7 foods { + their health benefits } to eat this summer

S U – S U – S U M M A time is { technically, almost… } here!!  I don’t know about you but I have been melting for weeks.  I LOVE seasonal shifts for many reasons – mostly because they are a calendar-set time giving us a chance to reset.  New goals.  New vision.  New plans.  New schedules.  New flows.  New destinations.  New energy.  New life.  New inspiration.  And my favorite – new FOODS to highlight!

June 20th is when the summer solstice sets in for us here in the US.  The longest day of the year, this introduction into the years slowest-yet-super-fast season is a reminder that though the days seem long, this life goes by oh so fast!  Summertime is always nostalgic for me – the smells + sounds ALWAYS take me back to my childhood (honeysuckle, cicadas + ice cream trucks, anyone?!).  Summer is a time we are naturally craving more movement, more sweat, more social engagement, and more play.  And because of all of this, and the obviously increased temps, let’s talk about creating equilibrium with our environment, balancing all of that internal + external heat with seven cooling and seasonal foods!

{ read my post here about why eating seasonally is so good for you and why you’d want to do it }


Lean, green + the opposite of mean, asparagus is a crowd favorite { and hello super easy! } veggie to prepare as a side dish for one of your summer dinner parties.  I love the idea of eating it room temperature to accentuate it’s natural cooling properties by adding marinated asparagus to an antipasto plate.  Prefer it cooked + warm?  Try tossing lightly cooked chopped asparagus in ANY pasta dish made with spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini.  Easiest way to prepare as a simple side?  Wash, chop off tough ends of asparagus, drizzle with olive oil or melted ghee, top with freshly chopped garlic and grated lemon zest and a spritz of lemon juice – bake in preheated 400°F oven for FOUR minutes + serve!


Speaking of freshly squeezed lemon (+ it’s delectable rind) – here we are with our second suggested cooling ingredient (that is also an amazing immune booster!).  There is a reason why your neighbor’s kiddo’s lemonade stand CALLS OUT TO YOU FROM MILES AWAY for an ice cold gulp of lemony goodness.  Your body is craving this internal cool-down! ( <– there is nothing supporting this statement, just a wild thought… 🙂 ) Highlight this simple food and it’s juice at every opportunity you can this summer.  For any recipe that calls for lemon juice, grate a teaspoon or so of the peel and toss it in!  This will explode the flavor of your dish in a GOOD way, and super fun fact: the peel (zest) of a lemon actually has 5-10 x more vitamins/antioxidants than the juice!  So soak up that good dose of vitamin C and folate by adding a squeeze (+ some zest!) to h2O or your La Croix mocktail.

beet greens

You guys.  Nutritional powerhouse right here.  And so incredibly underrated.  How many times have you purchased beets and just tossed the annoying stems away because they take up your entire crisper drawer?  I admit I have done this numerous times, eeks!  We all know beets are incredibly healthy + detoxifying, supporting the liver and kidneys as they filter our worlds, but what if I told you their greens are even more beneficial?  High in calcium, magnesium, lutein, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, + B vitamins, need I say more?  Okay I will.  Also a good source of Vitamin E, potassium, + zinc.  It is best to remove the stems from the beet root as soon as you return home from the grocery store, and store them in a Ziploc baggie sealed tight.  Wash right before use, and expect them to stay fresh for only 3 or so days.  Cook them as you would any other leafy green – sauteed at medium low heat in olive oil or ghee with your favorite seasoning.  Also great in a pesto or tossed in your morning smoothie.  Hello, my new super-cooling and oh so nourishing best buddy.


I have nothing even close to a green thumb, but what I do have is two big raised-garden-beds full of MINT.  { seriously thank you, previous home owner friends! } Mint is a cooling herb that screams summer.  Salads, garnish for side dishes or star player of a cocktail – take advantage of this fresh flavor.  Thought to promote smooth muscle relaxation, peppermint has been found to help ease tummy troubles.  Keep it simple by brewing a quick cup of mint tea, toss in soups, or combine with another summertime fave watermelon + goat cheese + freshly squeezed lime juice for a poolside treat.  Relax + refresh!


Although harvested in the fall, oats are still considered neutral or cooling foods, even when prepared warm.  A good source of fiber, copper, manganese, phosphorous, biotin, magnesium, chromium + zinc, oats can be enjoyed more ways than just a warm, delicious bowl of oatmeal.  Toss raw oats in smoothies to add a bit more texture + satiety, or make your own homemade granola with a variety of nuts, seeds, unsweetened dried fruit + coconut, mixed with a bit of pure maple syrup and baked!  Pairs nicely with…


Figs are harvested beginning in June, but lucky for us they are available all year thanks to their ability to be deliciously dried by our BFF Mr. Sun!  Figs are my jam, quite literally.  I think these little guys are going to fight dates for their spot as THE sweet and delicious, high fiber snack that boasts a bounty of health benefits.  This cooling fruit promotes cardiovascular health + can help in weight-loss (thanks to fiber).  Add dried figs to your salad (again – tastes perfect with goat cheese!), or dip in almond butter for a quick fiber and healthy fat filled mid-day snack!

dandelion tea

Rounding out our recommendations for cooling foods to enjoy this summer, dandelion root/greens are a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.  Great for cleansing the liver + supporting detox, bone health, and helping balance blood sugar, dandelion is an excellent way to fight inflammation.  It is also very supportive of digestive organs, promoting optimal bowel movements and bile production to help break down foods and absorb/assimilate nutrients.  Steep a warm cup of dandelion root tea, or pour over ice for a double cooling effect!

Obvious honorable mentions include summer favorite fruits such as watermelon, peaches + cherries.  Next time you crave one of these super cooling foods on a hot day, honor your body’s desire for finding a natural balance with your environment.

And because it’s nice hit that reset button this time of year –

Bring it in hot by making an attempt to watch the sun set on the longest day of the year!  Welcome this season with open arms and an open heart, embracing all that summer has to offer for your mind, body + spirit!  (Also to help you sleep better at night).  Also – in the name of keeping things calm + even keeled, make an effort to incorporate lots of play amongst the intensity of the rest of the season.  Stay cool, my friends!


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