Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat These Foods for a Great Body -- and here's an easy July 4th recipe

Mid-summer is upon us as we get ready to celebrate our nation's birthday. Despite the extreme heat, we're likely to spend time outdoors at the grill, backyard pool, or ballpark. To keep cool and hydrated, try the easy recipe below that combines two of the five fabulous foods on this list of in-season, super healthy things to eat.

1. Green beans

Filling up on green beans, and other high-fiber foods, can help you prevent weight gain or even promote weight loss—without dieting—suggests new research in The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that women who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight while women who decreased the fiber in their diets gained.

2. Salmon

The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish—such as salmon and tuna—can boost your skin’s defenses against UV damage. In a study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that those who ate a little more than 5 ounces of omega-3-rich fish each week decreased the development of precancerous skin lesions by almost 30 percent. Scientists think the omega-3s act as a shield, protecting cell walls from free-radical damage.

3. Blueberries

Eating just under a cup of mixed berries (such as red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries) daily for 8 weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure—two positives when it comes to heart health—according to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

4. Watermelon

Research shows that eating foods that are full of water, such as watermelon, helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. (Interestingly enough, drinking water alongside foods doesn’t have the safe effect.) At 92 percent water, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C. When it’s the red variety (some are orange or yellow), it also has lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer.

5. Tomatoes

Eating more vitamin-C rich foods, such as oranges, tomatoes, strawberries and broccoli, may be a secret to smoother skin. A igher intake of vitamin C from foods is associated with a lower risk of having wrinkled skin and age-related skin dryness in middle-age women. Vitamin C’s youthful effects on skin may be due to its antioxidant properties, which help protect against ultraviolet rays, and its role in keeping skin firm via collagen synthesis, say the researchers.

RECIPE: Blueberry and Watermelon Salad

Bring 1/4 cup each sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from the heat, add 3 mint sprigs and 2 tablespoons Amaretto or Grand Marnier (optional) and steep 10 minutes. Discard the mint; add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and a pinch of salt. Toss with 2 cups blueberries and 3 cups cubed watermelon. Let stand 15 minutes. Top with chopped mint. 


1 comment:

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