As the weather heats up, it’s time to start thinking about adding more fresh vegetables to your diet. Not only are vegetables packed with vitamins and nutrients, but they’re also a great way to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. Here are five vegetables you have to try as the weather heats up.
Cucumbers are a warm weather staple, and for good reason. They’re crisp, refreshing, and packed with water, making them an excellent way to stay hydrated. Cucumbers also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body. They’re a great addition to salads, sandwiches, or as a snack with hummus or tzatziki.
Zucchini is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Zucchini is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals. You can add zucchini to pasta dishes, stir-fries, or even grill it for a tasty side dish.
- Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in a variety of colors and are a great way to add some color and crunch to your meals. They’re packed with vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Bell peppers also contain antioxidants that can help to protect against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. You can add bell peppers to stir-fries, salads, or use them as a vessel for dips like hummus or guacamole.
Tomatoes are a spring/summer staple as well. They’re packed with vitamin C, which can help to boost the immune system, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant that can help to protect against certain types of cancer. Tomatoes are also a great source of hydration, as they’re 95% water. You can add tomatoes to salads, sandwiches, or use them as a base for a fresh tomato sauce.
Corn is a summertime favorite that’s packed with fiber and antioxidants. It’s also a good source of vitamin B6 and thiamin. Corn can be grilled, boiled, or roasted and makes a great side dish for any summer meal. You can also add it to salads, salsas, or use it as a base for a creamy corn soup.
Eggplant is a low-calorie vegetable that’s rich in fiber and antioxidants. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals like potassium and vitamin K. Eggplant has a unique texture and flavor that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes, from eggplant parmesan to grilled eggplant slices. You can also use eggplant as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes like eggplant lasagna or eggplant burgers.
- Green Beans
Green beans are a crunchy and satisfying vegetable that’s perfect for summer salads and side dishes. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin C, folate, and iron. Green beans also contain antioxidants that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. You can enjoy green beans steamed, boiled, or roasted and add them to pasta dishes or stir-fries.
Radishes are a crispy and refreshing vegetable that’s great for adding a pop of color and flavor to meals. They’re low in calories and packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium. Radishes also contain antioxidants that can help to protect against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. You can add sliced radishes to salads or sandwiches, or even roast them for a unique and delicious side dish.
- Summer Squash
Summer squash, like zucchini, is a versatile vegetable that’s perfect for grilling or sautéing. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin C and potassium. Summer squash also contains antioxidants that can help to protect against damage from free radicals. You can add summer squash to pasta dishes, soups, or use it as a base for a delicious summer squash casserole.
Okra is a vegetable that’s popular in southern cuisine and is often used in dishes like gumbo and jambalaya. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and magnesium. Okra also contains antioxidants that can help to protect against chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. You can enjoy okra sautéed, roasted, or grilled, and add it to salads or soups.
When choosing vegetables for your summer meals, it’s important to choose ones that are in season. In-season vegetables are typically fresher, tastier, and more affordable than out-of-season ones. Some other great summer vegetables to try include asparagus, beets, carrots, and summer tomatoes.
In addition to incorporating more vegetables into your meals, it’s also important to stay hydrated during the hot summer months. Drinking plenty of water and eating water-rich foods like cucumbers and tomatoes can help to keep you cool and hydrated. You can also try incorporating more fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries into your diet for a sweet and refreshing treat.
In conclusion, adding more vegetables to your diet during the summer months is a great way to stay healthy and hydrated. Whether you’re grilling, roasting, or sautéing your veggies, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious options to choose from. So why not give some of these summer vegetables a try and see how they can add a burst of flavor and nutrition to your meals?