So Summer is officially here! And as usual, most of us are trying to lose weight and get ready for that beach body; not to mention those extra kilos from Ramadan and Eid! Fortunately enough, nature is full of fruits and vegatables that are not only low in calories, but are also full vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. We have compiled a list of 5 healthy summer foods and snacks to add to your diet today.
1- Watermelons: Watermelons are such a nutrient-dense food that provide very high amounts of vitamins C & A, minerals and antioxidants. According to Medical News Today, ” Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like watermelon decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.”
2- Corn: Nothing says summer like fresh sweet corn. There are mainly two antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, that are found in corn and they act like natural sunglasses; helping to form macular pigment that filters out some of the sun’s damaging rays. Those antioxidants may also help lower your risk of developing agerelated macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 60.
3- Tomatoes: There’s no question that sunscreen should be your first line of defense against the summer sun. Tomatoes could give you a little extra protection because they contain lycopene, carotenoid which may protect your skin from sunburn. In one study, participants who were exposed to UV light had almost 50 percent less skin reddening after they ate 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste (or drank about 1 2/3 cups of carrot juice daily), in addition to their regular diet, for 10 to 12 weeks.
4- Cherries: They deliver a host of health benefits. They can help you get a better night’s sleep and quell post-workout pain. They also help you slim down and get leaner. A study at the University of Michigan Health System found that the anthocyanins in cherries activate a molecule that helps rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage.
5- Raspberries: They are a great source of fiber, some of it soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. One cup of raspberries has 8 grams of fiber, and a study in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that eating more fiber may help prevent weight gain or even promote weight loss. Over the course of a two-year study, researchers found that when study participants boosted their fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories, they lost about 4 1/2 pounds. Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams