Summer

Summer is the time to stay cool and hydrated.  Coconut water and milk are great ways to replenish your body.  It’s a great time to partake in fruits such as watermelon, peaches, plums, grapes, and apricots.  Adding cucumber slices or cilantro to your water can give it that extra boost of refreshment during these warm months.

Since it’s light much later, take the time to enjoy outdoor activities.  Go hiking, walking, biking, swimming, water skiing or try any new outdoor adventure.  Check your local listings for exciting summer activities in your area.

summer

beach

 

Austria

Austria is located in central Europe.  This quaint country has great nature getaways as well as scenic city tours.  The home of Mozart and the Sound of Music are both located here.  It is a great place to getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city even if you’re not a fan of rural areas.  The people are nice and buildings will take you back to another time.  Austria is a great destination for any season, so take a needed break from the stress and relax in this beautiful country.   For more information visit, http://www.austria.info/us

austria

salzburg, austria

Watermelon

Watermelons are a great summer fruit.  The red juicy center of the watermelon is chalked full of vitamins and minerals.  It contains high levels of vitamins C as well as Vitamin A, B1, B6 and magnesium.  And, don’t forget about the seeds which contain iron and zinc.   The lycopene found in the refreshing red part of the melon is great for cardiovascular health.  Watermelon is also an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.  This fruit is electrolyte rich which is good for keeping hydrated.   And, the water and fiber can help with constipation.

In the United States, watermelons are primarily grown in Florida, California, Texas, Georgia and Indiana.  Help strengthen your immunity and have some watermelon.

watermelon

watermelon 2

 

Japan

Japan is a great place to enjoy nature in the spring.  The sakura or cherry blossom blooms beautiful pink during this time of year.  It is not uncommon to attend a cherry blossom viewing party which is similar to a picnic with family and friends.  While in Japan, try some of the fresh fish that contains great omega 3 fatty acids.  Immerse yourself in the Japanese culture and relax in an onsen or hot spring, there are many natural hot springs throughout the country.   For more information visit http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/.

japan

garden japan

Artichokes

Artichokes are in the thistle family.  They have been grown for centuries in various regions.  Optimal growing time for the Northern Hemisphere is March, April and May.

Artichokes are very beneficial to your health.  They promote digestion through increasing the bile flow which aids in digestion of fats.  And also aid digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).  They’re a powerful antioxidant that can help with cancer prevention.  Eating artichokes can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.

Artichokes can be boiled or steamed.  Cut the sharp tips and stem before you cook.  When the leaves in the center pull away easily, it’s done.  You can enjoy either warm or cold.

artichokes1

artichokes

Norway

Embrace the winter temperatures and see the wonder of Norway.  A trip to this winter wonderland may just be the cool refreshing break you need.  The temperatures don’t get much below freezing due to the warm waters that flow up the coast from the central Pacific Ocean.  You can eat some fresh fish that contain great fatty acids.  Go for a dog sled ride across the snowy plains of the country.  Watch the dancing lights of the aurora borealis paint the sky like a watercolor brush pulled across a canvas.  These mystical lights can calm and quiet the mind.  For more information you can visit www.visitnorway.com/us

norway

aurora-borealis

 

Kiwi

The kiwi may be small brown and fuzzy on the outside but cut one open and you’ll find an enormous amount of nutrition in this vibrant green fruit.  Kiwis have more vitamin C than an orange, which will help strengthen the immune system.  The fiber in kiwis can improve digestion.  This little fruit is a great antioxidant that can support the overall health of the body.  They are lutein rich to strengthen vision.  Kiwis are also a good source of vitamin K  and potassium as well.  Other health benefits include: helps blood pressure, balances acid/alkaline content in the body, great for heart health and disease prevention.

A majority of the kiwis found in stores are grown in California, between October and May, and New Zealand, between June and October.  Add them to your juice mixture, put them on your salad or just enjoy the sweet little green fruit on its own.

 

Kiwi

 

Bali

It’s great to experience other locations around the globe.  This is a picture of the rice fields in Bali.  This island in Indonesia is a great place to get away from fast paced technology driven city life.  Whether you enjoy the lush vegetation inland, relax on the beach, spend time feeding the monkeys, or check out the beautiful shrines, you’re bound to feel great.  Don’t forget to try their signature dishes of nasi goreng or mie goreng, both include rice.  Indonesia is located just below Malaysia and Thailand in Asia.  For more information about taking a trip to Bali check out http://www.bali.com/

bali

bali

Pomegranates

Pomegranate, the other red fruit, is usually in season from September to January.  This nutrient dense food is high in vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, and iron.  They’re a great antioxidant that can help the body against free radicals and oxidation.  In fact, pomegranates are more powerful as an antioxidant than green tea, cranberries, or blueberries.  Some of the other benefits include: lowering blood pressure, preventing plaque build up in the blood vessels, lowering cholesterol, and inhibiting cancer growth.  This vibrant red fruit is great for the heart and blood vessels.

In Indian tradition the root chakra or muldhara is equated with the red color.  It’s said that if you consume red foods such as the powerful pomegranate it can strengthen this base chakra which grounds the body, provides security and confidence.  If you’re feeling ungrounded, break open a pomegranate and enjoy the sweet juicy seeds found inside.

pomegranate-73910_1280

Pumpkins

It’s autumn, that means pumpkins galore.  They’re not just for carving, pumpkins have a lot of great health benefits, and I’m not talking about the pie.  Pumpkins are contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and beta carotene which is a source of vitamin A and an antioxidant.  The pumpkin seeds contain amino acids used to make hormones in the body and can also help with cholesterol.  So when you go to the store to get the jack o’lantern buy an extra pumpkin to consume.

pumpkins