by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Health Columnist
Published in Health on 4th July, 2019
There are so many great things to enjoy about summertime, but it can be tough to find foods that are filling, nutritious and less likely to make your home even hotter.
However, there are really so many options out there that will help to keep you in shape and happily satisfied throughout the hotter months. Many of these the foods in this list are high in nutrients, fresh and easy to prepare. Not to mention the most important feature, they're delicious!
Make sure to take note of the ones that interest you most so that you can explore ways to use them in different recipes. You never know what you might find when you start exploring! These foods will not only taste great, they'll help you to feel great in your body as well!
Iced tea is a fantastic summertime treat to enjoy. It cools you down, gives you a hydration boost and tastes great! Both black and green tea have a lot to offer in the way of health benefits. If you need something that can help with keeping your skin in great shape, green tea is the ideal choice. Just make sure to use a natural sweetener or none at all for the most healthy option.
Fruit salad is an extremely easy way to combine all of your favorite fruits. There's no need to cook or add anything in, just cut up the fruit you love and mix it all up. Summer is a fantastic time for enjoying fruit, as there are a number of in-season fruits that you may not get to enjoy normally. You can also have fruit salad as a snack or healthy dessert. It's great at any time!
Summer is the perfect time for strawberries. While you may be able to get them all year long, they are especially delicious (and wallet-friendly) in the hotter months. Not only are these berries delicious, but they are also fantastic for the skin and they work well as snacks or desserts. You can even add them to some yogurt and granola to create a delicious breakfast with a touch of sweetness!
You really can't go wrong with citrus fruits. They're filled with vitamin C, potassium and plenty of hydration. They're also juicy, sweet and absolutely delicious. You can easily snack on an orange while you're at work, home or on the go, or you can toss them into a smoothie or salad. Thanks to their skin, they are easy to travel with and you don't have to worry as much about pesticides in the edible portions.
Watermelon is a delicious treat. It's a refreshing source of hydration and it's a healthy treat that can quench that desire for something sweet. Furthermore, it's also a great way to get some lycopene, which helps to keep your heart healthy. You can also opt to eat it fresh and cold or hot off the grill. Some may choose to pair it up with some other melons like honeydew. It's totally up to you!
Salad is a wonderful summer choice because it's easy and there's no cooking needed! If you decide you want something like eggs or meat to make your salad a full meal, you can grill or otherwise cook them up in the cooler part of the day. Aside from that, you can add in any produce you may want, or even toss in some nuts and seeds! It's a perfect appetizer, snack or full meal!
Blackberries are another delicious way to enjoy a combination of sweet flavor and healthy ingredients. These berries are a fantastic way to get vitamin C and fiber, and they can easily be eaten just as they are, or paired with ice cream. One thing worth keeping in mind is that there can be a large flavor difference in organic and non-organic varieties, so make sure to aim for the former!
Mushrooms are a great source for a number of different health benefits. They offer great flavor, are low in fat and can be used in a number of ways. You can toss them into pasta, on a pizza or into a salad quite easily. Furthermore, they are a great substitute for meat in things like burgers. This makes them perfect for vegetarians, vegans or those who just want to cut down on red meat.
While you might have canned corn throughout the year, corn on the cob is often more prevalent in summer, and it's a fantastic food to take advantage of. Not only is it more delicious, but corn is a great source for eye health-boosting minerals. You can cook it up in a number of ways, including over the fire, on the grill or simply by boiling it, and it's an option that is low in calories!
Zucchini is a low-calorie food that works great as a snack or part of a meal. You can also use it in a number of different recipes like zucchini bread and more. It's a great way to get all the vitamin C you need, while avoiding unwanted additions like fat and calories. That means, you can fill up on a lot of this great food without having to worry about it contributing to physical issues.
In the colder months, these fruits can be less sweet and more costly, but summer is the ideal time for enjoying them. You may also choose to enjoy them fresh and juicy or dry them out for more long-term snacking. These are also ideal sources for Betacarotine as well as vitamins A and C, so you'll be able to trust that they'll keep you healthy while you get to enjoy the sweetness!
