How many times have you thought about eating healthier and decided tomorrow or next month? Summer is one of the best and easiest times to put that healthier eating plan in place—here is why.
Availability of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Summer is the perfect time to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. The growing season is in full swing and there are a variety of options available. To maximize nutrient density, eat locally grown produce. The sooner you are able to eat produce from the date picked, the higher the nutrient density. There are farmers markets happening every week in the summer months. These markets are a ton of fun to explore and support your local farmers. If you can’t make it to the market, your local grocery store will be stocked with a variety of fresh produce as well. Organic produce is always my first choice.
Once you have purchased all the beautiful produce that is available, consider making a smoothie. Summer is the ideal time to enjoy a nice, nutritious frozen drink. Utilize fresh fruit, ice and even vegetables to make a delicious drink.
If you have never put vegetables into your smoothie, spinach is a great one to start with. Spinach has a very mild taste and besides turning your smoothie green, you won’t even know it is in there. Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat packed with vitamins and minerals. It is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, folate and magnesium, just to name a few. It is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection.
Check out our Green Smoothie for Energy blog post for more detailed recipes.
Enjoying dinner with your family or friends is a great way to feed your body and soul. Take advantage of having dinner outside and cooking at home. Remember when cooking, the best methods to preserve nutrients are “slow and low.” So keep that grill at a lower temperature.
One of the most important micronutrients for our bodies is vitamin D. It is an essential vitamin for bone health, disease prevention and overall wellbeing. We get vitamin D mostly from exposure to sunshine. Summer is the best time to maximize vitamin D from the sun. Enjoy the outdoors and spend a little time outside before applying your sunscreen.
Sunscreen is essential for preventing sunburns and harmful rays, but it also blocks vitamin D absorption. On average in the summer, 10-15 minutes in the sun without sunblock will give you enough vitamin D; however, it is essential to note this is an average and depends on your skin pigmentation, location, season and time of day.
With the beautiful weather, access to the outdoors and increased social time, summer can be a perfect time to start a practice of gratitude. Gratitude helps boost the immune system and counteracts the negative health impacts of stress. Spend some time each day thinking about all the things you are grateful for in your life and enjoy the gorgeous days of summer!