With grocery store magic and same-day international delivery, it’s possible to get nearly any fruit or vegetable pretty much any time of year. But when eating local or looking for the best tasting (and most nutritious) product, it’s always good to stay in-season. Here’s a list of the tastiest summer-fresh goodies to look for in the produce aisle all season long:
Just one cup of this electric green fruit provides more potassium than the same amount of sliced bananas — with less sugar and calories! They may taste sweet, but there’s no worrying about cavities when it comes to kiwi, with just 7 grams of sugar in one medium fruit they have almost three times less sugar than one apple. One cup of the fruit also contains 5 grams of fiber (the green part has soluble fiber, while the seeds and skin offer the insoluble kind), or about 21 percent of the daily recommended intake, to help promote feelings of fullness.
Try it:Kiwi-Lime Ice Pops via Eating Well
This pointy veggie may look aggressive — they are called spears, after all — but the nutritional powers of asparagus prove it’s a dietary lover, not a fighter. The spears are a good source of vitamin K (important for strong bones and blood clotting) and antioxidants, which repair damage done by free radicals and can help reduce risk of serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Try it: Asparagus and Tomato Salad with Feta via Huffington Post
Hey, wipe that sour look off your face! This tart, sunny-colored fruit is a pretty sweet superfood. Lemons are packed with flavor, but (thankfully) not calories. The juice of an entire lemon has only 12 calories but a whopping third of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and otherantioxidants. Those antioxidants, known as flavonoids, could make lemons a good way to decrease heart disease risk, reduce inflammation, and fight some cancers (including pancreatic and stomach).
Try it: Chicken Breasts with Fennel, Lemon, and Green Olives via Gastronomers Guide
Antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamins that promote vision and bone health are what make this little ol’ green so super. One cup of this green stuff also packs up to 12 percent of the recommended daily dose of calcium.
Try it: Healthier Spinach Artichoke Dip via Oh She Glows
Low in sugar and high in vitamins A and C, this summer treat is a great, refreshing, low-calorie snack. Studies suggest watermelon could also potentially lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus, the lycopene in watermelon could help protect the body from UV rays and cancer.
Try it: Chopped Vegetable, Watermelon, and Feta Salad via Smitten Kitchen
Vitamin C holds most of the strawberry’s secret superpowers. Just one cup of these beautiful berries satisfies the daily requirement for vitamin C! Studies suggest the antioxidant helps build and repair the body’s tissues, boosts immunity, and fights excess free radical damage. Plus, it could help promote healthy eye function.
Try it: Arugula and Strawberry Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette via Gojee
Don’t worry; these berries won’t cause an oompa-loompa-like reaction. In fact, blueberries are nutritional superstars, filled with fiber, vitamin C, and cancer-fighting compounds. And studies suggest blueberries may even improve memory!
Try it: Coconut Blueberry Muffin Tops via Eat, Live, Run
8. Broad Beans (aka Fava Beans)
While these beans are typically in-season throughout the summer months, most beans have some superpower health benefits. Beans are loaded with fiber, folate, and magnesium, and studies have shown these legumes can actually help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of certain cancers
Try it: Fava Bean and Pecorino Salad via Alexandra’s Kitchen
While all the vitamins and minerals are a great bonus, the real star here is cauliflower’s cancer-fighting compounds, glucosinolates. These phytochemicals are responsible for cauliflower’s sometimes-bitter flavor, but they have also been shown to prevent damage to the lugs and stomach by carcinogens, potentially protecting against those cancers. And thanks to interactions with estrogen, cauliflower may also help prevent hormone-driven cancers like breast, uterine, and cervical.
Try it: Roasted Cauliflower with Herb Sauce via The Meaning of Pie
Get ready to enjoy these juicy delights all summer long! These antioxidant-packed fruits aren’t just a pretty addition to the picnic table. Anthocyanins, the flavonoids that give cherries their deep red color, give cherries (and other similarly colored fruits and veggies) some serious superpowers, including regulating immune responses and acting as an anti-inflammatory. The sour varieties of this fruit may be even more helpful as an anti-inflammatory. In fact, studies suggest tart cherriescould even be more effective than Aspirin at relieving pain and reducing inflammation!
Try it: Seared Chicken Salad with Cherries and Goat Cheese via Martha Stewart
Damn. I was so good ALL day, no slip ups, and then I get home and binge on hummus and lime chips. Grr. Well… progress is a slow process. Self forgiveness is key.
Tomorrow is a new day! :)