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Summertime calls for light, fresh foods.  Salad is obviously on the list but what else? Read on to not only learn about some of summer’s healthiest foods but also why they’re good for us. When you’re done, check out some of the amazing programs and services that TNT offers, such as Grocery Store Tours, Healthy Cooking Courses and In-Home Food Pantry Prep, that will help you to achieve your nutritional goals.

Watermelon

Juicy watermelon is one of the most hydrating summer foods. Not only is it refreshing, but its lovely red hue means it’s a concentrated source of lycopene — the same heart-protective compound found in tomatoes. Lycopene is absorbed more when eaten with fat, so try watermelon drizzled with olive oil in a sweet and savory summer salad, or brush it with oil and grill it.

Grilled Fish

One of the healthiest ways to prepare fish is by grilling it. White fish (like halibut) is a great source of lean protein, while oily fish (like salmon and sardines) gives you heart-healthy Omega-3 fats. Fish cooks quickly, so it’s a snap to make on the grill. To mix things up, try it in fish tacos, kebabs or in a sandwich. Another tip is to grill your fish on top of sliced lemons to prevent sticking and added flavor.

Gazpacho

This Spanish specialty is full of nutrient-packed summer produce: tomatoes, cucumber and red pepper. You’ll get a great dose of vitamin C and potassium in this refreshing soup. Try this recipe from eatingwell.com.

Iced Tea

Tea offers many health benefits, and iced tea is no exception. Both green and black tea have serious amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants, but green tea has the added bonus of offering a small amount of sun protection to your skin. The polyphenols in green tea, especially EGCG, have been shown to have a particularly powerful effect in protecting skin cells and cellular DNA from the UV radiation in sunlight. For the healthiest brew, make it yourself — you can control the sweetness and flavor.

Salad

No one wants to be over a hot stove during the heat of summer. Salad is one of the easiest, healthiest no-cook meals you can make. You can get creative with the ingredients: All vegetables are up for grabs, fruit is welcome, and lean proteins (tuna, hard-boiled eggs, leftover poached chicken) and healthy fats (avocado and nuts) turn it into a meal.

Berries

All those seeds mean high fiber for most berries (1 cup of raspberries has 8 grams, while 1 cup of blueberries has 4 grams). Bonus, they’re low in sugar and calories, but their divine flavor makes them a treat to be savored. Berries can be enjoyed in smoothies, with yogurt and granola, or simply eat them on their own.

Corn

You don’t need to feel bad about enjoying corn on the cob — it’s healthier than you think. This starchy vegetable delivers lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that are important for eye health. One ear has 60 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Just try to avoid drowning it in butter.

Avocado

Avocados get their creamy texture from heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. They also have a decent amount of folate and fiber. Smash it onto toast with a sprinkle of salt for breakfast (poached egg optional), dice it onto salads and burritos, or enjoy it in guacamole. You can even throw some slices into a smoothie.

List courtesy of foodnetwork.com

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