5 Things to Eat in July

by Amy Machnak
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5 Things to Eat in July

July marks the beginning of the peak summer-to-fall harvest season. It’s a prime opportunity to get the most iconic of summer foods at their very best. Here are our top-five picks to add to your shopping basket this month. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a key way to eat better no matter what diet, eating plan or health goals you have, so go ahead and overload.

CUCUMBERS

“Cool as a cucumber” isn’t just a clever saying. Cucumbers contain high amounts fiber and water, both of which contribute to healthy digestion and give them a cooling effect. Technically a gourd and in the same family as pumpkins and watermelon, they’re also loaded with a slew of B vitamins, which are thought to aid in easing feelings of anxiety or stress.

Shave them lengthwise and roll up the thin slices with salad ingredients for a hand-held snack. Cut them into a small dice and toss with dressing for an easy relish over grilled meats or whirl and strain them with mint and a pinch of sweetener for a refreshingly cool drink.


READ MORE > SALMON CUCUMBER ROLLS


GREEN BEANS

Tough and flavorless out-of-season green beans have given these veggies a bad name. July is the beginning of their natural season in much of the U.S. and Europe. Fresh, local green beans are tender and come with a vibrant snap and a clean, grassy flavor that explains why anyone bothered to eat them in the first place. Every 1/2 cup of these green giants contains 2 grams of fiber and a mere 10 calories.

Steam beans and serve them with a pat of butter or a few fresh herbs to appreciate their delicate flavor. While many like their beans crisp-tender, cooking them until they’re fully tender mellows their flavor and gives them time to soak in any flavors from a sauce or herbs. Green beans pair well with fellow summer veggies corn and tomatoes — try them together in salads, tossed with pasta or cooked into a summer vegetable medley.  

SWEET CORN

While it’s still on the stalk, corn is like pure sugar. Once it’s picked, it immediately starts to convert into starch, so the freshest corn is truly the best. Corn kernels are loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision, and 1/2 cup contains just 30 calories. Sweet corn is also high in vitamins B1 and B5, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, folate and a whole lot of dietary fiber with 5 grams in every 1/2 cup serving.

Coat ears in a bit of low-fat mayo before grilling. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a splash of soy sauce. Or cut the kernels from the cob and sautée with a handful of fresh thyme leaves and a pat of butter. The freshest of fresh corn can be cut from the cob and tossed — gloriously raw — in summer salads.


READ MORE > GRILLED ZUCCHINI CORN SALAD


TOMATOES

There’s likely no other fruit (yes, they’re technically a fruit) that causes more frenzy at farmers markets than tomatoes. Tomatoes, especially the sun-ripened heirloom varieties that have exploded in popularity recently, are likely the most iconic of all summer produce. Beyond taste and versatility, they’re incredibly good for you. Tomatoes contain all four of the major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene. Each carotenoid (they protect against chronic diseases) has individual benefits but when found together, as in tomatoes, they’re incredibly healthful.

Slice them thick and serve poached eggs on top with a crack of fresh black pepper for a healthy twist on eggs Benedict, whirl them with cucumbers and a splash of vinegar for a quick take on gazpacho or cut into wedges and drizzle with good olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse salt for a simple side dish.

WATERMELON

Watermelon is a surely a favorite treat for the dog days of summer. Sweet and juicy, it also has less than 50 calories per 1-cup serving and is fat-free and naturally low in sodium, making it as guilt-free a snack as any we can think of. Watermelons, which are 90% water, are also dripping with healthy nutrients, like vitamins A, B6 and C, with lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. And watermelon even has a touch of potassium.

Serve chunks of watermelon with tomatoes in your next Caprese salad, whirl and strain it with mint for a refreshing drink or freeze it to make ice cubes to drop in your sparkling water.

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  • Andrew M

    As I click through to make this comment about this poorly targeted article which falsely assumes that the whole world, including Australia, is currently in Summer, I’m presented with a BS advert which has been specifically targeted to Australians. A cynical person might suggest that MyFitnessPal/Under Armour doesn’t care too much about their customers if we’re outside of the USA. July is Winter!

    • Ginnie Halling

      I would love to hear what to eat in July in Australia… but love this article for those in the northern hemisphere!

      • Beverley Soodak

        I don’t know about where you are, but here we can get cucumber and tomatoes all year. Love a good gazpacho. I have cans of corn for winter months. I switch to apples in winter instead of melons. I put sliced apple in the microwave and make a quick “baked” apple, adding it to oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese.

        • Jessica D Kinsey

          Great ideas…which is the purpose of this article also. Thanks for posting!

    • Olga A.

      My fitness pal is based in the US and is targeted towards population here…Should they just target towards Australia for no particular reason? I am following a cooking page based in Australia and they target their postings towards the folks there, currently focusing on winter meals..For some reason it never occurred to me to complain and say that the PAGE should adjust to me. Instead, I AM adjusting to the page and saving their recipes for later. Geez..

      • Laurie King

        I understand your situation, so maybe they should have captioned it What To Eat In Summer instead. Of course, this is for U.S. and even certain parts of the U.S. doesn’t have Watermelon.

        • Cindy

          What parts of the US don’t get watermelon? I’m in Alaska and we have it.

          • Laurie King

            We don’t have any in Virginia yet.

    • Laurell Scholz

      How silly, save the recipes until your summer or subscribe to an Australian page. Insert rolling eyes…

  • JRM

    I do love reading these articles. I’m making it a goal now to try the recommended foods as these lists come out. We have not been good at serving up vegetables, but we aim to change that!

  • reggienathan

    where can i buy that spork?

    • Laurell Scholz

      I agree, I would love one of those!

  • Nancy

    Where is the recipe at the top of the article? It looks like it has tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and maybe avocado in it.

    • Patricia Farrell

      It also looks like it has zucchini in it?

      • Nancy

        That may be zucchini instead of cucumber.

    • Karen

      I would love to have that recipe as well!

      • Jeanette Potter

        Tomato cucumber and avocado salad – super delicious! For Pinners, it’s on my Healthy Clean eating board-or you could google it!

    • Tangela Ann Harris-McClendon

      I would to have this recipe as well. It looks cool & delicious.

  • Joyce

    How can I get the recipe for the dish in beginning of this article