Summer is finally here, meaning all the barbeques, apple pie, and ice cream you can handle (not just in digestion, but guilt-wise, too).
But that shouldn’t mean you should ignore the healthy stuff, especially in the season of the freshest produce you can get your hands on. Fresh picked berries and the arrival of dragon fruit is what gets us most excited about summertime eating.
Fruit and fun aren’t mutually exclusive – you can eat your ice creams, but enjoy your produce too. These five nutritious foods have a place in any healthy diet, but are particularly needed in the summer.
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a cactus-like fruit that’s characterized by a mild, subtle taste. Its texture is comparable to a kiwi, though its appearance is unique – white or magenta, with black seeds covering the exterior.
The summertime staple is high in fiber and vitamin C, and is packed with healthy, fatty acids. And the calorie count is relatively low – just 90 calories per cup.
Beyond being fun to pick yourself, berries – including blackberries, blueberries and raspberries – contain the most antioxidants of any fruit.
Each berry type has its perks. Blackberries are high in fiber, and abundant in vitamins A, B, and K. Blueberries help fight inflammation through the fruit’s high omega-3 fatty acid content (86 milligrams per cup). And raspberries feature all the calcium, potassium, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids you need – all in a 155 milligram, one cup serving.
Possibly the most unknown of the foods on this list, summer is as good a time as any to try hemp seeds.
They may be tiny, but they carry big nutritional value. The nutty-tasting seeds contain a combo of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, and all nine essential amino acids. They’re also a sneaky-efficient source of protein, with 10 grams in just 3-tablespoon servings.
A favourite pastime in baseball dugouts, sunflower seeds add a satisfying salty and crunchy texture to any dish. They’re full of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, as well as vitamin E, selenium, niacin and protein.
This powder’s popularity continues to grow, and for good reason.
Abundant in amino acids, research suggests collagen powder aids digestion, and is essential in healing intestinal wall damage. Collagen powder is also known to help repair muscles, and reduce exercise-related joint pain.