6 Sensational, Seasonal Superfoods

Looking for a delicious way to achieve a healthy weight, get glowing skin, boost your energy levels, fight inflammation and reduce your risk for disease? The power is on your plate. Get your hands on these sensational superfoods, in season and on their way to a farmer’s market near you!

blackberries and blueberriesBlack-and-Blueberries: Anthocyanins are bioflavonoids responsible for the deep blue color of blueberries. Studies have found that anthocyanins may support healthy vision and reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer.[i][ii] The antioxidants in blueberries also help reduce skin inflammation and one study found that they can even help reduce the appearance of pores.[iii]

hot peppersHot Peppers: Hot peppers are a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C but they are most revered for the healthy dose of capsaicin that they contain. Studies have found that capsaicin boosts the metabolism and promotes fat burning; hot peppers may therefore be useful in supporting a healthy weight.[iv] Capsaicin also helps to reduce inflammation and promotes the release of endorphins, making it potentially beneficial for pain relief.[v]

Tomatoes 2Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in a variety of nutrients including vitamins A and C, folic acid, and alpha-lipoic acid.[vi] Tomato’s claim to fame, however, is really in their lycopene content. Lycopene may help reduce the risk for heart disease as well as prostate, lung, bladder and stomach cancer. [vii] To maximize absorption of lycopene, eat cooked tomato products and combine them with a source of healthy fat such as extra virgin olive oil.[viii]

AvocadosHass Avocados: Don’t shy away from avocados for their fat content! These nutritional powerhouses are low in sugar and high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. Their fats are of the healthiest, mono-unsaturated sort and they make a great nutrient-dense swap for butter or other spreads. Eating avocados may even help reduce the risk for diabetes and cancer and people who eat them tend to have a healthier body weight.[ix]

Cucumber2Cucumbers: Feeling the heat? Cool off with cucumbers! Cucumbers help refresh, rehydrate and gently detoxify you during these hot summer days. An excellent source of vitamin C, they also contain silica to support healthy connective tissue health promote glowing skin.[x] Finally, they are low in calories and filling due to their high water content, making them an excellent snack for healthy weight loss.

WatermelonWatermelon: L-citrulline, an amino acid found in watermelon, help to relax blood vessels and increase circulation and the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry found that drinking watermelon juice before a workout can help prevent muscle soreness the next day.[xi] Watermelon contains minerals to help lower blood pressure, lycopene to help protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays and it is even rumoured to boost libido! [xii] 


References:

[i] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.200700002/abstract
[ii] http://www.pbrc.edu/training-and-education/pdf/pns/pns_anthocyanins.pdf
[iii] http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/26/1_MeetingAbstracts/1017.12
[iv] http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0067786
[v] http://www.ijnpnd.com/article.asp?issn=2231-0738;year=2012;volume=2;issue=1;spage=8;epage=15;aulast=Chhabra
[vi] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273031.php
[vii] http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/lycopene/evidence/hrb-20059666
[viii] http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/dietandnutrition/lycopene
[ix] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php
[x] http://www.naturalnews.com/035719_cucumbers_anti-aging_vegetables.html
[xi] http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf400964r
[xii] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130820-watermelon-nutrition-health-food-science