Back to Health Feed Home

Surprisingly healthy summer foods

Some of the greatest joys of any season are the activities you look forward to during that time of year – and savoring the foods associated with those activities. In summer, it's all about barbecues and picnics shared with family and friends.

Food takes center stage at many of these outdoor get-togethers. And you may be surprised by how healthy two classic summer foods are.

Corn

It doesn't get any more summer-y than this! Corn sometimes gets a bad rap because of its higher-than-most-vegetables carbohydrate content and the belief that it's nutritionally lacking. But this beloved summer vegetable supplies loads of good nutrition under its husk.

Corn is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that are linked to eye health. Because corn does have more carbohydrates than many other vegetables, people monitoring their carbohydrate intake for blood sugar control or weight management should watch portion sizes. Stick to one small ear or around one-half cup of kernels per serving.

Tasty Tips:

  • Grill corn on the cob to intensify its naturally sweet flavor.
  • Keep the husk on when grilling to retain moisture and skip the butter.
  • Instead of salt, season with a low-sodium seasoning blend or spice it up a bit.

Pasta Salad

Nothing pairs better with grilled chicken, fish, steak or burgers than a colorful pasta salad. This side dish can also be a very nutritious way to round out your meal. Simply choose a whole-grain, bean or lentil pasta and add plenty of seasonal veggies. Top with a homemade vinaigrette made with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, fresh herbs and garlic, rather than using a mayo-based dressing.

With the fiber, vitamins and antioxidants from the vegetables and whole-grain or bean pasta, plus some "good" fat from the olive oil, you'll be pleasantly satisfied while providing your heart (and the rest of your body!) with health benefits. The more colorful you make your salad, the better, since different colored veggies offer varied nutritional benefits.

Tasty Tips:

  • Use a colorful variety of summer veggies like tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and cucumbers.
  • Whole-grain pasta comes in fun shapes to please any audience – rotini, elbows, bow ties and more.
  • Dress with a simple vinaigrette made from one-part acid (vinegar or citrus juice) to three-parts olive oil. Then mix in fresh garlic, shallots, herbs, Dijon mustard, honey and fresh or dried herbs to taste.

Copyright 2021 © Baldwin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.  Health eCooking® is a registered trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Cook eKitchen™ is a designated trademark of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein without the express approval of Baldwin Publishing, Inc. is strictly prohibited.
Date Last Reviewed: April 13, 2021
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RD
Learn more about Baldwin Publishing Inc. editorial policyprivacy policy, ADA compliance and sponsorship policy.
No information provided by Baldwin Publishing, Inc. in any article is a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical condition. Baldwin Publishing, Inc. strongly suggests that you use this information in consultation with your doctor or other health professional. Use or viewing of any Baldwin Publishing, Inc. article signifies your understanding and agreement to the disclaimer and acceptance of these terms of use.