Best Summer Foods and Recipes

People often think that the holidays are the most challenging time of year when it comes to your nutrition. However, in my practice, I find that summer holds way more temptations! Endless barbecues, vacations and days at the beach can have you reaching for chips and ice cream rather than a balanced meal. The good news is a lot of our most nutritious and delicious foods are in season during the summer. That means they are extra tasty, packed full of nutrients and typically less expensive at the store. So with a little planning you can enjoy the summer season and still maintain your good nutrition.


Nothing says summer quite like watermelon. It is sweet, delicious and packed full of water to keep you hydrated. Its bright red color comes from a phytochemical called lycopene. Lycopene can help protect your skin from sun damage, which we could all use a little help with during the summer months. Watermelon is delicious on its own, but can also be blended into a heat quenching beverage.

Minty Watermelon Electrolyte Drink


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Avocados are creamy, delicious, and in season during the summer months. They are high in fiber as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. This fiber and fat combination keeps you satisfied much longer and has been associated with long term weight loss. Keep in mind, the fat does increase the calories so it is important to watch your portions. Avocados can be enjoyed with pretty much anything, but I especially love turning it into a salsa. It is a much healthier alternative to the heavy cheese and cream dips so this vibrant recipe will be a perfect thing to bring to your next summer party!

Strawberry Avocado Salsa



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Celery has a unique balance of sodium to potassium. This causes celery to act as a natural diuretic but also maintain electrolytes and keep you hydrated. Celery is an easy addition to salads as well as a healthy alternative to chips. I also love adding it to my morning smoothie!

Celery, Cucumber and Pineapple Smoothie


Photo by Levi Brown
Photo by Levi Brown

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Eat the Rainbow

Perhaps the best thing about summer foods is that they are vibrant and beautiful. Healthy eating starts at first sight. What I mean by that is we are more likely to eat healthy food if it is displayed in a beautiful way. Summer is the best time to do this because healthy summer foods are both nutrient packed and colorful. Moreover, each of these radiant colors actually represents different vitamins and minerals – the more colorful your plate, the more nutritious your meal! This is a festive addition that brings healthy options to parties and baby showers, but also just to have in the house to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.



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Tara Coleman

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist with a private practice in San Diego, CA. She speaks nationally on the topics of health and nutrition and has been cited as a nutrition expert by media such as NBC, FOX, SELF, Cosmopolitan and Dr. Oz The Good Life. Download her FREE 4 Step Nutrition Quick Start Guide and start feeling better today!

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