5 Top Summer Superfoods

June 23, 2016

The best part about summer is the food—watermelon, cherries, strawberries, and more. Summer superfoods are what help pack more flavor into a dish while giving you a jolt of nutrition. It also gives you a good reason to splurge at the farmer’s market. So next time you hit the market, consider piling these superfoods into your basket.

1. Kiwi

One cup of this bright green fruit provides more potassium than one banana. Additionally, one cup also contains five grams of fiber, which can help fill you up if you choose to add it to a breakfast yogurt. And most importantly, eating kiwi daily can improve sleep. In a study, it was found that eating kiwi could help sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in those who have difficulty sleeping.

2. Watermelon

Viewed as water and sugar by most, watermelon is a nutrient dense food—containing several vitamins and antioxidants. Composed of 92 percent water, watermelon makes a great snack for the hot summer days. If you’ve been combating muscle soreness and inflammation, considering having a slice of the juicy fruit. The reason: watermelon contains choline and l-citrulline—two compounds that can alleviate pain and inflammation. Adding to its health benefits, a study published by the American Journal of Hypertension found that watermelon extract could reduce ankle blood pressure and brachial blood pressure.

3. Strawberries

These sweet but tart berries don’t only just make a great topping for a dessert, but they also have an array of health benefits. For starters, regular consumption of strawberries can decrease a person’s risk of a heart attack by 32 percent. This is due to the flavonoid quercetin, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties. As for its mental health benefits, strawberries are ample in folate—preventing an excess build up of homocysteine in the body. When there’s an abundance of homocysteine present, it interferes with the development of the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. 

4. Cherries 

Each summer, close to 370 million pounds of cherries are grown (May to July). When it comes to the fruit’s health benefits, cherries can reduce inflammation, alleviate arthritic pain, decrease post-workout muscle soreness, and support sleep. Unknown to many, cherries contain natural melatonin, which is a crucial amino acid that induces sleep.

5. Asparagus 

Add this tasty vegetable to your next meal, simply because of the health benefits. Focusing on bone health, one cup of asparagus can provide you with 70 percent of your daily vitamin K. Vitamin K can assist in improving calcium absorption—promoting overall bone strength.

 

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