Health & Foods : Best Summer Ingredients

Summer is the season for cooking fresh and fabulous feasts. Three summer all-stars are tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. Delicious and versatile, this trio is also incredibly healthy.

1 .Tomatoes

  • Although commonly regarded and categorized as a vegetable, the tomato is really a fruit, a very healthful one. Tomatoes are known for being exceptionally high in lycopene, a carotenoid that has antioxidant properties and may help prevent cancer and heart disease. Eating tomatoes with fat increases your body’s ability to absorb the lycopene.
  • Tomatoes are also a rich source of vitamin C, folate, riboflavin, and chromium, each with its own extensive list of health benefits.
  • For the tastiest tomatoes, grow them yourself or buy them from a farmers market or road-side produce stand. That ensures that your tomatoes are fresh from the vine and healthier, too.

2. Cucumbers

  • Boasting a unique and refreshing flavor, cucumbers make a cooling snack for hot summer days. They’re also a good source of water, fiber, and nutrients like vitamin C.
  • The real nutritional benefits come from the skin, which contains minerals like silica, potassium and magnesium.
  • Silica is an essential component of healthy connective tissue important for your skin, bones and joints.
  • Besides providing vitamins and minerals to your body when you eat them, cucumbers can also supply nutrients directly to your skin when applied externally.

Applying cucumber slices over the eyelids can help relieve swollen eyes and other minor skin irritations.

3. Bell Peppers

  • Available in practically all shades of the rainbow, bell peppers all start off green, then ripen to their eventual shades of red, yellow, orange, and even purple.
  • When they ripen, they become sweeter, especially if allowed to ripen on the vine in the sunlight. They are excellent sources of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta carotene and also contain good amounts of Vitamin B6.
  • Select peppers that are firm and smooth, have fresh-looking stems and no wrinkles on their skin.
  • Store them in the crisper of your refrigerator, where they will keep for a week.

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