Written by Jill Ettinger
There may be no more important word in the English language than "summertime." The long days, warm breezes, lazy sunny afternoons at the beach… it's a perfection to savor unlike any other. And you never want to miss a single second of those magical moments; so being healthy and energized is a top priority. Say goodbye to the carb-binging of winter and feel your freshest with these 6 superfoods perfect for your best summer ever.
Lemons: Sure they're synonymous with summertime, but did you know that they're actually more hydrating than just plain water? Whether working up a sweat in your garden, or even if you're just lounging around, that heat can rapidly dehydrate you. Skip the sugary lemonades and try just adding lemon to your water for a refreshing and healthy summer must.
Kale: Greens of any kind are important—and you should be eating lots of fresh salads daily—but kale is the king of all greens, with so much healthy goodness going on. One great benefit is its heavy dose of calcium, which is a great way to help keep your bones from breaking when you try popping a wheelie on your neighborhood kid's BMX bike, or trying a new maneuver off the high-dive.
Berries: Summer is berry season and no matter which ones you call favorite, they're loaded with super goodness to keep you vibrant and healthy all season long. Studies have also linked a dietary increase in antioxidant-rich foods to better protection against the sun's harmful rays.
Tomatoes: These garden greats grow en masse in summertime and you can just taste the goodness. Their high levels of the antioxidant lycopene are known for possible prevention of several types of cancers, so eat 'em up this and every summer.
Watermelon: She's the Queen of summer fruits. Extra-hydrating, super tasty and yes, really good for you. Loaded with energizing vitamins B and C, watermelons are also anti-inflammatory. Think bug bites, allergies, that ankle sprain from the BMX incident…
Nuts and Seeds: Summertime activities can work up an appetite rather quickly. A big sandwich or heavy lunch can actually weigh you down, especially in the heat. Try frequent light snacking on nuts and seeds such as almonds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts and hemp seeds. They're good sources of protein, fat and lots of energy to keep you going well into September.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger