Summer is the perfect season for fresh, crisp, juicy foods full of flavor and light in your stomach. Give your taste buds a treat by enjoying 10 of the summer’s best superfoods.
Who doesn’t love avocados? They’re the perfect addition to salads, toast, and are a healthy substitute for mayo on your sandwiches. Avocados make the best superfoods list because they’re loaded with healthy fats, which help your body absorb vitamins A and E.
Vitamin A helps maintain your body’s natural defenses. It supports bone health, helps reduce acne, and protects your eyes from age-related decline. Vitamin A can even lower your risk of certain cancers, including cervical, lung, bladder, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Meanwhile, Vitamin E helps protect your cells from oxidative stress, which can lead to neurodegenerative diseases as you get older.
Avocados are also a great source of fiber, which will keep you fuller, longer.
Grapes are the perfect snack for the summer season. They’re tangy, juicy, and chalked full of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are shown to help delay or prevent cell damage. Research shows that antioxidants can also help fight free radicals from causing your brain oxidative stress. As a result, they can prevent the symptoms of memory loss and other symptoms associated with getting older.
Basil is growing in popularity these days–and with good reason! This herb’s fragrance can enhance any summer dish, from bruschetta, pasta, lamb, or even ice cream! It’s also great in a cocktail.
Like grapes, basil is rich in antioxidants. It also contains a lot of vitamin K, which can treat and prevent certain types of blood clotting issues.
Speaking of antioxidants, berries are another key item on the best superfoods of summer list. They’re an amazing addition to many breakfast items, including Greek yogurt and protein pancakes. However, they’re just as delicious on their own as a side or healthy snack.
It also doesn’t matter which berries you prefer. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries all have anti-inflammatory properties that improve your overall health.
Leafy greens are a shoe-in for pretty much any healthy food-related list. Plant-based foods are known to help slow cognitive decline. One cognitive study discovered that people who regularly eat one or two servings of kale, collards, spinach, or mustard greens per day can retain the same mental abilities as those 11 years younger.
In addition to vitamin K, leafy greens are also high in folic acid, and beta-carotene. Folic acid is important for red blood cell formation, while beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in your body.
Bell peppers are crisp, flavorful, and taste great whether you’re eating them raw, grilled, and baked. Red bell peppers are the most nutritious, but they’re all great sources of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and keeps your immune system going strong. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 can improve your mood, reduce symptoms of depression, and help create red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
Speaking of peppers, chili peppers are loaded with capsaicin, which adds heat, boosts your metabolism, and curbs your appetite. If they’re too spicy on their own, you can all them in dips, eggs, salads, salsas, and plenty of Mexican and Italian dishes.
For extra fun, chili peppers can stimulate endorphins and are a proven aphrodisiac.
No food says summer quite like watermelon. Not only do they have a great texture, they’re also a great source of vitamin C and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that improves your heart health and lowers your risk of certain cancer types. Studies also show that lycopene can increase your testosterone levels.
Another reason why watermelon makes for a great summer superfood is they’re 90% water, which means eating them can keep you hydrated!
Like leafy greens, fish are usually on every health foods list–and for plenty of good reasons.
First off, when you’re eating fish, you’re nourishing your brain. Fatty fish are packed with omega-3s. Our brains are about 60% fat, and half of that fat are omega-3s.
Omega-3s improve your learning abilities, enhance your memory, and can slow age-related mental decline. Fish like albacore tuna, salmon, sardines, and trout are all excellent options for omega-3s. Research also shows that people who eat fish have more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter contains many of the nerve cells that can improve your decision-making abilities, your memory, and emotions.
Fatty fish also contain high levels of vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Both of these vitamins reduce depression symptoms. Vitamin D supplementation may also help reduce symptoms of depression for people diagnosed with clinical depression.
Not only are peaches delicious–they’re also rich in vitamins A, C, and potassium. Potassium helps you regulate your blood pressure, and can also help with muscle recovery after your workouts.
Bonus: Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is always a bonus. When you enjoy dark chocolate that contains 70%+ cocoa, you’re enjoying many of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also protect cognitive function in aging adults experiencing mild cognitive impairment.
Do you want to know what other summer superfoods we’d add to the list? Send us a message!