As the weather gets warmer, you’ll probably spend more time outside at the grill. Why not head down to your local farmer’s market and pick up fresh vegetables to round out your meals? These days, you can find almost any vegetable year round. But get them in season, right after they’re picked…and you can taste the difference.
These are five must-have vegetables to enjoy this summer.
|During the hot summer months, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Especially if you spend a lot of time outside. Besides drinking water, fill up on vegetables. Cucumbers, zucchini, cabbage, and lettuce are full of water and will help keep your body cool and hydrated.|
1. Cucumbers – Made up of 96 percent water, cucumbers are refreshing and hydrating on hot days.1 They’re full of vitamin C and silica.2 Both are important for tissue growth and skin cleansing. And don’t forget about the skin, packed with potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Of course always buy organic to avoid pesticides and synthetic wax coatings.
2. Zucchini – Great for grilling, zucchini is a summer favorite. Jam-packed with vitamins A, B, and C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, folate, omega-3s, protein, and manganese…one medium-sized zucchini only has 31 calories.3 You can grill, steam, boil, bake, or eat it raw. Sliced zucchini makes the perfect topping for sandwiches and burgers.
3. Mushrooms – Definitely the year round vegetable. But during the summer, chanterelles and porcinis are the mushrooms of choice. They give dishes a nice hearty punch but are low in sodium and fat. They help fill you up with their rich fiber.4 And as a bonus, they are rich in potassium, riboflavin, and niacin that help boost your body’s immune system. When selecting mushrooms, make sure they are dry and firm.
4. Broad Beans – Also known as fava beans, they are a summer salad staple that can help lower your blood pressure.5 Rich in protein, broad beans offer you high amounts of iron and potassium, as well as vitamins A and C.6 Add broad beans to a salad or as a side dish with a little olive oil drizzled on them.
5. Shallots – Because of their abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, this tiny onion alternative is considered an anticarcinogen.7 They also help ward off colds and other diseases with their antibacterial and antiallergic properties. But their health benefits don’t end there. They also help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Shallots are sweeter and subtler in flavor than onions. Use them as a base for sauces and dressings. Or add them in any dish as an onion substitute for taste and texture.
Vegetables are a must when it comes to your diet. They offer never-ending health benefits. And these five summer vegetables are so versatile you can add them to almost any meal. Just remember…buying fresh and in season is always the way to go.