Cucumbers are hydrating, crunchy and they don't come with a strong flavor of their own. As a result, they can easily be mixed into things like salads without taking away from the overall taste. If you love cucumbers as-is, you can also eat them happily, knowing that they come with a lot of health benefits, including helpful antioxidants. You can even add them to water for a more refreshing experience!
Gazpacho is an ideal summer delicacy. It's a great meal for getting all of the potassium and vitamin C you need. Using foods like cucumber, tomato and red pepper, it's delicious, fresh and easy to enjoy in the heat of the summer months. You'll get great flavor, plenty of nutrients and you can feel great about what you're putting into your body, thanks to all that produce goodness!
When you want something that can provide some good, healthy fats, avocado is an ideal option. You can easily add it to a salad, have it on toast or mix it up in a delicious burrito. Many people really enjoy the creaminess and flavor provided by this fantastic piece of produce. It's also a great way to get plenty of fiber, and all the folate you need to stay in good health!
Like many other produce choices out there, tomatoes include a number of vitamins, minerals and other useful ingredients that help you to feel great. One of these is lycopene, which is beneficial for heart health. There are also so many ways to use tomatoes, whether it's in a salad, an Italian dish or something else, and so many different kinds of tomatoes for you to explore and enjoy.
Both pears and apples are easy to eat, either on their own, in a fruit salad or in any other way that pleases you. They contain a whole lot of fiber, and the skin can be particularly nutritious. Whether you want to cook them or not, you're sure to get delicious results! Just make sure to wash them well before eating them, as there can sometimes be pesticide residue on the skin.
Grapefruit can be an easy food to reach for when you just don't feel like cooking. They are fantastic for the immune system and packed with vitamin C, which can help to get you going in the morning. You can also choose to pair it with something like yogurt or cottage cheese, or just have it as-is if you're looking for something light to get you going.
Salsa is a great choice for getting all the nutrition you need without having to start up your oven. It's highly customizable, meaning you can make it exactly the way you want it, or with a mind towards the kinds of nutrients you want to achieve. Whether you include onions, jalepenos, or even peaches, it's sure to turn out to be a unique and delicious adventure every time.
When it's too hot to cook, protein sources can be somewhat limited. However, you can always reach for some delicious hummus! Made from chickpeas, this is a great food when you're looking for protein, vitamins, fiber and more. It's even healthier when paired with vegetables. For those who want to keep adding onto the benefits, some additional garlic can be a great way to go.
Oats are filling, healthy and easy to prepare in a variety of ways. They are also filled with fiber, which is ideal for many. If you want to take this a step further, you can opt for steel cut varieties rather than standard instant oats. You can easily use them to make your own oatmeal, mix them into some yogurt or just mix the oats up with some banana if you want a delightful treat.
Pineapple is a perfect summertime treat, and it can even be a good choice for those who are trying to slim down. When you're craving something sweet in the hot weather, you can always turn to pineapple rather than ice cream or other less-healthy options. This fruit is filled with vitamin C, antioxidants, manganese and enzymes that are great for your stomach.
Cherries also tend to make more of an appearance in summer, and they're a joy for many! Cherries are fantastic for helping to lower blood sugar, and they're generally a great natural way for those who can't have sugar otherwise to enjoy something sweet. For the benefit of all of us, they are also filled with great things like potassium, manganese, antioxidants, vitamin C, copper and fiber.
Sometimes you just need a boost, but a hot cup of coffee is too much when the day is already steaming. The good news is that iced coffee can be an ideal option to get the best of both worlds, a caffeine boost with a cooling effect. It's easy to make, and you can opt whether you want a quick iced coffee or a longer-brewing cold brew. You also get full control over any sweetener you use.
Artichokes are a healthy choice for a wide variety of meals. They are great for helping those who want to lower their blood sugar levels, and they're also filled with protein, antioxidants and fiber. You can easily cook some up with eggs, toss them into your favorite salad or just boil them up. You also really only need a single, medium one to get plenty of health benefits.
Beans are another fantastic source of non-meat protein. Whether you prefer pinto beans, black beans or red beans, you can't go wrong with this handy option. They are low in price, allowing you to save money, and they are filled with both fiber and protein. You can also cook them up in several ways, including putting them in a salad or burrito, or just seasoning them up alongside some rice.