Summer Foods for Summer Moods

summer foodsWarm summer days create different needs for our bodies.  Along with the weather changes, we begin to see changes in the produces available, as well. The weather changes and we have a general tendency to eat differently and expose ourselves to different activities. We are in the sun more often. Sunlight is your best source of vitamin D, which is produced naturally when the sun’s rays touch your skin. Vitamin D is essential for your health and for the proper functioning of your organs and cells. Lack of vitamin D will leave you vulnerable to a number of chronic diseases.

In addition to more sunlight, fresh produce abounds. Healthier choices become more available.  Summer fruits and vegetables have abundant health benefits. The antioxidants of fresh sweet corn help with macular pigments and help to filter out some of the sun’s damaging rays. Eating corn can actually reduce your chances of macular degeneration that often shows up as you age.

Cherries are extremely good and have a host of health benefits. It is often associated with helping those who have trouble sleeping. Tart cherries may also benefit those who are trying to slim down and become leaner for the summer. Evidently, research has shown that the anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that speeds up fat burning and aids in decreasing fat storage. Believe it or not, tomatoes provide extra protection from the sun. The carotenoid found in tomatoes actually reduces the amount of UV light exposure from the sun.  Research has shown that supplements were not as effective.

Staying hydrated helps with memory and mood. Watermelon helps to keep your body cool.  Watermelon can have the same benefits as drinking water. It can also be beneficial in curbing the appetite by making you feel fuller. Raspberries are a great source of fiber—some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol.

If you are at an evening gathering or dining out, think shrimp cocktail if it is one of your choices. Four large shrimp are only 22 calories and considered by most to be a healthy source of protein. Cocktail sauce adds that vitamin C component that is good for your eyes. Fill the grill with zucchini, bell peppers, corn, and squash.  This is easier on the waistline than burgers and hotdogs.

Skip the lattes and substitute with iced green tea. . A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who exercised and drank plenty of the green stuff lost slightly more weight and shed more belly fat than non-tea drinkers. Toss frozen berries or slices of nectarine into your glass—they act as a natural sweetener.

The availability of fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer certainly paves the way for healthy eating and, along the way, is beneficial to those who are striving to be lean.

Overwhelming scientific evidence confirms that vitamin deficiencies are associated with disease processes and the overall condition of one’s health.

Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function and contribute to chronic degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This body of research has been reaffirmed by the Journal of the American Medical Association (June 19, 2002-Vol 287, No 23).

 

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Source: “8 Super-healthy Summer Foods You Should Be Eating.” Healthy Recipes, Healthy Eating, Healthy Cooking Web. 10 Apr. 2013.

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