The summer provides excellent opportunities to get outside, spend more time together as a family, and enjoy some of life’s sweeter foods. It also invites super sweet sugary beverages and the temptation to eat constantly while on vacation. The food we eat and beverages we drink can impact our emotional state. Good mental health comes from taking care of your body and learning healthy coping mechanisms for stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness. Here are some tasty summertime foods you can prepare to keep your family healthy.
- Cultured dairy
New research shows that the food we eat influences the collection of microbes that our body has, which in turn can dramatically affect our immune systems and even our mental health. This research emphasizes the importance of including probiotic foods in our regular diets, such as kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, or cheese. Try to go low on sugar for your dairy products. You can add berries to plain yogurt, eat cheese with whole-wheat crackers, or look for dairy products that have the flavor but lower sugar overall.
- Avocados are in season
While avocados are grown for the majority of the year in places like California and Mexico, peak production (and the best price) occurs during the summer. This makes it the perfect time to find ways to incorporate them into your diet. Avocados are high in fiber, contain heart-healthy fatty acids, and are more potassium-rich than bananas. You don’t need to eat them straight out of the peel. You can eat avocados on toast, in guacamole, in a smoothie, and as other tasty options.
- Share the watermelon
Research has shown that consuming watermelon regularly is a good way to boost your body’s store of beta carotene and lycopene, two important antioxidants with anti-cancer properties. You can eat it in large slices, put it into fruit salads, or even add it to smoothies. It’s delicious and can be frozen for future use as well.
- Grilled vegetables
Grilling is a central part of many people’s summer routines, so find a way to incorporate healthy grilled foods into your barbecues. Including grilled vegetables is easy because of the many ways that you can prepare them. You can grill corn on the cob, squash and zucchini, tomatoes, and other veggies. Consider skewering them and combining them with some kind of grain for a healthy and simple base for many different meals.
- Try granola
According to Time, you should opt for granolas that are low in sugar and have simple ingredients. Some of the more decadent-sounding granolas (like chocolate and peanut butter) are not a great choice for helping your family stay healthy. Instead of focusing on granola flavor, consider checking the ingredients and nutritional information when you’re looking for a healthy granola to keep your family going. You can mix it with yogurt or frozen fruit to add flavor.
- Corn on the cob
Here’s a food that tastes like the pure distillation of summer enjoyment for many people: corn on the cob. There are lots of myths about corn on the cob. Here are the facts: it’s high in fiber, can help promote a healthy microbiome, is rich in antioxidants, and your family probably loves it. Corn on the cob is generally pretty inexpensive and can be boiled, baked, grilled, and incorporated into all kinds of salsas and dips. It’s the perfect food to include as you keep your family healthy throughout the summer.
Eating healthy brings massive benefits to our physical and mental health. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to look up a million recipes you might never try because they require 20 different ingredients. Start simple with these foods and start eating more of the healthy stuff, and your family will be a lot happier for it.