With warm weather approaching, the time for pool parties and summer barbecues is upon us. Summer is an interesting time because there is so much emphasis on food-related events, but it’s also a time where people are wanting to look their best. It’s easy to lose track of all the progress and motivation you may have gained in the previous months, but we’re here to help get you out of that rut.
Summer is a great time for healthy food. Many of our favorite fresh foods are in their prime season and are easily accessible and affordable. Superfoods are also in abundance this time of year, and are an easy and quick way to get all your nutrients in one sitting.
You may be asking yourself what a superfood is, and no, it’s not a vegetable that flies around in a red cape. However, superfoods can save you from neglecting certain vitamins and minerals in your diet. So maybe they do deserve to wear a red cape. A superfood is, essentially, a nutritional powerhouse that offers high quantities of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals.
Many superfoods are also known to help prevent various physical issues such as heart disease, cancer, digestive problems, and diabetes. While a perfect diet will not fix everything, it can be one of the best ways to accelerate your overall health and well-being.
In Season: March to July
Pineapple is a go-to summer fruit that can not only make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation, but also can help as a digestive aid. It contains bromelain, which helps improve digestion and can help fight off blood clots. Pineapples also help prevent swelling, which is common in the summer due to the heat.
In Season: May to August
Watermelons are made up of two simple ingredients, water and natural sugar. Watermelons are 92% water and 6% sugar, making them the perfect summer treat. You’re not only enjoying a delicious snack but you’re also hydrating yourself. The sugar in watermelon helps to maintain electrolytes which are lost when sweating. Watermelons are also packed with vitamins A and C, which help boost the immune system and eye health.
In Season: June to November
Beets are a wonderful source of phytonutrients such as betacyanin and beta-carotene. They are also high in fiber, and are a food commonly sought out by pregnant women since they contain folate, which helps prevent birth defects, as well as colon cancer and osteoporosis. Beets are also a wonderful addition to any smoothie.
In Season: July to September
Blueberries are one of the most commonly known superfoods, and for good reason. They may be small, but boy are they mighty. Blueberries are high in anthocyanins and other poly-nutrients. These nutrients are help fight anti-inflammatory issues, help improve brain function, enhance mood, and help combat cancer cells. They’re also high in potassium and vitamin C. Blueberries are known to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables.
Red Bell Peppers
In Season: July to October
These peppers are one of the healthiest peppers on the market. With only about 25 calories per cup, they contain 11 times more beta-carotene than their green counterparts, and they provide 240% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. They’re the perfect addition to any grilled kabobs, and are great both cooked and raw.
In Season: July to October
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant called lycopene, which has been linked to help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. It can also help to protect the skin from harmful UV rays, help slow down the process of arterial again, and fight memory loss. They also contain vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
In Season: August to October
Avocados are high in carotenoid antioxidants like beta-carotene, lutein, and neochrome. All of these help prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. They also help improve cardiovascular health, help regulate blood sugar levels, and prevent cancers that can take place in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland. Avocados are also high in monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber. Eating avocados can also help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In Season: Year-Round
Kale is also another commonly known superfood. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Kale is loaded with powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol. It is packed with vitamin C, and can help lower cholesterol, which also may help reduce the risk of heart disease. It contains only 33 calories per serving, as well as 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein. Eating more kale is one of the best ways to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.
All of these superfoods are very easy to incorporate into your daily intake. They are all great alone, or in addition to most recipes you’re already cooking. While we understand diet is a huge aspect of health, it is also necessary to incorporate some type of physical activity into your lifestyle.
At Fit In New England, we offer personal training sessions that will help focus on both diet and exercise, in order to help you reach whatever goal you have. Contact us today or stop by at our gym in Medford. Our experienced trainers will be able to point you in the right direction no matter what goals you have set.