The sun’s shining, the flip flops are out and you can practically smell the pool and beach. This means one thing- summer is just about here! But how do you keep the bikini-ready shape you worked so hard for this spring? Nothing complements a glowing tan like a healthy, summer diet. We talked with UMD Sports Nutrition Consultant Dr. Larry Plotkins for suggestions on healthy summer eating. He says you should, “Eat the same way all year.” Here is the breakdown of our top seven summer foods that are tasty and bikini friendly:
1. Watermelon: This sweet treat is a summer staple. Each juicy bite packs an extra punch of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. A refreshing snack on a hot day, this fruit is filled with water so it is no surprise that one cup of watermelon is only 45 calories.
2. Green Tea: Most beverages can easily break the calorie bank (think sweet tea, lemonade and your poolside soda), but this is a super power drink! It has a high amount of antioxidants that helps keep you healthy and contains almost no calories. Sweeten it up with a Splenda and throw in some ice for an easy, healthy swap to the usual sugar loaded summer drinks.
3. Grilled Salmon: Summer means grilling season and nothing tastes better on the grill than salmon. Filled with omega-3 fatty acids, it gives you all the good unsaturated fat your body needs. Throw some veggies on the grill with it and you have a tasty 110-calorie per serving main dish.
4. Vegetables: Dr.Plotkins says things like green beans, asparagus and tomatoes are great summer veggies that complement almost any dish and are in his top ten. He says “. . . summertime is a great time to get lots of fresh vegetables.”
5. Water: Dr. Plotkins says to stay hydrated with plenty of water. It keeps you healthy, energized and glowing, especially after bronzing in the sun all day. Your body thrives on it. Drink it. Hydration is key ladies!
6. Berries, berries, berries: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries . . . the list goes on and on! You cannot go wrong choosing any of these sweet fruits. They are a good source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Ranging from 50 to 80 calories per cup, they are a great way to satisfy a summer sweet tooth.
7. Nuts: They keep you full and are filled with protein and healthy fats. Dr.Plotkins recommends them as one of the healthiest summer foods.
8. Burgers and Chicken: Are we really saying burgers? Yes, you don’t have to pass them up at a cookout! Dr.Plotkins says they can be okay as long as they are eaten without the bun and recommends chicken. A 4 oz. piece of chicken breast is only 110 calories.
9. Avocados: The versatile food is great to throw on a salad or sandwich or to make guacamole. They contain a multitude of vitamins essential to the body and are known for their healthy unsaturated fats. One-eighth of an avocado is only 45 calories!
10. Dark-chocolate covered frozen bananas: The ultimate summer indulgence! Bananas pack potassium and dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Dip and freeze these treats for a perfect, cool summer dessert. Dr. Plotkins reminds that “. . . fruits are also good but just don’t over indulge in fruit as it does ultimately get converted to sugar,” and to stay away from the breads, pastas and sugars. There are many options for a healthy summer.