Warmer weather means kissing sweaters and cozy down overcoats goodbye. It’s summer: bring on the sleeveless dresses, short sleeve shirts and bikinis. Now, time to spread the good news. There are four go-to fruits of summer that promote a healthy body, glowing skin and shiny hair. Best of all, these hot bod fruits can be incorporated into your diet every single day. Here’s the fruit-abulous four and a delicious recipe to get you started:
Watermelon – a summer favorite, watermelon contains on average 92 percent nutrient-packed water that not only will keep you hydrated, but will also help reduce inflammation, improve circulation and provide natural electrolytes for the body. Studies show that drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce muscle soreness the next day. And, watermelon is high in fiber, flushing out unwanted toxins.
Avocado – surprise, avocado boasts a whopping 74 percent water and 2 grams of protein per serving. Avocados are great for the 3 B’s: brain health, strong bones and healthy blood flow. Like watermelon, avocado is high in fiber and helps stave off obesity with healthy living fats that burn fat and clean out arteries.
Tomatoes – with a water content averaging 94 percent, tomatoes keep hydration levels high while reducing cancer risk with vital antioxidants. And, studies from Ohio State University show that eating tomatoes, specifically tomato sauce, and avocados together improves nutrient absorption by 2 to 15 times.
Cucumber – keep cool during your workouts with naturally cooling, water-friendly cucumbers, which have an estimated 96 percent water content. Cucumbers are the highest alkaline food and they help regulate blood pressure, promote healthy hair, skin and bones via their naturally high silicon content – a proven aid in osteoporosis prevention.
Bonus non-fruit ingredient: Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which help reduce bikini busters like gas and bloating.
Watermelon Salad with Grilled Avocado Sauce
- 2 large ripe avocados
- Juice of 1 lime
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tbs champagne vinegar
- 4 basil leaves
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 Tbs honey
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 Tbs watermelon juice or water
- ½ medium seedless watermelon (about 7 cups) – reserve ¼ cup juice for the sauce
- 1 to 1 ½ pints yellow cherry or grape tomatoes
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1” chunks
- ½ cup pistachios
Heat grill to high heat. Slice avocados in half, lengthwise, remove seed. Using a large spoon, scoop out whole avocado halves. Place on hot grill, flat side down, and grill about 3 minutes or until grill marks show clearly on avocado flesh. Turn and grill an additional 3 minutes or until grill marks show clearly. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, combine grilled avocado and remaining ingredients for sauce. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 2 cups. For thinner sauce, add watermelon juice or water in 1 tablespoon increments.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together watermelon, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and pistachios.
Divide among serving plates and drizzle with Grilled Avocado Sauce. Refrigerate any remaining sauce for up to 4 days. Sauce can also be used on chicken or as a dipping sauce to vegetables and fruits.
Serving size: 1/8 of recipe
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Irby is a Certified Fitness Nutritionist and food healer, award-winning network television and radio personality, and the creator of The Bikini Chef brand. Visit Susan online at: thebikinichef.com, susanirby.com and bikinilifestyles.com.