It is no secret that a healthy and balanced diet can greatly improve one’s health. Studies suggest that following a healthy diet could prevent 30-50% of all cancers.
As the warmer weather slowly sneaks up, so do some bad summer eating habits. Summer grilling is a staple in the warmer months, but it often means more fatty meats and fewer vegetables on the plate. This year, the National Foundation for Cancer Research is offering some healthy cookout ideas for summer grilling feasts.
1. Don’t burn the meat
Did you know that regularly consuming thoroughly cooked or charred meat may increase one’s risk of cancer? Avoid eating too much charred meat, and instead, add some other cookout foods in their place. Corn on the cob or a cold summer salad are great (and healthy) compliments to grilled meats!
2. Choose meats wisely
Lean meats, like chicken and fish, are great cookout foods and are healthier than red meats. Research shows that diets high in red and processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
3. Don’t forget veggies and fruits make great cookout foods
Toss some fruits and veggies on the grill to get some of the tasty grill flavors and reduce the risk of cancer. Fruits and veggies add vitamins, minerals, and fiber – all crucial in preventing cancers.
4. Marinate the meat
A marinade acts as a barrier between meat and the carcinogens. Marinating for 30 minutes before grilling can decrease the formation of cancer-causing carcinogens, which may also increase one’s risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
5. Clean the grill
Be sure to scrape down the grill after each cookout to get rid of any built-up carcinogenic residue.
Healthy Summer Recipe Cookout Idea: Cherry Basil Tabbouleh
4 servings | 15 mins |Easy
Traditionally, tabbouleh is a gluten-filled, vegetarian salad made up mostly of finely chopped parsley with some tomatoes, mint, onion, and bulgur wheat mixed in then seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice.
This cherry-inspired version is made with quinoa, fresh cherries, cucumber, red onion, lots of basil, and a citrus vinaigrette, ensuring both healthy fruits and vegetables in every spoonful. It can be served alongside all summer cookout foods and makes a perfect, sweet addition to any barbeque.
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/5 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 pounds cherries, pitted and halved
2 Persian cucumbers
¾ cup basil
½ red onion
- Zest half of the orange and squeeze half the orange, putting the juice aside.
- Thinly slice the cucumbers into thin rounds and finely dice the onion. Chop the basil.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, orange zest, and orange juice. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and the dressing, mixing well.
- Add the cherries, basil, and onion to the bowl.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
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