The more fruits and veggies you eat, the healthier you will probably be. So why not take advantage of one of summer’s perks and get all of the in-season fruits and vegetables you can get your hands on? Here are a few that are great for you and are currently in-season. So head to a local farm stand, farmer’s market or produce section and get your fill.
- Basil. Basil is a great way to add flavor to ordinary dishes. It is a good source of antioxidants, beta carotene and Vitamins A and C and is low in calories. Look for dry, bright and fresh leaves and try to eat it while it is still fresh. It is amazing on pasta or pizza.
- Beets. Beets have a lot of health benefits from excellent fiber, potassium and iron content to folate and B vitamins. Look for beets with crisp and dark green tops attached and make sure the bulb of the beet is smooth, hard, round and has no cuts or blemishes.
- Watermelon is the perfect summer treat! It is great to eat in the summer to keep yourself hydrated because watermelon is more than 90 percent water. It is also a good source of lycopene, also found in tomatoes, that protects against certain cancers. Pick a watermelon that feels heavy for the size. The bottom side should have a white spot that means it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun and is ready to eat.
- Eggplant. Eggplant has a lot of fiber and is fat-free. Look for a smooth eggplant with no blemishes, cuts or bruises and like watermelons, feels heavy for its size.
- Cherries. Cherries are low calorie and a great source of pectin, which is a type of fiber that helps lower cholesterol. Go for large cherries with stems still attached and that are plump and hard. Chopped cherries are an excellent addition to a salad.
- Peaches. Peaches have antioxidants, Vitamins A and C and are low calorie and full of fiber. Grilled peaches are a great dessert. If you want to eat them right away, buy soft peaches. But if you want to eat them in a few days, go for firm ones.
- Yardlong (Chinese) Beans. They are very much like green beans, low calorie and high fiber, but these are also high in folate and Vitamin C. Make sure they are brightly colored and firm and have no bruises or blemishes on them.
- Bell Peppers. Bell peppers have lots of fiber and Vitamin C. However, yellow and red peppers have much more Vitamin C than green. When buying, they should feel heavy for their size, be firm and have glossy skin. Don’t buy any with cuts, black or soft spots.
- Swiss Chard. Swiss chard is great for vegetarians because it has lots of iron. It also contains beta carotene, potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and magnesium. Look for crisp, green leaves and stems that are firm.
- Lastly, Tomatoes. Tomatoes have lycopene, an antioxidant than may prevent prostate cancer and heart disease. They also have a lot of potassium. Look for plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skin and make sure they are fragrant.
What are your favorite fruits and veggies to buy in the summer? Share with us any recipes you use with these fruits and vegetables!