Summer brings us some of the healthiest and most vibrant fruits and veggies of the entire year. There are many ways to take advantage of these nutritious whole foods while they’re still bursting with flavors and nutrients, from packing them into your smoothies to enjoying them on their own as snacks.
The following fruits and vegetables offer countless health benefits throughout the year, but the best time to have them – when they’re the most nutrient-dense and flavorful – is during the summertime. They provide your body with plenty of essential nutrients, including fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, and minerals, to support a healthy and balanced body. Don’t miss out on the extra benefits and load up on these fresh fruits and veggies while they’re still in their prime!
Cucumber is one of the most hydrating fruits you can add to your smoothie. Made up of 96 percent water, it’s excellent for skin health and detoxification. Recent studies are also looking into cucumber’s potential anti-cancer benefits.
This sweet favorite is loaded with heart-protecting, anti-inflammatory phenols. Strawberries have a wildly versatile flavor that complements a wide variety of other flavors and textures, making them perfect additions to your smoothies.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, avocados are often considered to be a perfect food. Each avocado contains a surprising 4 grams of protein – more than any other fruit! Plus, of all the fruits out there, avocados have the highest concentration of monounsaturated fats, compounds that are essential for healthy brain development.
Juicy, succulent peaches are packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and antioxidants to support a strong immune system. They’re quickly joining the ranks of popular and purple, antioxidant-rich superfruits like blueberries. Enjoy them fresh or frozen in your smoothies.
Often touted as the miracle fruit for athletes, the juice of this sweet ice cream-topper has been shown to minimize exercise-induced muscle and joint pains. Tart cherries are also prized for their anti-inflammatory and heart health benefits thanks to their unique combination of phytonutrients, which includes anthocyanin, vitamin C, and potassium.
Also known as summer squash, zucchini is one of the primary food sources of antioxidants from the carotenoid family, including lutein and zeaxanthin. The skin is the richest source of these nutrients, so buy organic zucchini to avoid unwanted contaminants and leave the skins intact to reap the most health benefits.
Lemons and Limes
Lemons and limes may be sour, but don’t be fooled! These citrus fruits are actually great for keeping your body’s alkalinity in check, working wonders for the digestive system and serving up as powerful detoxifiers to help keep things clean.
Tomatoes have a myriad of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and E, but did you know that they also contain bioflavonoids? These bioflavonoids counteract inflammation and help balance hormones in your body.
Take your favorite recipes and your health to the next level by incorporating these fruits and veggies into your diet. They can liven up any meal while adding extra health benefits, from aiding in weight management to protecting you from diseases. Whether you enjoy them on their own or in your favorite smoothie recipes, you’ll know that you’re giving your body plenty of nutrients to keep you in tip-top health.
Recipe: Creamy Green Strawberry Dream Serving in this recipe:1
- Calories: 236.6
- Total Fat: 3.6 g 5.5%
- Saturated Fat: 0.4 g 1.9%
- Cholesterol: 0 mg 0%
- Sodium: 358.7 mg 14.9%
- Total Carbs: 45.7 g 15.2%
- Dietary Fiber: 9.9 g 39.4%
- Sugar: 22.1 g
- Protein: 8.1 g 16.2%
- Vitamin A: 481.9% Vitamin C: 244.1%
- Calcium: 68.5% Iron: 26.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.