In order to achieve a beach body that you’re comfortable with, a healthy diet, along with regular exercise is key. However, it can be difficult to keep yourself in check, as there are so many tempting summer treats. To combat those cravings, here are some of our favorite healthy (and delicious!) foods to help you achieve your best beach body:
- Quinoa – If you’ve never heard of quinoa before, it’s time to learn about this amazing (almost) grain – it’s actually a seed! Quinoa is a great alternative to rice or pasta because it is much healthier, is considered a complete protein and has fewer calories. Quinoa also has a texture like grains and has all nine essential amino acids. It even has minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and is a good source of fiber.
- Red bell peppers – Red bell peppers are full of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. They also help support your immune system and may help your body fight off infections. Red bell peppers are known to stimulate the digestive system and have been shown to boost metabolism, which may help to support a healthy weight. These unique peppers are a super food that are especially healthy when eaten raw or are added to a juice.
- Grapefruits – Grapefruits are a delicious snack especially in the summertime. Grapefruits have high water content and packs in a healthy dose of vitamin C. Both of these elements give your skin that healthy, summer glow. Additionally, research has shown grapefruits may promote a healthy weight as they may help to reduce insulin levels and increase your metabolism. If you’re not able to add grapefruits to your diet, or if you simply live somewhere where they’re unavailable, consider adding citrus bioflavonoids to your daily nutritional supplement regime. Your skin will thank you.
- Raw nuts – Raw nuts such as walnuts and almonds are full of healthy fats, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, particularly vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your cells from oxidative damage. According to research, eating these nuts regularly may reduce your chance of heart disease and breast cancer. If you don’t enjoy eating nuts, or you are allergic, good sources of healthy fat and vitamin E include avocados, olive oil and spinach. Vitamin E supplements also may help to provide antioxidant protection and promote heart and immune health.
- Leafy greens – Leafy greens, such as kale or spinach, are a great way to add volume to your meals without all the extra calories. Leafy greens are also full of nutrients such as folate, iron, vitamins A, C and K, fiber, magnesium and potassium. Leafy greens are an easy food to incorporate into your day and are good for you too! You can eat them in salads, incorporate them into soups, or even use them in a side dish.
In an ideal world, the best source of micronutrients is a well balanced diet. However, according to most nutritionists, the American diet is a serious cause for concern. Not only is it a challenge to keep up with a healthy diet, but many of our fruits and vegetables may be depleted of essential nutrients since they’re often grown in mineral deficient soil. Adding a customized supplement to your diet can help ensure you get all the nutrients you need and fill in the nutrient gaps.
(1) Perez- Sanchez and others. 2014. Protective effects of citrus and rosemary extracts on UV-induced damage in skin cell model and human volunteers. July 2014: (136), 12-18
(2) Balch. 2006. Prescription for nutritional healing. Avery, New York, p. 26.