Now the warmer weather is here, most of us want to make the most of it by eating light summer foods, preferably al fresco with friends. Healthier foods such as salads and smoothies are extra appealing at this time of year. Here are some of the healthiest superfoods to give an extra boost to your summertime cuisine.
Beetroot is the epitome of summer veg. It has rich vibrant hues and is absolutely full of nutrients. Beetroot is completely fat free and very low in calories, yet it packs a punch in terms of its extraordinarily high vitamin C content. It has high levels of potassium that helps to lower blood pressure as well as plenty of beta-carotene, which provides vitamin A. It is a great vegetable to brighten up a salad, especially when combined with goat’s cheese and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Beetroots are widely available during spring and summer and are a terrific way to add a splash of colour to any meal. If you fancy something a little naughty but healthy at the same time, beetroot and chocolate cake is a winning combination.
Figs are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth whilst getting lots of health benefits. They are full of calcium, fibre and iron whilst being incredibly low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat. They are also delicious and will add plenty of flavour to any meal including salads. They are higher in calories than many other fruits, with each fig containing around 47 calories. However, they are much better for you than munching on chocolate and taste just as good.
Blueberries are good at any time of day, but they make a particularly tasty breakfast treat. Sprinkle them over your cereal or whizz them up in a smoothie. They are packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. Recent studies suggest that they may even help to prevent cancer. Don’t eat too many, though, because whilst they are delicious, blueberries also have a relatively high sugar content. Eat them in moderation, but do enjoy them a couple of times a week.
Just because they’re full of water doesn’t mean watermelons aren’t full of nutrients as well. In fact, the pink colouring of a watermelon is caused by its high levels of the anti-oxidant, lycopene. They are also packed with vitamins A, B6 and C, which all help to boost your immune system. Not only that, but there’s nothing more refreshing than a watermelon on a hot summer’s day.
This leafy green vegetable is the seaweed of the land. Like seaweed, it is absolutely packed with vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants too. Kale is completely fat free and low in calories, yet it is full of essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fibre, iron and protein. The superfood even has cancer fighting properties as well as higher levels of carotene than carrots. It is delicious lightly steamed or you can crisp it in the oven with a dash of olive oil before sprinkling lightly with Parmesan cheese.