Joined: 17 April 2005
1. Life is a Bowl of Cherries. Cherries boast an alphabetical punch of vitamins A, C and E, as well as phytochemicals that help block the formation of breast, lung, liver, stomach and skin cancers. Add the fiber factor and the medicinal properties that help fight gout, and you can't say no to cherries!
2. Melon Mania. Cantaloupe, aka Muskmelon, is chocked full of potassium, vitamin C and beta carotene. If that weren't enough, how about some disease-fighting properties that help you control blood pressure, protect against cancer and lower your cholesterol? Cool sliced cantaloupe is a terrific way to start your day!
3. Beet It. Another colorful entry into the top skinny foods from summer is, believe it or not, BEETS. Yes, beets. Not the icky pickled kind found on salad bars that no one touches, the fresh variety. They're at their peak in summer months and both the greens and the bulb can be eaten. Yes, they can stave off cancer and are folate-rich, an essential nutrient for fighting birth defects. Grate the purple part into your salad and chop the tops, saut in olive and garlic for a satisfying side dish.
4. Big on Basil. Who can say no to fresh basil, sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella drizzled with olive oil in the middle of summer? Not me! But basil is more than a fabulous summer flavor; it too, helps prevent cancerous changes in cells. Add to that the digestive benefit of helping to quell gaseous spasms (you know what I'm trying to discreetly suggest!), you have one of nature's most powerful herbs.
5. Provocative Avocados. Don't freak out — I know they have a lot of fat. But a little goes a long way and the monounsaturated fats that are in there help improve triglyceride levels and bring down cholesterol. Bring on the guacamole — I make mine with minced red onion, chopped cilantro, lime juice and a dash of chipotle salsa — viva los avocados!
6. Okra-at-Home-a. In the South, we deep-fry it, but don't you do that if you want the health and nutrition benefits of lovely okra. Try sauting it in a little olive oil with some garlic for a taste treat. Okra is full of glutathione, a compound that attacks cancer. Additionally, the vitamin C content is nothing to sneeze at, nor is the magnesium or fiber!
7. Onion Rings. Not the kind you're thinking. I'm talking fresh — the kind you chop, cook, saut or eat raw in rings. Onions may help lower blood pressure, relieve congestion and reduce inflammation as well as decrease your risk of cancer. And when you add to that the fact that they are both cheap and low in calories, let's eat onions on everything. Got Tic-Tacs?
8. Pick Parsley. Yes, plain ordinary parsley makes the list. You can chop this up, keep it in the fridge and scatter it atop anything. Did you know parsley can help relieve a urinary tract infection as well as help with PMS? Oh yes, but wait there's more. It's also full of vitamin C, folate and can help you freshen your breath (that's kinda important if you're eating lots of number 7!).
9. Pine for Pineapple. This wonderful tropical fruit is known for its digestive-improvement capabilities — supplement companies even sell pineapple enzymes. It's also helpful for keeping bones strong (lots of manganese), fighting colds (tons of vitamin C) and lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease.
10. Tons of Tomatoes. Tomatoes have been on my lists before, but I can't have a summer list of healthy, skinny foods without mentioning my favorite, the big juicy tomato (just make sure they're either homegrown, or the ones on the vine. Also, cherry and grape tomatoes are fine). Tomatoes are known for reducing the risk of cancer and preventing cataracts. The vitamin C content, A and potassium and iron, make it one big nutritional mega food that should not be missed, especially in the summer when they are in their prime. Go back to number 4 for my very favorite summer salad!
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