Exciting Hydration: Keeping the body hydrated is a foundation of health and anti-aging. To flavor water naturally, add a strawberry, slices of cucumber, sprigs of mint, a few basil leaves, lemon wedges or play with different combinations. Fresh mint works best if you refrigerate it overnight in the water, making a “cold infusion” tea. The tannins and essential oils in the mint slowly dissolve into the water and it is simply delicious.
Avocado Superfood: Get into habit of adding avocados to salads, sandwiches, or eating alone with fresh lemon juice. Guacamole and blue corn chips make for a great meal on a hot day. Avocados have beneficial fats that can protect the body from aging and cardiovascular disease. Power packed with caratonoids, beneficial fats, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, and fiber; think of an avocado as a multivitamin that tastes great.
Eat Tomatoes: Scientific research has linked tomato consumption to reduction in risk for cancers, including prostate cancer and cervical cancer. One carotenoid called lycopene proves to be a strong antioxidant with a multitude of beneficial actions in the body. Some of the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet may be explained by the impressive actions of lycopene. Why not just take lycopene in a pill? Because nature knows best and the cancer preventative action of lycopene is likely due to complex interactions between the phytochemicals in tomatoes. For example, maybe your body needs vitamin c and beta carotene to be present for lycopene to be effective. Eating whole tomatoes, fresh from the garden tastes best and is probably the best for you.
Go Berry Picking: Berries are fantastic sources for polyphenols, plant chemicals that are known as inflammation modulators in the body. Anytime that you can increase the variety of brightly colored plant foods, you do yourself a huge service in terms of wellness. Use this link to find a local U-pick farm and remember sunblock, water, and to check for ticks afterwards. PickYourOwn.org
Get Inspired at a Farmers Market: Increasing your intake of plant foods should be first and foremost on our minds but can be challenging. Have you considered grilling fresh corn, peaches, and peppers, adding them to a chopped tomato, garlic and cilantro? Well if you did and served it as a side to grilled fish or chicken, you may be happy. Farmers markets are filled with culinary experts who love to talk about food. Farmers are some of the best sources for how to cook something new to you. For instance, I learned to cook dark purple thin Japanese eggplant with curry powder and some olive oil at a farmers market. Scrumptious. CT NOFA