Summer is in its peak, the glorious, sunny days and dusky, warm nights are in full swing and people are taking action to make a change, encouraging weight loss or their general feel-good factor! Summer is a great opportunity to improve Health and Well-Being with the availability of juicy fruits and scrumptious vegetables in a combination of Healthy eating or ‘super-food’ diets and detoxes.
Positives of including Super-Foods in your diet
The term ‘Super-foods’ is usually used for many foods that are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and all of the good stuff our bodies crave and need to remain healthy. But, there are certain foods that have a lot more of these components in than others, foods such as Spinach, Chia Seeds, Lentils and Berries are packed full of the good things we need and are now easily accessible in most supermarkets or good food stores. You can also access a whole range of Super-Food powders too that contain exactly the same things just in a higher dosage and made to be added to meals such as smoothies, salads and even breakfasts!
To make the most of the fruits and vegetables that are in season, especially around summer when the sun is at its best, try to incorporate more of these yummy foods into your healthy, daily meals by simply replacing the starchy foods you’re avoiding! Think about heading to your local farm and stocking up on Berries, Fruits, Vegetables and even Herbs and stick these in your fridge/freezer, they’ll keep and it means you don’t have to worry about wasting them either!
Here’s a little list of some of the popular Fruits and Vegetables that are in season between the summer months:
- Asparagus – lovely with lemon and mint! Also great in salads or as a light bite served with mozzarella!
- Blueberries – these little berries are packed full of antioxidants! Great for detoxing or jazzing up a bowl of oats!
- Beetroot – Beets are great raw in salads or for a little extra taste in juices and smoothies.
- Broccoli – tasty on its own or tossed in a warm salad, packed full of vitamins and fibre.
- Cucumber – vitamin-rich and also has hydrating qualities making it the perfect juicing ingredient.
- Cherries – Snacking on fresh cherries is a great alternative to crisps or biscuits!
- Raspberries/Strawberries – usually best around June/July as you can venture out and Pick Your Own!
- Greens – We’re talking spinach, lettuce, Rocket, Swiss chard and watercress now!
- Kale – Another alternative to crisps and packed full of the good stuff!
- Tomatoes – On their own or easy to accompany many other super-foods in salads and juices!
The important thing to remember when it comes to healthy eating regimes is that fascination to try new things to turn their usual sluggish, carb eating selves into super-food eating heroes but incorporating a healthy balance of fruits and vegetables into their everyday diets should be happening all through the year, not just when it comes to summer. If changing diets is the better option for most people to help incorporate more of these healthier foods then finding new and interesting ways of doing so will definitely make the process fun and easier to maintain, rather than eating raw spinach leaves or munching on a bag of kale for breakfast! Saying this, raw fruits and vegetables have more nutrients than any cooked produce, so this is a great way to boost weight loss! Think of adding raw broccoli to salads instead of cooking it or grate some carrots as a side portion to any meal – they’ll both become more effective for boosting your metabolism simply because it’s still in its raw state.
Summer Super-food Juices/Smoothies
The superfood smoothie packs some impressive vitamins and minerals without adding any artificial powders. Greens may also help protect you from heat diseases and diabetes – more reasons to eat these daily! Adding Coconut water other than milk will help to change the flavour also giving it a more creamy texture, especially if you’re using cucumber or celery which can add more water to the juice! Try blending some of these to make your very own Super-Green Smoothie and be open to eating raw veg as it’s a great way to feel satisfied when you’re hungry and it’s the best thing whilst detoxing and losing weight:
- Juice of a Lemon/Lime
- 150ml coconut water
Chia Seed Pudding (perfect for Breakfast or as a sweet treat!)
- 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1-3 tablespoons of Maple syrup, to taste
And feel free to add your own toppings using more gorgeously fresh fruit like Strawberries, Raspberries or Blueberries, add some Nuts and Seeds or even a sprinkling of Cinnamon!
1. Whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, and sweetener together in a large bowl. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and then whisk again (this just helps prevent clumping).
2. Cover and chill in the fridge for 2.5-3 hours, or overnight. It helps to stir the mixture every so often during this time, but don’t worry if you can’t.
3. Stir well before serving. Portion into bowl(s) and add your desired toppings. Leftovers will keep in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Summer Super-food Salads
For a super healthy, detoxing salad containing heaps of fibre, vitamins and minerals all have health benefits such as boosting your immune system and promoting healthy bones and teeth!
- ½ cup Quinoa
- 2 slices Watermelon
- 5 Strawberries
- 2 handfuls of Rocket
- 2 handfuls of uncooked Spinach
- 2 tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1/2 (spiralized or peeled) cucumber
- 1/2 (spiralized or peeled) Courgette
1. Boil 1 cup water for the Quinoa, add quinoa and reduce to simmer for 10-15minutes until no liquid is left. Let Quinoa cool for 5 minutes.
2. Slice the Watermelon and strawberries into chunks and add to the Quinoa and mix through. Toss this into the Rocket and Spinach and add Lemon Juice into a bowl.
3. Spiralize or peel the cucumber and Courgette into strips and add to the other ingredients.
4. Serve as a salad for lunches or dinners.
For the perfect way to get your super-foods into your breakfasts, lunches and dinners, try some of these recipes to replace your usual meals and snacks and feel free to add your own touches to them using up all the delicious foods that taste the best in summer!