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These are my three favorite summer fruits (and be sure to scroll all the way down for my Fat Flush Ice Cream recipe):
Many of us were warned not to eat watermelon seeds as kids, and seedless varieties abound these days. But did you know those little black seeds that usually get discarded are actually good for you? Recent studies have shown that watermelon seeds contain high levels of magnesium, protein, vitamin B, and a plethora of micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, folate and zinc. Try saving the seeds, spreading them out to dry, then lightly roasting them on a sheet pan in the oven. They make a great summer snack.
Try stuffing prunes with non-dairy cream cheese for a great summer appetizer, or chop some to sprinkle on top of coconut or cashew yogurt for a cooling snack. Or make a tasty summer treat by chopping up 1 ½ cups prunes, 1 cup of nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, or macadamia nuts) and ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut. Grind in a high-powered blender or food processor then roll into bite-sized balls. Enjoy 2 or 3 bites daily.
Figs have provided a delightful summer treat throughout the ages, and many cultures recognize their health benefits. These mildly sweet fruits contain calcium and potassium to help improve bone density and protect the heart during the summer heat. They’re relatively low in calories, and high in nutrients such as vitamin B6 to nourish the brain. Their high fiber content is excellent for the digestive system. A study of 150 people who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome and constipation found that those who ate 4 dried figs two times per day over a period of four months had significant improvement in IBS symptoms, including less pain and bloating than the control group. Figs are also a natural anti-parasitic and a great way to add an ounce of prevention during the summer.
Try mixing a handful of chopped figs with two cups of pecans in a high-speed blender or food processor to make a delicious pie crust. When the mixture forms a dough-like consistency, just scoop it into a pie pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. Fill with sugar-free, whole fat yogurt and berries and freeze for a refreshing, cold dessert.
Just be sure to fill your bottle with pure, filtered water. Even public water supplies can contain parasites like giardia as well as unwanted toxins. Never drink from brooks, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, or streams, no matter how pristine or remote they may seem. Pack a portable travel filter whenever possible. Bottled water may be easiest to grab on-the-go, but it’s not always your best bet. According to a four-year review by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an estimated 25% or more bottled water brands are merely tap water in a bottle (sometimes with further treatment, sometimes without).
The other product I highly recommend and personally rely on in the summer as well as year-round is Flora-Key. This 5-strain probiotic packs just the right punch of gut protecting beneficial bacteria in an easy-to-use powdered formula which mixes well in drinks or smoothies. It targets yeast and candida overgrowth, supports the digestive system and promotes healthy skin and gums. I love to sprinkle it on top of frozen berries for a quick and cooling snack or dessert. It looks like powdered sugar with a natural, lightly sweet taste and none of the guilt!
Here’s my favorite summer treat to cool you down on a hot day while supporting your gut health:
Makes 8 Servings
For more summertime fun ideas, check out my recent blog, 5 Delicious Ways to Beat the Heat (and slim down) This Summer. And for an inspiring, leading-edge look at autism recovery, listen to my podcast, The Truth About Autism with author JB Handley as we discuss his own son’s incredibly moving story.
The post Healthy Treats to Beat the Heat (Hint: there’s ice cream involved) appeared first on Ann Louise Gittleman.