5 Must Eats for July 2017
We’re in the midst of the peak summer-to-fall harvest season. This is the prime opportunity to get the most iconic summer foods. It goes without saying feasting on more fresh fruits and vegetables is fundamental to achieving health goals. With so many choices here are 5 of our favorites that no matter what dish you create should be part of your diet:
Cucumbers are a great source of fiber and water which contribute to a healthy digestive system. Did you know that cucumbers are part of the gourd family? That’s right in the same family as pumpkins and watermelon which possess a slew of B vitamins. B vitamins help with easing feelings of anxiety and\or stress.
You can prepare cucumbers in various ways. One method is to shave them lengthwise, roll-up the thin slices with salad ingredients for a snack. Another is to dice and toss them into a salad. You can also cut them into a small dice and toss with dressing for a tasteful relish over grilled meats. A favorite of mine is to whirl, and strain them with mint, in water for a refreshingly cool drink.
We know green beans don’t sound flavorful and have a tough texture to eat. However, during the month of July green beans are tender, clean, and grassy. This is a powerful nutrient-packed vegetable! Green beans are a great source for not only key vitamins such as B1, A, B6, E, and others, but as well with minerals. Magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, choline, and iron.
Green beans can be eaten raw or steamed with seasoned herbs. Some folks like them by cooking to a crisp-tender and serve them with a sauce. They can also be included in salads, pasta, or a cooked summer vegetable medley.
When people think of corn, not only do they think of the stalk, but consider it a starch. You may ask, how is this healthy since starch turns into sugar, and isn’t sugar bad for you? You’re correct to an extent, but the corn kernels are loaded with lutein, and zeaxanthin, which promotes healthy vision. A 1/2 cup contains just 30 calories. Sweet corn possesses high amounts of B1, B5, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, and folate. Believe it or not, for every 1/2 cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber.
There many ways to prepare sweet corn. You can place them on the grill seasoned or a bit of low-fat mayo. You can sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds and a splash of low-sodium soy sauce. Kernels from the cob can be cut and sauteed with a handful of fresh thyme leaves and a pat of butter or tossed in an appetizing summer salad.
We all know tomatoes are healthy and a staple item in salads. Tomatoes contain all 4 major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Each of these carotenoids protects against chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, and cancer diseases. Based on NIH data, one of the most potent of these 4 carotenoids is lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to decrease the risk of both breast and prostate cancer.
Tomatoes are extremely versatile with how you prepare them. You can use the traditional method of slicing them or dicing them and place them in salads. You can slice them and serve them over poached eggs, with a crack of fresh black pepper. Another way is to whirl them with cucumbers, and a splash of vinegar for a quick take on gazpacho. A simple tomato dish is to cut them into wedges and drizzle them with good olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt.
Awww, yes watermelon during summer. When you think of summer, besides a thought of something tropical and picnics, watermelons are sure to come to mind. Watermelons are guilt free snack. Composed of 90% water, and vitamins A, B6, C, and antioxidants (including lycopene). Watermelons are less than 50 calories per 1-cup serving.
Watermelons can be mixed with tomatoes in a Caprese salad, whirled, and strained with a mint for a refreshing drink. You may also want to try freezing watermelon juice and make ice cubes to drop in your sparkling water.
Whatever you summer taste buds crave, you don’t want to miss out on including any of the above 5 must-haves during this month!