Summer's Sweetest ProduceJune 21, 2012
It's official, summer is here and SupermarketGuru has some suggestions and reminders regarding how to enjoy the coming (and in some parts of the country, current) months of summer heat with the season's freshest produce!
Here's a list of some in-season fruit to kick off your summer with a fresh, nutritious, and fruity splash.
Summer is the season for fresh figs. Fresh or dried, figs are one of the highest fruit sources of fiber, and they also contain significant amounts of potassium (great for replenishing losses in sweat), calcium, and iron.
The vibrant color of tender apricots gives away their rich content of beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A). Beta-carotene and vitamin C both in apricots, act as antioxidants in the body. Sun-sweetened apricots are also a good source of fiber and potassium. Tote a bag of apricots with you to the gym (along with your water bottle, of course) and enjoy them as convenient pre- or post-workout snack.
Plums and peaches are ripe and ready these balmy months. Luscious peaches and plums have beta-carotene and vitamin C as well as fiber. The skins of purple and red plums contain anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants.
The berry family is in season and bursting with flavor. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries and more- these are high in fiber and vitamin C. The deep red and purple color of the berries also indicates the presence of the anthocyanadins. Cherries are another summer ripe fruit that contain these wholesome nutrients as well.
The tropical mangoes and papayas are irresistibly mouthwatering summer fruits. Succulent mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber. In fact, just half a mango contains over 100 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A (as beta-carotene). Papaya is another rich source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber, and also contains potassium and folate. Folate prevents developmental defects in fetuses and helps supports cardiovascular health.
And what would summer be without ice-cold, refreshing watermelon. All the melons, including cantaloupe, casaba, and honeydew, are summer fruits. Cantaloupe with its peachy-orange flesh is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C. The casaba melon contains vitamin C and potassium, and the honeydew is a good source of vitamin C. Juicy watermelon is a rich source of beta-carotene and vitamin C, and a good source of lycopene- an antioxidant that has been shown to prevent prostate cancer.
With so many delectable fruits to choose from, there's no reason not to get the minimum five servings a day. Bring easy to carry fruits with you everywhere: to school, work, gym, baseball game, picnics, and parties. Explore the wide variety of natural flavors at every meal and as refreshing snacks. So, whether you're exercising or just trying to stay cool, there's nothing quite as tasty and nutritious as beating the heat with the thirst-quenching fruits of summer. With the abundance of choices this season, every day this summer can be a sweet experience.
Posted by Ken at 12:00 AM