Best foods for Late Summer

The best foods for the next two months are barley, celery, clams, adzuki beans, garlic, green onions, green tea, horseradish, lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, pumpkin and radishes. Incorporate them in your daily diet and try to get seven servings of veggies a day, including two servings of low-glycemic index fruits (see my website for the list).

Watercress is a very nutrient-dense vegetable. It has 17 nutrients, fiber, protein, in addition to vitamins and minerals. You can purchase it in local food stores (organic is best, as it is with most produce.) You can put watercress in your salad, or gluten-free bread sandwiches, and it can be used in stir-fry or soup.

Cucumbers are mostly water so they have a cooling effect, too, plus antioxidant flavonoids, B vitamins and may help reduce inflammation.

Tomatoes also have flavonoids, including lycopene, which helps the prostate (it’s more effective when cooked as sauce or paste). Organic tomatoes contain much more Vitamin C that non-organic tomatoes.

A favorite this time of the year is watermelon. It is also anti-inflammatory, has nutrients (potassium, magnesium), Vitamin C, A and B6. All of these will help with that worn-out, vexed feeling which comes from dehydration. It has 46 calories, but it’s high in sugar, so only eat a small amount.

I love avocado. It’s easy to get most of the year and is very inexpensive. It’s safe to buy non-organic because of its thick skin (pesticides and other horrible chemicals cannot get to the fruit). I add hot sauce, lemon, mayo or salad dressing. I also make guacamole and include it in gluten-free sandwiches. In fact, the Nutrition Journal (through Mercola.com) reported recently that eating as little as one-half of an avocado can make you feel more full. In a study, 40 percent of study participants reported feeling less hungry three hours later the meal that included avocado. Avocado may also help keep blood sugar levels from dropping. Yes, avocados do have fat, but it’s a good fat called monounsaturated fats. (This fat is essential for all humans, just as fish oil is). Studies have shown monounsaturated fats decreases serum total cholesterol.

Horseradish is great for sinus congestion. (Also for congestion…slice a lemon, salt it and eat it quickly to dissolve phlegm.)