Summer Essentials For Healthy Gut > Healthy Brain
I love summer! Warm weather, nature in full bloom, and the availability of beautiful fruits and vegetables are all things for which I have immense gratitude!
This month, the title article in Prevention Magazine focused on how the gut acts as the body’s second brain, something we have discussed many times before in this newsletter. But as I was reading this magazine’s information on a topic that is now very well researched, it had me thinking not only how to improve and then maintain the health of your gut, but also how it’s a lot easier in the summer with such a wide variety of fresh produce available.
Plus, in many areas, summer affords people the opportunity to purchase fruits and vegetables, meats, and cheese, and other whole foods more locally at farmer’s markets. This is important because the foods get from the farm to our tables faster, retaining more of their nutrients, plus lessening humans’ carbon footprint.
I thought it might be helpful to offer a list of weekly grocery staples seasonally available in the summer to help you improve and maintain a healthy gut. This can then improve and help maintain better focus, concentration, mood, immune strength, and all the other things a healthy gut-brain connection can offer.
So read on to learn Lisa’s summer staple grocery list of gut-healthy foods (and why they are so important for your gut)!
- Greens, greens, and more greens! While greens are actually a cold weather crop, they grow quickly and are readily available at local farmer’s markets from the beginning of the warm season. Plus, so many more varieties are available in the beginning of summer compared to the winter.
- Farm fresh eggs. While eggs may be available all year long at the grocery store, local farm fresh eggs, including both chicken and duck eggs, are usually more available in the warmer months since the animals’ reproduction generally goes dormant in the colder weather. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, and choline (which helps liver function).
- Berries galore. As you have probably heard by now, berries are considered a super food because of their antioxidant super powers. This includes strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, all widely available, often locally, during the summer.
- Melons and stone fruits. Melons and stone fruits are summer seasonal fruits, and they are a great alternative to eating sugary foods. Although naturally sweet, melons usually measure low to medium on the glycemic index (a measure of how fast a food can make your blood sugar spike), helping to curb your overall intake of refined sweeteners.
- Seasonal fresh fish. Certain fish are freshly available (compared to flash frozen) in the summer months when the water temperatures increase, and they offer healthy fats that are great for both our brains and our guts. Examples include king salmon, yellow snapper, and a variety of shellfish like mussels, clams, and oysters.
- Tomatoes. Tomatoes are the ultimate summer seasonal fruit, available in many varieties, shapes, and sizes. They are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and lutein (when cooked). They’ve been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer when consumed regularly.
- Fresh herbs. Fresh herbs make everything taste better, and during the warmer months they are readily available as well as easy to grow yourself, outdoors or in a window. My favorites to grow and use on fish, throw in salads, or add to grains include parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, and oregano.
Based on the below list of weekly staples, you can throw together a healthy summer meal in minutes including a salad, grilled fish, grilled veggies, or an omelet any night of the week!
Summer Staples Grocery List
Farm fresh eggs
Assortment of berries
Fresh shellfish (to be used on the day of purchase)
Brown rice or quinoa
Mixture of fresh herbs
My passion is to help you live your healthiest and most harmonious life, but in a way that’s realistic and practical for you as a unique individual on this planet. My philosophy is all about “balance,” never a diet since a diet is not sustainable for life, aka Kill The Diet.