Summer is a great time to eat foods that are at the peak of flavor and nutritional content. They not only taste great, but can help your skin, nails and more. Here are five foods that are not only good for you, but are have other surprising benefits or uses that you might not know about.
1. Healthy Foods: Cherries
Cherries are high in antioxidants and low in calories and fat. At only five calories per cherry, having a cup (or two) as a snack is great for you and guilt-free. You can even drink a glass of cherry juice for better workouts: Researchers believe that drinking a 10oz glass can help decrease pain and inflammation, making for easier and faster recovery periods.
2. Healthy Foods: Basil
Did you know basil was related to peppermint? Basil is a highly fragrant seasoning herb that's also good for you and found in foods like pesto and sofrito. Fresh basil is also rich in Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting and also is essential for proper calcium absorption for stronger bones. Try adding basil to your favorite dish.
3. Healthy Foods: Watermelon
You guessed it – watermelon is full of water and will help keep you hydrated. Watermelon also has the highest content of lycopene of any fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is an antioxidant that gives watermelon its color and helps prevent heart disease and reduces your risk of certain cancers.
4. Healthy Foods: Cucumber
Cucumber is one of the best vegetables fat-wise, as it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Because of their high water content, they are a great diuretic to help you flush out toxins from your body. Fun fact: If you happened to stay out a bit too long in the sun and there's no aloe in sight, apply some cucumbers to your scorched skin. Cucumbers contain natural cooling properties to soothe and heal your skin. (Don't forget your sunscreen next time!)
5. Healthy Foods: Coconuts
Coconut water is said to be a great replacement for many of those energy drinks that have a ton of calories and sugar. It's loaded with electrolytes like potassium, which also help ease headaches. (Good to know for the mornings after you may have had a bit too much to drink.)