So, you’ve decided to start eating healthier. Well, there’s no better time than summer, a season that brings a bounty of fresh in-season produce to make the change in your diet even easier.
Plus, being outdoors more often increases your risk for certain health problems, such as dehydration and skin sensitivities — so it is even more important to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, which provide some critical nutrients that your body needs during this season.
Here are 10 delicious, healthy fruits and vegetables you really should try this summer that will help you both look and feel your best.
This leafy green has a peppery flavor and makes a great addition to any summer salad. Watercress tops the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables because it was found to be the most nutrient dense food.
Watercress has only 11 calories per 100 grams, and is an excellent source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), containing more vitamin C than an orange weight for weight. It is also an excellent source of milk, iron, folate, and vitamins A, B6, and K. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating a daily portion of watercress can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells that is considered an important trigger in the development of cancer.
Popular in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and South America, Fava beans are a healthy summer delicacy, available in produce stores from late spring though most of the summer season. These legumes, also known as broad beans, are a great source of lean protein, as well as a good source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B6, and K. They are also rich in fiber and have no cholesterol or saturated fat. Fava beans can be served raw or cooked, though the pods must first be blanched.
Turns out this summer classic is indeed the perfect choice for a healthy snack after a long day in the sun. As its name implies, watermelon is almost 92 percent water, making it a great source of hydration in hot weather. It only has 88 calories in a two cup-sized serving and one gram of fiber, which slows digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. It is a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect cells from damage.
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