With summer fast approaching, a hot button issue is “What summer foods should my diet consist of?” Check out these incredibly healthy (and yummy) summer foods!
Are you ready for summer?
Ready or not, it’s that time again—time for swimsuits, sunburn, and dehydration.
This change in season calls for a change in diet. A good summer diet will protect your body from the harsh summer heat, and get you in shape for swimsuit season.
We have the five best summer foods you can eat listed below. Check it out!
Table of Contents
Corn, a favorite side dish for summer barbeques, is generally regarded as cheap filler food. Because it’s so common, it’s not normally thought of as health food.
But it’s actually the cheapest, easiest option for getting your daily value of whole grains. It’s also a great source of fiber and, depending on the preparation, very low in calories. Eat it on the cob or slice off the kernels and add them to salsa.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when consuming corn for health.
First, when we say, “corn”, we’re talking about fresh corn you cook yourself. Yellow corn is best as it has a bit more vitamin A.
Canned corn equals processed corn. Like all processed foods, it loses much of its nutritional value when processed. And it gains additional sodium and other unfavorable ingredients.
Frozen corn is less processed than canned corn, but it still doesn’t compare to the nutritional value of fresh corn.
When preparing your corn, don’t go overboard with the butter. It doesn’t count as health food anymore when it’s soaked in fat.
Watermelon is another traditional summer favorite that’s one of the healthiest you can eat. The biggest benefit of eating plenty of watermelon this summer is rehydration.
Because of all the sweating we do in the hot sun, we dehydrate much faster in summer. If you drink the same amount of water in summer that you do in other seasons, you aren’t drinking enough.
Enter watermelon. Watermelon is named for the fact that it’s over 90% water. As such, snacking on watermelon’s a great and tasty way to stay hydrated without getting waterlogged.
Even better, it’s loaded with nature’s miracle antioxidant, lycopene. Lycopene has long been studied for its effectiveness against cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and other serious health issues. And it’s what gives the flesh of watermelons its iconic pinkness.
As we just mentioned, it’s the presence of lycopene that gives watermelons their color. So steer clear of those weird, white-flesh watermelons. That is unless you don’t want the heart-healthy, cancer-fighting benefits of lycopene for some reason.
Hey, speaking of lycopene, let’s talk tomatoes. You guessed it – tomatoes also get their bright redness from lycopene.
And, as its color indicates, it has less water and more lycopene than watermelons. It’s why even ketchup is famously marketed as a heart-healthy food.
And that’s not all. Studies also show high lycopene consumption protects your skin from sunburn. That’s one benefit you can’t get enough of under the hot summer sun.
While it’s true that ketchup is full of lycopene, it’s also full of sodium and, usually, high fructose corn syrup. Needless to say, there are far healthier options available for dosing up on lycopene. One of our favorites is fresh, homemade salsa.
But the most convenient is Campbell’s famous V8 juice. It’s made mostly of tomato juice and also comes in a low-sodium option. Plus, it’s also chock-full of other vegetables with all natural ingredients.
4. Iced Tea
What goes better with a day that’s hotter than it has any right to be than a refreshing glass of ice-cold tea? For one thing, drinking iced beverages, in general, cools your body from the inside. That keeps you from overheating.
For another thing, contrary to popular belief, drinking iced tea is a suitable option for staying hydrated when you’re sick of plain water. People often think, since caffeine is a diuretic, that drinking caffeinated tea will dehydrate you more. But, as it turns out, tea actually puts more water into your body than its caffeine content takes out.
The biggest health benefit of drinking tea actually comes from what you’re not drinking. That is, replacing all the soda and other horribly unhealthy summer beverages you would be drinking with tea can literally add years to your life. You’ll still get your caffeine fix, but without all the teeth-rotting, diabetes-causing, cellular-degenerating effects of soda.
Iced Tea Tips
As we said, the healthiest thing you do with tea is to use it as a substitute for soda. Of course, this only works with fresh-brewed, unsweetened tea.
Loading it with sugar or honey makes it fattening, unhealthy, and dehydrating. Even worse, sweetened tea that comes in a can is just as bad for you as soda.
Green tea, specifically, is also loaded with extra antioxidants and other benefits. These benefits range from burning fat to improving brain function.
5. Barbequed Chicken
Chicken is already one of the healthiest meats. It’s low in fat and high in protein.
And barbequing is one of the healthiest ways to cook meat. Most of the excess fat will melt away and drip through the grill.
Put these two together and you’ve got a plethora of healthy meal options to get you through summer. Here are some of the best.
Barbequed Chicken Tips
Use barbequed chicken for salads or on buns as a healthy burger alternative. It’s far less fat than most ground beef.
Make it even healthier by spreading barbeque sauce on the bun instead of mayonnaise. Barbecue sauce usually has no fat and about 1/3 the calories of mayonnaise.
If you really want to lose weight the healthy way, skewer that chicken and make some kabobs. Now that’s high-protein, low-fat, and almost no carbs. Add some healthy produce like tomatoes, onions, and zucchini, then roast and eat.
Those who aren’t counting carbs can de-skewer them and throw the lot into a tortilla for fajitas. It’s still much healthier than a cheeseburger.
Stay Healthy With These Summer Foods
Being unprepared for the coming heat wave is dangerous for your health. Adding these summer foods to your diet can keep you stay healthy, hydrated, and protected from the sun. Simply add these five foods to your shopping list for a variety of healthy meal plans all summer long.
For more ways to stay healthy, check out our other health and fitness blogs.