Watermelon

For many of us summer is watermelon season! The beautiful green fruits with a juicy interior, are the perfect treat on a hot summer day. Watermelons are 92% water and take about 90 days to grow. Around the world there are over 300 different varieties of watermelon that are cultivated which include seedless, mini, and yellow watermelons. From a health perspective, watermelons are great as they contain lycopene which is an antioxidant and are hydrating as they have such a high water content. In the kitchen, watermelons are super versatile as you can use the entire fruit in both sweet and savory dishes. A refreshing watermelon salad with basil and feta is the perfect appetizer while the rind can be pickled for a delicious condiment or side dish. What is your favorite way to eat watermelon in the summer? Let us know in the comments!

Strawberry

One word that is commonly associated with summer is strawberries! In the summertime, strawberries can be found everywhere, whether at the grocery store, your local farmer’s market, or a farm stand. Strawberries are not only delicious but also offer many health benefits. Strawberries are full of vitamins: they contain many B vitamins, folic acid, zinc, copper and even more vitamin C than oranges or lemons. They are also packed full of fiber and more importantly contain high levels of antioxidants also known as polyphenols. In addition to being healthy and delicious, strawberries are extremely versatile and are perfect for both sweet and savory delicious. Classic pairings with ingredients such as basil, yogurt, and balsamic vinegar can create amazing dishes!

Chocolate as a Healthy Treat

It has been scientifically demonstrated that chocolate lifts our mood. This is triggered by the so-called endorphins, in addition to the messenger substance serotonin. Endorphins modulate the brain’s metabolism and ensure that we become euphoric, but also insensitive to pain. Since they are also contained in small quantities in cocoa, chocolate is a light “happiness drug. ” Furthermore, chocolate is said to be antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it can lower blood pressure and slow down free radicals.  Chocolate also contains substances that are said to stimulate the growth of skin cells and prevent the formation of wrinkles. Chocolate is therefore also a delightful anti-aging food! Important! To exploit its full potential and to prevent the pleasure from becoming a calorie trap, it is recommended to enjoy dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70% or more!

Pineapples

Pineapples are one of the strangest looking fruits but actually pretty awesome!

This exotic fruit belongs to the flowering bromeliad plant family and takes around 2 years to mature. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which can break down proteins (can tenderize meat) and supports digestive health. Pineapples also contain vital minerals including potassium, magnesium and calcium as well as the trace elements manganese, iron, copper and zinc. Small amounts of vitamin A, the vitamins of the B group and vitamin C are also present in this delicious fruit.

Pineapples are great as a snack, in sweet dishes such as a crisp, or in savory dishes such as fried rice or a salsa. Whichever way you enjoy eating pineapples, the possibilities are endless!

Tip: Pineapples don’t ripen after they have been harvested and their color doesn’t necessarily indicate ripeness. For example, a greener looking pineapple could be just as ripe as a yellow pineapple.

Kiwis

These wonderful fruits are also called Chinese gooseberries or kiwifruit and are originally from China. However, they are now cultivated worldwide and are available all year round. They contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges and lemons and therefore prevent the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy. Just one kiwi is enough to cover the entire daily requirement of vitamin C. The tropical fruit contains minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron as well as dietary fiber. In addition, kiwis are rich in carotenoids and magnesium. Most importantly though they are simply delicious!

All About Eggs

Eggs are often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.” So you may be wondering, what is in an egg?

Well the answer is a lot!
On average, chicken eggs have about nine grams of protein, eight grams of fat, essential omega-3 fatty acids, and almost all minerals and vitamins (except for vitamin C). They are also one of the few foods that contains all 9 essential amino acids. No wonder then that in many health-conscious kitchens, eggs are a staple. We asked Silvia Bürkle, the head nutritionist at Metabolic Balance her thoughts and she said, “The dietary protein in eggs is of especially high quality because we know that egg protein can be converted into the protein we need in our bodies exceptionally well. That protein is important for muscle growth, cell renewal and the production of enzymes and hormones.”
There endless ways in which you can incorporate eggs into your diet, whether scrambled, sunny side up, poached, or boiled!

Beans

Some clients whether beans belong in the vegetable or protein category. In the case of beans, Metabolic Balance actually distinguishes between different beans, some which belong to the vegetable group and those which belong to the protein group:

Beans, which are considered a source of protein, are legumes (white beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans red kidney beans, lima beans, adzuki beans, black-eyed beans, etc. ). Beans that are classified as vegetables are green beans (string/green beans, French beans or Chinese long beans). There are also new varieties, such as yellow beans, which may also be used. The amount in the nutrition plan always refers to dry AKA uncooked weight. If using already cooked or pre-soaked protein beans, the indicated amount should be simply doubled.

Photo: Super Healthy Kids

Tofu

Tofu is great plant-based protein source that is made from soybeans. Although it it has exploded in popularity the last few years, it has been a staple in Chinese cuisine for over 2000 years. As a food, tofu is a great source of protein as well as iron, calcium and magnesium. Additionally, tofu can help reduce the levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol and help reduce bone loss. In the kitchen, tofu is extremely versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is perfect for stir fries, baked, in curries, as well as in sweet dishes including mousses and pies. If you are looking to incorporate more meat-free protein sources into your diet tofu is a great option.

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Oats

Oats are one of the healthiest whole grains on the planet and are mainly grown in North America and Europe. They are a great source of nutrients, packed full fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium. Oats also contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber which has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and help promote growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. In addition to being great for your health, oats are very versatile. They are a great base for sweet or savory oatmeal and are a great binder for meatballs, soups, and energy bites.

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Walnuts

Did you know that walnuts are a real super food?  They contain the essential fatty acid linolenic acid (an omega-3 fat) which is one of the two essential fatty acids that humans need to obtain from their diet. Essential fatty acids are known to offer a whole range of anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits. They keep the heart healthy by helping the blood vessels be flexible, prevent arteriosclerosis and have a positive influence on cholesterol levels.  

Walnuts are very high in protein and therefore particularly great for vegetarians. A handful of walnuts (about 43g) provides 8g of protein. They are also among the richest sources of antioxidants that help protect against cancer. They are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, pantothenic acid and important minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron and calcium. Walnuts also boost digestion, as they are very rich in fiber.