Summer's Fruits and Vegetables
If there’s one thing I love about summer, it’s the constant source of fresh fruits and vegetables. Growing up, my mother would take my brother and me to a local farm, where we would pick as many fruits as we could. I would stand in the fields picking and eating sweet strawberries, tart raspberries, and juicy peaches.
While going to pick fruits with my family is no longer a regular occurrence, I do still enjoy all the seasonal produce that summer has to offer. Fruits and vegetables contain micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, as well as functional components like antioxidants and prebiotics.
Peaches: A sweet and juicy summer staple, peaches are rich in vitamin A, which supports eye, immune, and skin health.
Lemons and Limes: Lemonade and limeade are a seasonal favorite. Not just a way too cool off in the heat, lemons and limes also provide nutritional benefits. Both are a good source of vitamin C, an essential vitamin that supports bone and immune health.
Watermelon: At every picnic and barbecue around the country, potassium- and water-rich watermelon will keep you hydrated all summer long.
Berries: Cherries, strawberries, blueberries, oh my! Summer berries come in a variety of colors and offer many healthful benefits. Cherries are rich in potassium, strawberries are full of vitamin C, and blueberries contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant that supports total health.
Carrots: We all know carrots are rich in vitamin A, but they’re also a good source of potassium. An essential nutrient, potassium helps keep cells functioning, as well as regulating the balance of body fluids.
Sweet Peppers: Take your pick of red, green, orange, and yellow—vibrant sweet peppers are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Green Beans: Green beans are a great source of vitamin K, which helps blood clot.
Cucumbers: Cucumbers are a great source of magnesium, which, along with phosphorus, is required for bone mineral metabolism.
Zucchini: One of many summer squashes, zucchini can be eaten raw, baked in the oven, and even fried. It’s a good source of phosphorous, which helps support bone health.
Tomatoes: Beefsteak, cherry, grape, yellow, and even green—with so many tomato varieties, there’s a favorite for everyone. Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin K.
Upgrade fruits and vegetables by pairing them with other foods for optimal health benefits. For vegetables, try hummus or tuna salad, and for fruit, yogurt or oatmeal. They can also be blended together with milk or soy milk and some peanut butter for a filling post-workout snack!