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Healthy eating this summer

If you're thinking of eating a little healthier, now's the time to start by taking a look at our tips for healthy eating this summer.

With the promise of warmer weather comes many things. The thought of spending time outside relaxing in the sunshine. Family BBQs and holidays away. But many of us also make promises to ourselves. To get out and do a little more exercise. Maybe even improve our diets with a little healthy food.

There's no time like the present. So if you're thinking of eating a little healthier, now's the time to start by taking a look at our tips for healthy eating this summer.

Investigate the summer produce

It's time to start taking advantage of all the abundant fresh, seasonal produce this summer, when it's at its most delicious and nutritious. When produce is fresh it's so easy to fill your diet with low-calorie, antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and herbs. Think blueberries rich in vitamin C, calcium rich broccoli  or fresh picked corn full of folic acid . With all this fresh food around there really is no excuse.

But how should you prepare them? Here are just a few ideas...

Cold soups

There's something in that Mediterranean diet, so it's really worth looking into at this time of year. Cold soups like gazpacho may not be the first thing that springs to mind, but just think of all those chunky vegetables you can fill up on. It's a great way to start a meal as it's low in calories and if you're full before your main you're bound to eat less!

Salads

Nothing sounds quite as healthy and delicious as a summer salad. Think of slicing, dicing and tossing a variety of fruits and vegetables together, with some green salad leaves. Maybe with some low-fat cheese and a handful of toasted nuts thrown in there too. But. There is always ‘a but' when it comes to salads. If you lather it in a high calorie dressing then it might not be as healthy as you'd like to think. Try flavouring your salads with herbs so you can go light on the dressing. If you have herbs growing in your own garden - great.

Also when adding meat or fish to a salad always try and think of it as an accompaniment to the dish, not the focal point. In the healthy eating states, sometimes less really is more.

Grilled vegetables

This is a summertime must! If you're grilling some meat for that all important summer BBQ then chuck some vegetables on there too. We're thinking asparagus, green beans, peppers, corn and tomatoes - the latter being perfect for a spicy salsa with just a little chilli.

Deserts

Your summer sweet tooth can often play havoc with any kind of healthy eating plans when the weather begins to warm up. With so many different fruits on offer though, there's no reason why it should. Try freezing grapes and berries - they can be the perfect accompaniment to the end of the meal; you can even put them in your drink as an intriguing alternative to ice.

How about a grilled banana sundae with low fat ice-cream? Or some grilled peaches with blueberries and honey? Delicious.

The healthy diet is the first thing. Then it's time to get out and start the exercise... 

1 Daily Mail, How Blueberries can help the battle of the bulge (2012), at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1171971/How-blueberries-help-battle-bulge.html

2 NHS Vitamins and Minerals - Calcium, at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Calcium.aspx

3 LIVESTRONG, Folic Acid, at http://www.livestrong.com/article/92920-sweet-corn-nutrition/