With colorful vegetables growing in your backyard garden, fresh fruits showing up at your local farmer’s market and local-caught fish as a great healthy meal, there’s no denying that summer affords us some great options when it comes to eating right.
You can’t go wrong with any of the above foods (in moderation, of course), but those looking to get the most from their meals should try “superfoods.” These foods are typically low in calories and nutrient-dense; they provide crucial health benefits and you don’t need to eat much to enjoy the benefits.
One thing is key in choosing these foods, though; it’s that you should be eating in season.
“Foods thrive in different temperatures and climates and picking them at their peak creates the most nutrient-dense produce,” said Daniel Magoon, registered dietitian with Snap Kitchen and one of the many experts that weighed in on their favorite summer superfoods. “So as you cruise your local market, look for in season fruits and vegetables that are rich in color. Not only will seasonal produce be cheaper, their color will be darker, meaning a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.”
With that tip in mind, be sure to keep an eye out for these summer superfoods, which were chosen by nutritionists, dietitians and other experts on healthy eating.
Watermelon is rich in phenolic compounds, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. In other words, they are important in the fight against chronic disease. As the name implies, they also have high water content, which is excellent for staying hydrated during the hot summer months. I like that both kids and adults love watermelon as a refreshing snack or dessert, which is certainly a better choice than high calorie, low-nutrient options. My favorite way to eat watermelon: grilled, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
—Rachel Begun, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and certified natural chef in Boulder, Colo.
My top pick for this summer's all-star superfood is turmeric; it has such amazing anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to being a potent anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant and detoxifying agent. The best thing about turmeric is that it's so versatile and easy to use—not only curries and soups will benefit from its beautiful golden color and distinct yet subtle taste, but also marinades, dressings, even
smoothies. Turmeric is a definite must-have for any health-conscious kitchen.
—Marise May, co-owner of Arayuma, with a background in nutritional science