grilled with a blend of oregano, rosemary, black pepper, paprika and garlic, there is a 71% reduction in the harmful substance.

Corn on the cob: This summer staple is yummy and good for you. Two antioxidants in corn, lutein and zeaxanthin, are actually capable of being nature’s sunglasses…together they help block some of the sun’s damaging rays. Another bonus? These same antioxidants offer anti-aging benefits to your eyes in that they may reduce the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness for people over 60.

Mixed berries: Berries are another summer star…blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are by themselves a good source of nutrition and antioxidents. However, when eaten together, berries pack a bigger punch! Eating a combination of berries ups the cardiovascular protection over eating one type of berry alone. It’s really a sweet treat for your heart.

Iceberg lettuce: This last one is a surprising addition, as lately we’ve been told to steer clear of this nutritional zero in favor of dark, leafy greens. However, it may be too soon to count iceberg out, especially after you learn that it may be able to reduce your risk of dying from cancer and cardiovascular disease! Iceberg lettuce contains alpha-carotene, which turns into Vitamin A in the body. So, sneaking some iceberg into your salad or on your hamburger can actually do you some good!

As you get out there and enjoy all that summer has to offer, remember that some of summer’s best foods are also the most beneficial. Pack your diet with these fresh, healthy foods and know that you are doing your body a world of good.

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