The 5 Best (And Worst) Foods Of Summer
Yes, summer is almost here! That awesome time of year when the days are long and the sun is blazing. We tend to link this season to a number of delicious foods, but be warned, not all of these are healthy choices. Below, we list what to eat and what not to this summer.
Nothing quite says summer than fresh sweetcorn. Also, two antioxidants found in corn – lutein and zeaxanthin – can help protect your eyes from damaging sun rays. The same chemicals help lower your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60 (although the majority of damage begins decades earlier).
This fruit is perfect for re-hydrating after a long day in the sun. Watermelon – as its name suggests – is over 90% water. In addition, it’s a better source of cancer fighting lycopene than raw tomatoes. Carrying just 44 calories a cup, there’s no reason not to stock up on this summery snack.
Tea has zero calories, a ton of antioxidants and can even help you lose weight. To reap all of the nutritional benefits, you need to make it fresh rather than buying the bottled stuff. If you’re using your own tea bags, then remember iced is just as beneficial as hot.
A barbecue classic, chicken kebabs are bursting with protein but low in fat, calories and carbs. Make sure to add vegetables like peppers, zucchini and squash to the skewers which all contain healthy antioxidants.
Summer is the peak season for colorful fruits. Red, purple and blue fruit are good sources of antioxidants and vitamins, especially berries, which contain up to one-third of your daily fiber serving.
They come in all shapes and sizes, but this doesn’t change their fatty content. A quarter pound of beef or pork ribs has about 288 calories along with a heavy load of saturated fat – and this is before the barbecue sauce is added. When cooking ribs at home, avoid the sauce for low-fat spices such as garlic, mustard and garlic powder.
Ice cream on its own isn’t particularly healthy, but when you add chocolate chip cookies to the equation, the calorie count goes into overdrive. This treat packs almost 500 calories and has a whopping 60% saturated fat content. Instead, go for lower-fat sorbet and ditch the cookies.
Beverages such as cola are zero in nutrition, high in sugar and additives and should be avoided. They not only irritate the stomach, but also contribute to weight gain without contributing any health benefits. Diet drinks are slightly better for you and must only be consumed in small portions. Instead, sparkling water, 100% fresh juices and unsweetened tea should be your first port of call.
Let yourself enjoy a couple of fried clams but don’t make a meal out of them. Three quarters of a cup of this fried seafood has around 500 calories and a massive 26 grams of fat. A much healthier option is eating them cooked but not deep-fried. Just in their cooked form, clams are packed full of protein and contain vitamins which help promote a healthy nervous system.
You’ll usually find both of these at a barbecue and while they taste damn good, the truth is that they’re not very healthy. Their high levels of fattening mayonnaise are bad for our hearts and waistlines. Instead, swap it out for a low-fat mayo or heart-healthy fats like olive oil.
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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.