In the midst of rising temperatures, you may be tempted to reach for that popsicle or smoothie to stay both cool and fulfilled throughout your day. However, there are various other options to choose from that also happen to offer an entire slew of added health benefits. Don’t be fooled into thinking that any processed foods with labels claiming “real fruit & veggie content” are any better for you than the artificially flavoured varieties. Oftentimes, when you’re going in the processed route, you can expect to be consuming a large amount of sugar. With a variety of fresh produce available at your local supermarket, our snacking favourites certainly won’t leave you feeling guilty afterwards.
Staying hydrated throughout the day, especially during the warmer months is extremely important in aiding the body’s ability to flush out toxins and impurities. Water itself may be a little bland (and don’t even get us started on the “flavoured water” fad a few years back), but luckily you can consume H20 in the form of watermelons. Boasting up to 92% water composition, watermelons are linked to a variety of health benefits such as being an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing the accumulation of fat in the body’s fat cells, improving blood flow contributing to cardiovascular health, diuretic support, and the list goes on. Naturally cooling, sweet, but low fat and filling, watermelon is one of our favourite snack choices for summer.
2) and 3) Blueberries & Raspberries
Both types of berries are great sources of fibre that aid in digestion, as well as making for a filling snack on the go. With high antioxidant contents (opt for ripe berries to maximize your antioxidant intake!), these berries also contribute towards maintaining a strong immune system and preventing infections. Both blueberries and raspberries also have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties that again, make them an optimal snacking choice. A berry salad anyone? Add these to your yogurt for an extra boost, but we prefer to eat them as they are.
Is it a fruit, is it a veggie? The debate continues amongst food enthusiasts, but scientifically speaking, yes the tomato is technically a fruit. However, that’s beside the point as the health benefits of tomatoes leave no room for argument. Aside from being an anti-cancer agent and a blood sugar regulator, tomatoes also contain beta-carotene (which accounts for the red coloring) and lycopene which help protect the skin from harmful UV rays and other associated damage from the sun. We love tomatoes as a versatile snack, whether it’s consumed as is in the form of cherry tomatoes, or in salads and even pasta, they possess a great flavour when both cooked and left raw.
Of course we needed one leafy green on this list, and if we could only choose one, we had to choose kale. It’s no longer a secret that kale is a bonafide superfood. Whether eaten in soups, salads, or baked as kale chips (we suggest you always make your own to monitor the added fat and sodium content), these greens do not disappoint. Containing Vitamin K, which contributes to cell growth and blood clotting, as well as being a rich source of antioxidants and fibre, this veggie packs a punch. Incredibly filling, we suggest you start looking up recipes now, or simply sub them into your existing recipes currently involving lesser greens.
Written By: Anna Zhao
Images from: Ladything.com, Premiumejuiceusa.com and Veganyumminess.com