Mary Dishigrikyan is a fourth-year Psychology and English student at UCLA. She is a logophile with a passion for puns and Disneyland.
Summer’s coming, which means trouble’s brewing. That is to say, we’re (okay, the majority of us) in trouble, because how much of our vows to cut back on sweets and processed foods in preparation for summer did we really keep?
Maybe you want to eat better to get fit, maybe you’re doing it to stay in shape and maybe you just want a healthy lifestyle. Whatever the case may be, there are some superfoods and smoothies that are basically summer essentials, if not staples and it’s never a bad idea to kick off summer feeling great about what you consume, even if you don’t stick with the regime forever. Here are some foods and drinks for a healthy summer:
Watermelon is a versatile fruit. You can cut it into triangles or crescents and bite into it. If you have a particularly tiny one, you can cut it in half to create a bowl to eat out of. You can cut it up in sizable chunks and mix it into your salad along with feta cheese, mint and tomatoes. (Umm, yes please. To all of the above.)
Don’t forget that watermelon is an excellent source of hydration that is brimming with vitamins and antioxidants and so it has just as many health benefits as it does amount of deliciousness.
Despite my recent realization about the astonishing amount of people who can’t stand tomatoes, the fact of the matter is tomatoes are amazingly beneficial for us. Not only do tomatoes act to protect us from getting sunburned, they’re also great for maintaining clear skin. Eat up!
For me, the easiest way to make sure I get berries in my daily diet is to eat them alongside my breakfast or by themselves a couple of hours before I go to bed. Raspberries and blueberries are the way to go, with the former providing us with fiber and lowering our cholesterol and the latter acting as antioxidants. Let’s not forget strawberries, which are packed with anthocyanins that assist to burn off stored fat and which lower our risk of all the terrible things in life, like cardiovascular disease and esophageal cancer. Also, frequent IKEA shoppers – do lingonberries ring a bell? They’re great sources of Vitamins A and C and have been known to combat the weight gain associated with diets high in fat.
Although it’s not ideal for weight loss because of its caloric content, corn offers a variety of health benefits, including the reduction of the risk of acquiring certain cancers along with essential vitamins and minerals. Corn starch is also often used as an ingredient in skin products to help irritated skin. The other great thing about corn, besides its taste, is that it can be eaten on the cob (but only if you have a toothpick nearby) or not, and if you’re not a fan of corn by itself, you can include it in your soup or salad. Mixing baby corns with greens and cherry tomatoes is quick and easy, giving you a light and refreshing salad.
Coconut and Peach
Beach bodies are out. Peach bodies are sooo in. Coconut and peach are two of my favorite flavors ever and if you’re as much of a fan of them as I am, try blending coconut water with frozen peaches and spinach, along with another fruit of your choice. This makes for a refreshing summer treat that’s not overbearing in its sweetness.
This is – you guessed it – Vanilla with a Twist, the twist being the sourness of lime that kicks in when you take a sip. I like to keep this smoothie as simple as possible, using spinach for the greens and blending it with almond milk and vanilla yogurt and adding lime juice. If you’d like yours with a little more taste to it, try adding bananas.
Although putting avocados in a smoothie is still a concept that weirds me out a little bit, there’s no use denying both its benefits and its tastiness. Depending on what you blend it with, it’s really not that bad and some unlikely combinations prove to be pretty darn good. Put together a blueberry and banana smoothie as you normally would and throw some avocados into the mix for a little (good) change.
Classic Strawberry Kiwi
For a fresh take on this classic combo, put it together with some kale and citrusy goodness for that extra kick of flavor. Freshly squeezed lime or lemon will do the trick, as well as a little bit of orange juice.
What are your favorite healthy summer treats?