We all loathe the list of fruits & and vegetables that are deemed unworthy of our precious produce budget. Instead of skipping on the much needed Vitamin A, C & Fiber – enjoy these seasonal Summer favorites instead!
Everyone knows that all fruits and vegetables have a season, right? If you didn’t, they do! The objective for every produce purchase is to buy those fruits and vegetables that are naturally in season. In fact, nutritionists agree that those fruits and vegetables picked at the peak of freshness and in season hold more nutritional benefits than their out of season counterparts. When you buy a fruit or vegetable that isn’t in season, who really knows where it came from or how it was raised… It probably was not organically grown. We’re using probably very liberally. In reality, that bushel of strawberries you bought in your home state of Kansas in the dead of May are more than likely a form of franken-food; lacking the true essence of a strawberry along with the health benefits.
In short, stay clear of out of season product when possible.
Instead of picking something that is out of season, treat yourself and family to these deliciously nutritious in season fruits and vegetables! Given that they are in season, finding the organic choice should be easy. If not, those that aren’t labeled Organic are still less likely to be riddled with the addition of artificial growth-hormones (often used for out of season crops), preservatives (for extended shelf-life of said crops), and pesticides due to their natural summer harvest.
Strawberries Strawberries are a great source of antioxidants and Vitamin C! They can also assist with brain function and possibly provide relief from high blood pressure. Proven to improve the immune system, who wouldn’t want to “help their gut” naturally with a strawberry shortcake? Ok, maybe not a shortcake – but a bowl of these fresh cut berries will do the trick.
Blackberries The black sheep of berries and often an afterthought to their cousin, the Raspberry. This versatile fruit is native to the northern areas of the world. The medicinal properties of the fruit and plant can be traced back almost 2000 years! Guess what the Native Americans were making their Summer fruit bowls with? Estimated to aid in memory loss, strengthen the immune system, promote healthy skin, improve vision, stimulate healthy circulation, and aids in overall hearth health. If you thought that was a lot, there are many more benefits to the blackberry to discover. Do some more research whilst snacking on a few, what do you have to lose?
Nectarines and Peaches A two for one choice! Both of these fruits are of the same family (they do resemble siblings in the produce aisle if you think about it), and are thus both grown in warmer temperatures. Chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, you already know they’re delicious and now you know they’re also nutritious!
Tomatoes Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, healthy amino acids, and antioxidants. A staple fruit for Summer, that’s right – tomatoes are actually a fruit. Be sure to keep your fresh tomatoes on the counter when storing before eating. A common mistake; though storing tomatoes in the fridge may slow down the ripening process, it also drastically changes the flavor. To avoid over-ripening or ripening too quickly, store them by themselves or in a separate basket.
Passion Fruit Passion fruit has many passion-worthy qualities. It’s an excellent source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and even protein! This amazing fruit can assist with insomnia, anxiety, and even aids in eye health.
Lemons Lemons are up there with blackberries. In fact, they may even be more beneficial than blackberries. These surprising attributes include, treatment of infections (especially those in the throat; think drinking hot tea with lemon when you’re sick), relief from indigestion and constipation, reduction in fever, alleviation of rheumatism, assistance in treatment of minor burns (including sunburns), weight loss, improving respiratory issues, and even regulating high blood pressure. Whoa! Let’s just sick back and re-read all of that while sipping on a cool glass of lemonade, shall we? Lemon may also benefit hair and skin, as well as strengthen your immune system. All of these amazing benefits can be attributed to thier many nourishing vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Double Whoa! Can all of that really be packed into one tiny fruit that is typically just tossed onto a cocktail as a garnish? Yes, yes it can.
Limes Not just for your Summer margaritas or beer rims, folks. This sour citrus fruit carries a ton of weight when it comes to its benefit. Limes are lean, mean, little green health machines. Used for centuries as a treatment for scurvy, it also aids in the health of your gums. Why did pirates have such horrible dental then? We will never know… This tiny green sour machine is used in so many products around the world, it would be obnoxious to the other fruits and vegetables to name them all here. Instead, throw a lime or two into your next Summer dish and reap the benefits of lime.
Zucchini Looking to lose some weight? Look no further than a zucchini! Except, of course the gym, a healthy diet, and maybe some yoga pants. This little to big vegetable (depending on the species) is full of Vitamin C, good carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. Just what you needed to add to your next healthy diet. No wonder so many people replace their boring ole’ pasta noodles with zucchini zoodles!
Carrots Ever since I was little, my mother told me to eat my carrots. Why you ask? Because they improve your vision, duh! Seriously though, this wives tale holds some truth. Due to carrots’ betacarotene and Vitamin A, studies have shown that carrots really to have an impact on eye health! What’s up with that Doc?
Beets Beetroot has been around since the ancient times. It’s commonly used as an ingredient in salads, soups, and pickles and has also been used as a natural way to dye fabrics or use as paint. This healthy vegetable is also a great source of sucrose and is used to make refined sugar. Awkward though it may sound; adding beets to a Summer smoothie as a natural sweetener is delicious, nutritious, and gorgeous.
Watermelon About time! We clearly saved the best Summer produce pick for last. We bet you thought we would forget about this Summer staple! Watermelon is a must in our house during summer, but what is all this fuss over this bulbous melon? Though undeniably refreshing when sliced and chilled on a hot Summer day, this huge and awkward fruit has a significant amount of Vitamin C.
Meet the Author:
This article was written by Abbey! Abbey is a mom of two who spends her days watching Scooby Doo with her toddler and breastfeeding her two month old. She writes on nutrition, fitness, and her crunchy life.