Eat Your Summer Sweets
We're not talking about brownie sundaes or ice cream cake! Put down the heavy desserts and pick up a piece of fresh fruit. Go lighter this summer with these "berry" delicious summer fruits that are loaded with health benefits.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants that aid in brain function and the slowdown of mental decline. They are low in calories but high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Pineapple is low in calories but rich in vitamin C and manganese. It's a good source of antioxidants, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Raspberries are low in fat and high in fiber, so they’ll fill you up without weighing you down with extra calories. They’re also full of water and potassium which keeps dehydration at bay.
Watermelon contains about 92% water and 6% sugar. It hydrates you while keeping your memory sharp and your mood stable. It also delivers skin-protecting lycopene.
Tart cherries contain anthocyanins, which activate a molecule that helps increase fat burning and decrease fat storage. Sweet cherries are loaded with potassium, a natural blood-pressure reducer.
Tips for Eating More Fruits
Go Fruit Picking
Get outside and go fruit picking! Check out what farms near you offer pick-your-own crops. Depending on the time of year, you can pick anything from apples to peaches to berries. Not only is it a fun experience for the whole family, but you also get to pick the ripest and freshest fruit straight off the vine.
Get the blender out and whip up some smoothies. You can use fresh or frozen fruit, depending on what you have on hand. If you constantly have bananas that get too brown, pop them in the freezer, that way they're always smoothie ready! Plus you can sneak in some ingredients your kids otherwise wouldn't touch, like spinach.
Head to a local fruit stand or farmer's market. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables will encourage you to make better choices. In addition, the minimal amount of processed foods means less desire to make poor decisions. Lastly, you're helping out a small business by shopping local.
Top on Salads
After you pick up your fruit from the store, wash, cut and place it in the fridge. When you're ready to make a salad, you can quickly toss all the ingredients together. Try this twist on a chill, summer salad!
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup cubed fresh watermelon
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 Tbsp balsamic dressing
Put spinach in a bowl and add the above ingredients. Top with balsamic dressing and ENJOY!