Summer days are, as the saying goes, “lazy, hazy, and crazy.” Whether you’re soaking in the long-awaited Rochester sun or hitting the road for vacation, you’ll need sustained energy and focus to squeeze the most out of this season. Healthy eating may be the perfect, simple answer.
You can boost that energy by savoring the fruits and vegetables of our summer harvest – with a target of five to nine servings a day. Some call this strategy “eating low on the food chain.” By taking advantage of this peak season for produce, you can enjoy a spectrum of benefits for energy, wellness, and health. Fresh fruits and veggies lower blood pressure, fight fatigue by releasing energy slowly, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, improve digestion, and even sharpen eyesight! When served with other smart food choices, they can promote weight loss by keeping appetite in check.
We’ve gleaned several refreshing ways for healthy eating this summer:
Opt for whole fruits and vegetables rather than pre-blended smoothies or juices. Produce that you can hold in your hand will fill you up on fewer calories and provide more fiber to boot.
Vibrant, juicy, and nutritious berries will add a summer spin to your oatmeal, granola, salads, and ice cream or frozen yogurt. Bonus: Picking them from the berry patch creates a spirit of adventure, especially with kids in tow.
Watermelon has the highest concentration of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant, of any fruit or vegetable. On those days when it’s too sweltering to fire up the oven or stove, serve fresh wedges of watermelon pizza.
For a smart protein fix that pairs beautifully with produce, try the “catch of the day.” Fresh tuna, salmon, lobster, clams, and calamari abound at the grocer this time of year and deliver Omega-3 fatty acids to support optimal function of your body and brain. Adding fish to your diet not only protects against heart disease, it can boost your mood and slow cognitive decline. Choose wild-caught over farmed, if possible.
Summer movies were made for popcorn – but stay away from microwave brands, which are laden with enough cheese, butter, and salt to sabotage weight loss. Stick with “naked,” air-popped corn for a munch that’s 100 percent whole-grain.
Tap into the freewheeling spirit of travel to consider something new – a fruit or veggie you wouldn’t try or buy at home. Explore farmer’s markets, supermarkets, and salad bars as you navigate new locales this summer.Leave a reply →