The summer months provide an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetable options. With so many healthy seasonal goodies to choose from, it’s easy to eat smart! We’ve picked our favorite nutritional powerhouses to stock up on this summer. Hit your local farmers market or grocery store to check out all of the fresh choices.
Cherries are high in vitamins A and C and are known to help reduce muscle soreness. The bright red color shows they’re also high in antioxidants. Pick shiny and plump cherries for the best flavor.
Corn is best fresh from the stalk so try to buy from a local grower. Contrary to popular belief, corn does have nutritional value and is high in niacin, vitamins B6 and C and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Choose tightly closed, fresh-looking husks, fresh-looking tassels, and fresh-cut stem ends.
Cucumbers are known for being cool and are an excellent hydration source. They are high in vitamin K, are a very good source of pantothenic acid, a good source of potassium, manganese, vitamin C, magnesium, biotin, and vitamin B1. Avoid those with spongy areas or wrinkly skin.
Eggplants are ripe when the skin is tight, shiny and smooth. It should feel heavy for its size. They are a very good source of fiber and vitamin B1, and are a good source of vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese.
Figs are high in vitamin B6 and fiber. They are a good source of manganese, copper, potassium and pantothenic acids. They are sweet, crunch and chewy. Choose plump, firm figs that are free of bruises and make sure the stems are intact.
Cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelons hit their peak during the summer months. Ripe melons should be heavy for their size and smell like a melon. Watermelon is high in lycopene and pairs well with salty feta cheese.
Nectarines are sweet and juicy with a smooth skin. They are high beta-carotene, vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. They’re delicious on their own or sliced and drizzled with honey.
New potatoes are small and tender with paper thin skin. They’re a great source of vitamin B6 as well as potassium. They are particularly delicious roasted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil.
Okra is a good source of folate and Vitamin A. It helps the body easily digest foods and may help lower cholesterol. Slice it up and thickens gumbos and stews. Leave it whole and it can be stir-fried or added to a casserole.
Peaches are a summer staple. Sweet and low in calories peaches are the perfect topping for cereal, yogurt or even a whole grain waffle. They have over 10 vitamins and contain a variety of antioxidants and minerals, including potassium.
A relative of peaches and nectarines, plums are also a vitamin powerhouse. They are full of antioxidants, help improve digestion and they help our bodies absorb iron. Ripe plums yield to gentle pressure and are slightly soft at their tip.
Patty Pan, Yellow & Zucchini are delicious varieties of summer squash. They are high in vitamin c, iron, folate, beta carotene and lutein. Versatile, low carb and low calorie they work in a variety of recipes. Shred up some zucchini to make “zoodles” and use them in place of pasta.
Tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable. Their bright red color indicates their high lycopene levels. They are also high in vitamins C, K and biotin. They are in rich in alpha + beta carotene and lutein, when paired with broccoli they have a unique synergy that prevents prostate cancer. Try them in soups, salads, pasta, salsa, sandwiches and vegetable juice.