9 Slimming Superfoods for Summer
By Sara Novak, Planet Green
The temp will break 100 degrees here in South Carolina this week and while this is likely not yet the case for the rest of the country, soon it will be. Our appetite naturally shrinks when the weather is hot which is a good thing because clothing square footage shrinks as well. So it’s best to make sure the foods you eat are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to keep you looking and feeling gorgeous even in the heat of summer.
Superfoods are made even more super when they’re sourced close to home because foods lose much of their nutrient density in commute. And the local summer bounty is often much less expensive than superfoods sourced from thousands of miles away. It takes cash to get them to us after all.
This low cost cruciferous vegetable has it all. Cruciferous vegetables are known for a compound that neutralizes toxins in the liver and helps cleanse the system, keeping us looking and feeling great. It’s in season from May to June.
[Researcher Shiwani Moghe] applied polyphenols extracted from blueberries directly to tissue samples from mice in petri dishes, at three varying doses. What she found was encouraging. The samples treated with polyphenols had less fat than the control sample, and the effect was dose dependent: the sample given the largest dose of polyphenols had a 73 percent decrease in lipid cells, while the smallest dose led to a 27 percent decrease.
Blueberries are in season from May to August.
Image credit: schopie1 / Flickr
Though it may seem counterintuitive, avocados are the best form of summer fuel. The high fat content of an avocado provides a high-quality, long lasting fuel that gives you hours of healthy energy so you don’t end up snacking and you don’t endure the highs and lows that can make us eat junk foods. Avocados are not local to South Carolina but you can find them in California and Hawaii.
Image credit: j_silla / Flickr
Edamame is a low fat and high energy form of plant-based protein. Dr. Weil recommends 1 to 2 servings per day of whole soy because it includes phytoestrogens, which act like estrogen receptors in the body. Edamame is in season June through September.
Image credit: cyclonebill / Flickr
Eggplants are loaded with nasunin, a potent antioxidant located in the skin that inhibits the spread of cancer. Eggplants also improve cardiovascular health. One study showed that they improve blood flow in the blood vessels. Eggplant is also chalked full of trytophan, so it can help you sleep at night which makes you look and feel your best. It’s in season June and July.
Image credit: The Marmot / Flickr
These little gems are laden with antioxidants, especially purple grapes. The antioxidants keep us looking younger longer and like many of the other colors of the rainbow; they protect us against cancer in addition to improving memory. Grapes are also a low calorie sweet snack available July thorugh October.
Image credit: Nick.Allen / Flickr
Red fruits and vegetables are known for lycopene, a powerful cancer fighting antioxidant. Specifically, it’s known for reducing cell damage caused from toxins and aging. Tomatoes are available June through October.
Image credit: The Ewan / Flickr
Asparagus is a delicate summer veggie loaded with nutrients. One cup has more than your daily allowance of vitamin K. And it’s a great source of folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, tryphtophan, fiber, and vitamin B6. It’s available April through June.
Image credit: Muffet / Flickr
While still in its very early stages, according to WHFoods, research suggests that garlic consumption may actually help to regulate the number of fat cells that get formed in our body. Additionally, garlic is a low fat means of adding tons of flavor to our favorite dishes. Garlic is in season in June and July.