Now that the weather is warming up, it’s the perfect time to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables! Eating in season has tons of health benefits, from helping you maintain a healthy weight to boosting your immune system. Fresh fruit smoothies, crisp salads, watermelon wedges and grilled corn on the cob! Seasonal summer produce is fresh and delicious. There’s many wonderful fruits and vegetables in season right now. The summer produce list is quite long and includes several foods from the Spring Season. Here are our top five seasonal summer foods and ways to enjoy them.
Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, boysenberries, raspberries, mulberries, loganberries-oh my!! Eat a variety of these for fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Eating berries is linked to lower cancer rates and improved skin, eye and brain health.
Cooking Tip: Pour coconut milk over a bowl of your favorite berries. Top with cinnamon, chia seeds and ground flax seed. It’s a high fiber snack with protein. This quick snack stabilizes blood sugar and is more satisfying than plain fruit. For an extra bonus, add chopped walnuts or pecans.
This fibrous leaf is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin B’s including Folic Acid. Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women. Vitamins A and B help aid healthy skin, metabolism and may prevent lung and oral cancers.
Cooking Tip: Endive is a great leafy alternative to lettuce. It’s a bit more sturdy and for that reason is great for dips! Swap tortilla chips for endive for a low carb, veggie substitute for your favorite spread. Enjoy with hummus, guacamole or ranch dressing.
Cucumbers are 95% water, an excellent agent of detoxification and hydration. High levels of potassium, magnesium and fiber in cucumber may help blood pressure.
Cooking Tip: Prepare them in a hearty summer salad. Dice cucumber, avocado, bell pepper and tomato (all seasonal summer foods) into large chunks. Season with fresh herbs like basil and parsley. Add some olives, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and voila! Easy and satisfying salad. Try different varieties with fresh garlic, onion or some feta cheese as well. Possibilities are endless……..
One bulb of fennel contains 20% of your daily Vitamin C, a nice alternative to your citrus fruits. This fibrous vegetable has strong digestive abilities. Some cultures, like in India, serve the seeds after a meal to promote digestion and freshen the breath.
Cooking Tip: Fennel salad is a nice alternative to your typical salad fare. Toss thin slices of fennel with arugula, salmon, quinoa, toasted walnuts and fresh lemon. Top it off olive oil, salt and pepper. It will be your new favorite summer dish.
Along with Vitamin A and C, peaches contain the antioxidant Lutein. This has been shown to help slow the aging process.
Cooking Tip: Add diced peaches to your salsa for a sweet and spicy twist. Scoop with chips or endive. Or add it as a topping to fish tacos. For breakfast it’s a great sweetener to oatmeal or pancakes instead of sugar or syrup.
Summer is the time of year when we all want to be outside enjoying the warm weather. It’s easy to indulge in unhealthy foods during the summer. But there are plenty of healthy seasonal options available as well. In this blog post, we’ve highlighted five different summer foods and how to enjoy them. And if you live in the Peachtree City area and need help getting fit for the summer, come see us at ProHealth Pilates!