The summer months bring a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables that offer some of the best health benefits. In many areas, the summer time is the only time when these foods are available in their freshest state. By taking advantage of the bounty of goodness offered by these foods, a health-conscious individual can enjoy a fitter, leaner and healthier body.
The many important benefits of blueberries belie their tiny size. Rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, eating blueberries helps a body fight diseases while also remaining strong and active. In addition to their disease-fighting properties thanks to an abundance of antioxidants, blueberries also have lots of research to back up their capability to boost brain power. Though a favorite when added to smoothies, pancakes, Greek yogurt, or even eaten plain by the handful, blueberries can also be enjoyed as a pinch of sweetness amid a savory salad. Choose frozen blueberries to enjoy the above health benefits when fresh ones are no longer in season.
Colorful, sweet and the perfect size for snacking, cherries offer a range of health benefits. Anthocyanin, an antioxidant that cherries contain, can help reduce joint pain as well as inflammation. Their peak season for freshness runs from May until August, so it is best to stock up while they can be found. In those states where cherries are grown and harvested, farmers’ markets are a great place to get the freshest cherries. Even when they are out of season, though, frozen cherries provide the same benefits and add a welcome kick of sweetness to many dishes.
There are few foods as synonymous with summer as melons. Whether the choice is cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon, the same disease-fighting compounds are at work. In addition, because they boast such as high water content, melons tend to fill up the stomach with their sweet goodness without packing on the calories. Eat them fresh, straight off the rind, or string them alongside grapes before freezing for a colorful fruit kabob snack that is a big hit during the warm months.
Fuzzy skinned and juicy sweet, peaches are the perfect summer snack. These hand-sized fruits pack a great deal of nutrition in their small size. With vitamin C that aids in skin health, fiber that helps with weight control and potassium to keep bloating at bay, peaches are a versatile addition to any summer day. Chop them up and add to yogurt or blend them smooth for a refreshing shake. Grilling peaches brings out their sweetness, making them a perfect treat alongside savory foods.
Indulge in the goodness of summer by loading up the plate with an abundance of fresh fruits. Not only a feast for the taste buds, they deliver significant health benefits too.