This fragrant herb can add a little something to any summer dish, but it’s not often recognized for its amazing nutritional value. “If you have a garden full of basil, savor it for more than its flavor! Basil has antioxidant properties and provides almost 25 percent of the vitamin K a woman needs in a day,” says Marisa Moore, RDN, a dietitian in Atlanta, Georgia. You can add it to a salad or a marinade, sprinkle it over berries and ice cream, or stick it in a delicious cocktail.
Packed with antioxidants, not to mention tasting delicious, grapes are increasingly being thought of as superfoods. They’re a great source of vitamin K, which can ease blood clots and strengthen bones. What’s more is that a recent study found that consuming grapes twice daily for six months protected participants’ brains from metabolic decline in a region that’s associated with early Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming grapes twice daily over the course of six months has also been shown to enrich metabolic activity in the areas of the brain related to memory and attention.
Strawberries are full of fiber, folate and potassium. Eating just 10 of them per day will give you your daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Research has also shown that consuming strawberries three times a week can cut the risk of suffering a heart attack by more than one-third.
Although people tend to focus on arguing whether sweetcorn is a vegetable or a grain more than anything else, it also happens to be pretty amazing for human health. It contains protein and fiber, as well as magnesium and vitamin B6.
Delicious avocados are chock-full of healthy fats, which help the body to absorb vitamins such as E and A, and they also happen to have high fiber content to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Try adding avocado to a salad or salsa, use it instead of mayonnaise in a sandwich, or just drizzle with lemon juice and enjoy!
You get a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins A and C and potassium every time you bite into a juicy peach. Potassium is important for regulating blood pressure and is also believed to help muscle recovery after a workout.
7. Chili peppers
Summer is definitely the season for salsa lovers, and if you’re one, you’ll be able to reap the benefits that chili peppers have to offer. Capsaicin, which makes chili peppers hot to eat, is also excellent for curbing appetite and boosting metabolism. Chili peppers are also believed to help people consume less sodium. Try them in salads, salsas, or with scrambled eggs.
Cherries are synonymous with summer, but they’re also packed with antioxidants that protect the heart and prevent arthritic pain. The redder the cherry, the more nutritious it is – the pigment in their skin is what actually gives them their ability to help fight disease.
Another signature summer fruit is the delicious watermelon, which is a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C and a powerful antioxidant named lycopene. There’s a very good reason why watermelons are so refreshing, too – they consist of about 90% water! Eating watermelon is a great way of keeping yourself hydrated when it’s really hot outside.
10. Bell peppers
Bell peppers of any color are great sources of vitamin C, as well as fiber and vitamin B6. Red bell peppers in particular also contain beta-carotene, lycopene and twice the amount of vitamin C that you’d get from eating an orange.