5 Fruits & Vegetables to Enjoy this Summer
Posted on June 14, 2021
Summertime is a great time to improve your health by eating healthy and trying new in-season produce. Here are five delicious and nutrient-rich fruits and veggies that will fill your plate with color this summer.
- Avocados: A foodie favorite and a great source of the “healthy fat,” monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), avocados are at the top of the list for summertime favorites. Native to South Central Mexico, this green fruit containing a single large pit and buttery smooth texture that when ripened, can be enjoyed in many forms. From salads to dips and even smoothies, avocados have a unique nutty taste that has become a favorite among vegetarians for its high protein content.
- Zucchini: Zucchinis are in season and are an excellent and nutrient packed vegetable that can be enjoyed in a multitude of ways. From pastas to breads, zucchinis are an excellent source of vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and B vitamins. When choosing zucchinis, it's best to select a small to medium-sized zucchini that is firm and feels heavy. The skin of the zucchini should be blemish free, bright green and smooth.
- Cucumbers: Not only is the cucumber a great addition to salads, but they are also a nutritionally beneficial vegetable. Cucumbers are roughly 96% water, which will help you keep hydrated. They are a great source of potassium and are said to protect from neurological diseases due to their content levels of fisetin, an anti-inflammatory flavanol essential for brain health. When selecting cucumbers, choose a dark green color and firm cucumber that is blemish free. Cucumbers are tastiest when served raw, such as in a salad or with a dip.
- Arugula: Part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, along with broccoli, Brussel sprouts and kale, arugula is in a league of its own when it comes to flavor. Most commonly consumed fresh in salads, arugula can be a great topping for veggie pizzas, omelets and pasta dishes. When selecting arugula, select bundles with large leaves, without holes, tears or yellowed edges. Choose arugula with roots still intact, as this will help retain its freshness for a longer period.
- Hot Peppers: Bringing the heat and flavor to your summer menu! Hot peppers are an amazing vegetable that can play an important role not only in digestive health, but also in the prevention of diseases. Jalapenos, habaneros, cayenne, cherry and even bell peppers can all help to decrease cholesterol absorption, allowing excess cholesterol to be eliminated from the body. Studies have also shown that hot spices can also improve digestion and increase blood flow and circulation. Peppers can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a sauce. Add some spicy flavor to your next lunch meal to enjoy the nutritional benefits of peppers!