Late Summer Foods and Flavors

The flavor of Late Summer is sweet.

Of course, people love ice cream this time of year; but ice cream is damp in nature. It causes out blood sugar to drop during the night, so if you eat it, do so right after dinner not before bed. And, add nuts or eat a a protein with it (eggs, cheese, or meat).

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. Watercress is a very nutrient dense vegetable, too. Watercress has 17 nutrients, fiber, and protein, plus vitamins and minerals. We can get it in our local food stores, so look for it!

As with other fruits and vegetables, organic watercress is best if you can buy it. You can put it in your salad or gluten-free bread sandwiches. It can be used in a stir fry or soups, too.

Or, try cucumbers. Cucumbers are mostly water, so they have a cooling effect also. They have antioxidant flavonoids, B vitamins, and may help reduce inflammation.

Tomatoes also have flavonoids, too. One of them lycopene which helps the prostate (and there’s even more potent when  cooked as sauce or paste). Organic tomatoes contain much more Vitamin C that non-organic.

Another 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 help with that wore out, vexed feeling which comes from dehydration. Watermelon has 46 calories per serving, but is high in sugar, so only eat a small amount.

My favorite vegetable is avocado. It is easy to get most of the year, and is very inexpensive. Purchasing non-organic is acceptable, due to avocado’s thick skin. (Pesticides and other chemicals cannot get to the fruit.) Eating only on-half of an avocado with your meal can make you feel more full, and 40% of those studied reported feeling less hungry three hours after the meal. Avocado may also help keep blood sugar levels from dropping.

Avocado does have fat, but it’s GOOD fat. This is essential for all humans, just as fish oil is. Studies have shown this good fat decreases serum total cholesterol, and it has little taste. I add hot sauce, lemon, mayo or salad dressing to my avocado. I also make guacamole, and include it in gluten-free sandwiches.

Incorporate avocados into your daily diet, and try to get seven servings of veggies a day, including two servings of low glycemic index fruits.

Have sinus congestion? Try horseradish. And, slicing a lemon, salting it and eating it quickly will dissolve phlegm, too.