As summer rolls around, chances are you are scouring the web and magazines to find out what foods to eat for a slimmer summer body. Unfortunately, no miracle food will do the trick. This summer, focus on a healthy body instead.
Below, Chris Hurley, outpatient nutrition and diabetes educator and team member of the Bariatric and Weight Loss Surgery Program at Bryn Mawr Hospital, offers picks for four summer superfoods that can help maintain a healthy body and keep your weight under control.
When it comes to produce, berries are a crowd-pleaser at any time of year. But during the summer, it’s especially easy to see why. Visit any produce stand and you’ll see that raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are bursting with color and flavor from April through September.
Besides making a pretty colorful fruit salad, berries are nutritional powerhouses—fruits are great sources of potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, and cancer-fighting antioxidants. To reap the benefits of berries, incorporate them into your meals this summer by sprinkling them into your Greek yogurt, using them as a salad topper, or incorporate them into a protein smoothie!
Don't be afraid to use berries in dessert, either--our red, white, and blue berry tarts make for a festive summer treat.
Summer squash (Zucchini)
Think pasta is too heavy for a summer meal? Then you haven’t met summer squash yet. A versatile veggie, summer squash can be cut into long, thin strips to mimic spaghetti, fettuccini, or your favorite pasta of choice—but with way fewer calories.
‘Zoodles,’ as they are often called, aren’t just lower in calories; they also contain a number of different nutrients, including Vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, plus antioxidants and beta-carotene.
To keep your ‘zoodles’ healthy, aim to keep your toppings healthy, too. Our summer squash ribbons recipe uses basil, olive oil, and pine nuts to avoid piling on extra calories.
Summer is the season for grilling burgers and hot dogs, throwing a steak on the grill, or getting your hands dirty on a rack of ribs. But, ahead of your next backyard barbecue, you might want to consider salmon for your menu.
Rich in omega-3’s, a heart-healthy fat credited for its role in lowering the risk of everything from heart disease to depression to dementia, salmon is a lean, meatless option that’s a healthier alternative to red meat. Fortunately for menu planners, salmon is also a versatile food. Slice up some salmon for a salad topper, or substitute your favorite burgers for salmon patties.
Whether you’re in the grocery store or stopping at a roadside produce stand en route to the beach or the mountains, chances are there will be no shortage of red, ripe tomatoes available. This favorite summertime staple, is delicious as a refreshing salad topper or side dish during the warmer months.
Although you may be enjoying tomatoes for their flavor, don’t overlook their health benefits. Tomatoes are full of antioxidants, and contain Vitamins C and E, which many Americans are deficient in. So don’t think twice before reaching for that next tomato slice—in fact, reach for two!
Get your fill of fruits and veggies with our recipe for peach and tomato salad, a yummy summer side dish.
Still struggling to maintain a healthy diet this summer? Main Line Health offers nutrition experts that are registered, licensed dietitians. As members of the American Dietetic Association, they stay up to date on the latest nutrition research that may have an impact on your health and well-being, and can offer an individual nutrition plan to fit your lifestyle. Visit our website to learn more about Main Line Health’s nutrition services, including our Bariatric and Medical Weight Management Programs.