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  • 7 of the Best Summer Foods to Include at Your 4th of July Celebration

    Stephanie E - Jenny Craig

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      Celebrate July 4th with these healthy summer foods!

      These red, white and blue fruit and vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and rich in water to help you feel your best during the holiday. Check out our Independence Day picks along with delicious ideas for how to prepare and serve them. 

      Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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      This hydrating sweet treat is the quintessential food for summer. Its luscious red color comes from lycopene, which is a cancer-fighting antioxidant.1 Fun fact: There’s more lycopene in watermelon than there is in tomatoes!1 Cut up a seedless melon into cubes and present it to your guests on a bed of baby greens. Top with a little low-fat crumbled feta (1 tablespoon per serving if your goals include weight loss) and chopped mint for a refreshing and light salad. Reserve some of the juice when you’re cutting up the melon to toss with the greens and you won’t even need another dressing.



      [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/

      Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash

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      Juicy red tomatoes are sure to appear at any July Fourth shindig, and like watermelon, they are a rich source of lycopene.1 Pair your tomatoes with a little healthy fat like a teaspoon of olive oil or a 1⁄8-inch slice of avocado to increase your body’s ability to absorb it.2 Find some heirloom varieties and use all different colors (red, orange, green and yellow) on a bed of zingy, crowd-pleasing arugula and chopped basil. Drizzle your salad with balsamic vinegar for an extra boost of flavor.



      [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/

      [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026/

      Photo by Anastasia Kopa on Shutterstock

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      Spicy and crisp, radishes deliver vitamins and minerals that may support vascular health and prevent gallstones.3 Top a kale salad with radishes and other veggies to add a great crunch and a subtle heat. Make a fresh kale salad by pulsing chopped kale in a food processor with a splash of red vinegar, black pepper and your favorite spices. Slice radishes and colorful veggies into rounds (think carrots, zucchini and summer squash). Cut a few of the thickest radish rounds into stars and place them on the top of the salad for a festive touch. 



      [3] https://www.livestrong.com/article/413273-health-benefits-of-radishes/

      Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

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      Cabbage: There’s some versatility with the color of this vegetable, depending on how white or red you want it to be. Cabbage also delivers a fantastic crunch along with lots of fiber and may help reduce inflammation.4 It’s super tasty with some Asian-inspired flavors like rice wine vinegar, carrots, pickled ginger and cucumbers.



      [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4063312/

      Photo by Anna Shepulova on Shutterstock

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      This mild, crisp root vegetable is packed with inulin, a prebiotic fiber5 that’s good for gut health. This type of fiber may help boost the amounts of good bacteria in the digestive system.6 Peel the tough brown skin off the jicama and slice it into thick spears. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and sprinkle the spears with chili powder and for a colorful and delicious snack. Pro tip: This chili/lime combo works well on watermelon, too! 



      [5] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324241.php
      [6] https://www.sciencealert.com/inulin-is-being-added-to-many-foods-but-it-could-be-causing-stomach-problems

      Photo by Playa Del Carmen on Shutterstock

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      These sweet, tart summer fruits are a nutritious choice for your July Fourth festivities. Filled with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, eating berries may help protect against cardiovascular disease.7 Blueberries can make any salad instantly festive. Or, go the sweet route with this delectable presentation: layer blueberries and raspberries with nonfat cottage cheese or unsweetened, nonfat yogurt for a healthy red, white and blue parfait.



      [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068482/

      Photo by Alik Mulikov  on Shutterstock

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      Lacinato and Red Russian kale varieties boast a dark blue-green color, making them a must for a healthy July Fourth holiday. This superfood is an antioxidant powerhouse and has lots of calcium and iron that may support your bone and blood health, respectively.8 Instead of serving potato chips, make kale chips — you’ll be surprised how excited your friends and family are to eat them! 

      Use this simple and healthy recipe to make crispy kale chips everyone will enjoy! 


      • 1 head of kale, washed and dried
      • ½ lemon
      • Your favorite spices, to taste 


      • Preheat your oven to 300 F.
      • Remove the tough stalks and rip the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces.
      • Squeeze the juice of half a fresh lemon over the kale and “massage” it by scrunching the leaves in your palms.
      • Spread the kale in one even layer on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet (don’t cook too much at once or the kale won’t dry up into “chips”).
      • Sprinkle on your favorite spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, chili powder and cayenne pepper are all great options!
      • Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
      • Flip the kale chips over halfway through the cooking time and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
      • Let cool and enjoy!

        Photo by Pinkyone on Shutterstock

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        Happy 4th of July!

        When it’s time to celebrate Independence Day, you’ll have the most festive foods around — and the best part: they won’t derail your healthy eating habits. Ready to try a weight loss plan that fits your lifestyle?


        Learn more about how Jenny Craig can support your health goals!


        Nicki Miller

        Nicki Miller, Contributing Writer for Jenny CraigNicki is a journalist with expertise in healthy eating and exercise. She is the former editor-in-chief of Competitor Running and managing editor of Women's Running magazines and writes articles and crafts recipes for a variety of websites and publications. She also loves cycling, making music and is wild about cats, dogs and other animals.

        Favorite healthy snack: anything with nut butter!



        This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and reviewed by certified professionals. Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on the topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.

        Berries photo by Brian Suman on Unsplash

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