There are countless reasons to fall in love with summer – going to the beach, hanging out with friends outdoors, getting tanned (hello, vitamin D!) and the list goes on. But, perhaps the most interesting and appetising part of summer is the variety of seasonal superfoods we get to munch on.
No matter how much we choose to ignore this fact, eating seasonally has always been an important part of our overall health, both physical and mental. Why? Summer superfoods are packed with tons of nutrients and enough water to keep us hydrated all summer long. Plus, they taste awesome, making our taste buds happier than ever.
So, are you ready to make your summer menus more nutrient-dense and delicious than ever? Just fill your grocery bags with these top five exotic summer superfoods.
So, have you ever wondered what makes a food super? According to experts, there are no standard criteria or an approved list of the foods that deserve to be called "super."
However, most of them have earned this title by promoting our overall health, from eliminating heart diseases to getting rid of toxins with a little help from antioxidants.
More specifically, superfoods are packed with essential nutrients that make us feel better from the inside out. Some of the most popular include minerals, vitamins, fibre and, of course, antioxidants.
If you are a fan of superfoods, summer can't help but turn into your favourite season. Between the rich flavour of coconut and the sweet but tangy taste of mango, summertime comes with a variety of tropical superfoods to keep your body healthy despite the heat.
Tasting like a peach/pineapple hybrid, mango is a summer superfood you shouldn't miss out on this summer. Besides the refreshing and unique taste, this exotic superfood has its fair share of health benefits. And do you want to know a little secret? There are tons of easy and delicious recipes out there to incorporate mango in your diet.
According to one study, mango is one of the tastiest ways to control your blood glucose levels. More specifically, mango contains a variety of bioactive compounds (fibre, carotenoids, ascorbic acid and much more) which are likely to have a positive effect on your blood glucose and lipid profile, especially if you follow a high-fat diet. So, do yourself a favour this summer and add this tropical superfood to the mix.
Sometimes forgetting is not such a bad thing. However, if you often need a reminder to perform certain tasks, then it's high time you took action. Experts suggest that a diet rich in mango is an excellent way to boost your memory. In fact, mangoes decrease oxidative stress while improving cholinergic (neurotransmitting) activity in the brain.
Whether we like it or not, summertime and harmful sun rays go hand in hand. Luckily, certain tropical superfoods such as mangoes help us protect our fragile skin in just a few bites. To be exact, mangoes boosts collagen synthesis when your skin gets exposed to UVB rays.
A pineapple a day keeps the doctor away, and we couldn't agree more! Native to South and Central America, pineapple is known for its various health benefits, from reducing inflammation to boosting immunity.
According to one study, pineapple is rich in bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties. At the same time, another study confirms that eating pineapple regularly indeed decreases inflammation by affecting leukocyte activity.
Labelled one of the richest sources of vitamin C, pineapple is your one-way ticket to a stronger immune system. Vitamin C plays a significant role in the way your body reacts to harmful microbes and, thus, reduces the risk and duration of infectious diseases.
Popping in all kinds of food products, coconut is going through a renaissance of sorts. But, nothing beats the real deal. Just think of all the health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease to serving as an excellent antiviral/fungal/bacterial agent.
Coconut is considered one of the healthiest ways to prevent various heart-related diseases and for a good reason. This summer superfood is rich in healthy fats (despite most of them being saturated) which improve the mix of fatty acids in the human body and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Aside from improving your heart health, the fatty acids found in coconut also inhibit the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms such as viruses and fungi. But what makes coconut a top-shelf anti-bacterial agent is lauric acid. According to one study, this nutrient is extremely hostile to microbes, inhibiting their growth from the moment they interact.
Being related to Brussel sprout and broccoli, raw kale is known to contain massive amounts of antioxidants which tend to shrink when cooked. Some of the most popular antioxidants in kale include vitamin C, polyphenols, beta-carotene and isothiocyanates, a natural anti-cancer agent.
Experts claim that this tropical summer superfood contains enough fibre to keep your bowel movement as healthy as possible and improve digestion. In fact, the fibre in kale promotes nutrient absorption, provides you with a steady stream of energy and keeps you full for longer.
Who said milk and dairy products are the only way to grow strong bones? If you're looking for a tasty and nutrient-dense alternative, kale is the one for you. This superfood is loaded with calcium, helping keep your teeth and bones healthy.
Last but certainly not least in organic baobab powder. Organic baobab fruit powder is probably the most unappreciated tropical superfood on this list. Packing an impressive nutritional punch, this summer superfood has been the centre of nutritional attention in Africa for centuries. Locals have incorporated baobab powder in almost every aspect of their lives, from using it as a natural fever-breaker to soothing an upset stomach.
Containing almost six times more vitamin C than oranges, baobab powder may help you get one step closer to your weight loss goals. According to one study, people who receive enough vitamin C through their food are 30% more likely to lose weight as they oxidise more fat during a workout. That makes baobab powder the perfect ingredient for a pre- or post-workout smoothie.
Vitamin C aside, this tropical summer superfood is also rich in fibre. What does that mean for your body? Fibre not only keeps you full for longer and curbs cravings, but it also reduces constipation and allows your body to absorb more nutrients (fats and carbs) in the process. So baobab powder is a great superfood to help you improve digestion.
Wanna know more ways in which this summer superfood can benefit your health? Then, make sure to check out the top health benefits of organic baobab fruit powder right here.
While a bowl of chocolate ice cream may seem like the best way to sweeten your taste buds on a hot summer day, the 3-digit calories found in just one scoop may not treat your midsection in the "sweetest" way possible. That's why these five tropical superfoods not only do the trick taste-wise, but they also boost your health in a variety of ways. Ready to super-foodify your summer meals?