Eating seasonally grown foods promotes health, supports local economies, and contributes to environmental sustainability. In addition, the advantage of aligning our diets with natural production cycles. Seasonal eating provides the freshest and most nutritious foods. Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally and are harvested at the right time are richer in flavor, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining a balanced diet and overall well-being.
Summer brings a seasonal abundance of delicious new foods and is the perfect time to introduce new fresh fruits and vegetables to the entire family. Try these four summer produce superstars:
- Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries provide vitamin C and antioxidants that support immune systems and overall health. They’re also a good source of fiber – with raspberries leading the way at 8 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving.
- Try buttery avocados by adding them to tacos, as a spread on grilled cheese sandwiches, or with eggs in the morning. They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins E and C, and potassium.
- Technically a fruit, tomatoes provide fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, and other important minerals. Available in various colors and sizes, their naturally high-water content makes tomatoes a hydrating choice. Slice tomatoes and serve with a bit of olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper. Add them to sandwiches or chop them up and toss them into salads and pasta dishes. Another fun idea – make your own fresh salsa.
- Nothing says summer like a fresh slice of watermelon. This summer favorite is easy to eat and tastes great. With one of the highest water contents of any food, it’s great for keeping hydrated on scorching days. It is also packed with vitamin C and lycopene – a plant nutrient and antioxidant property. Lycopene is the pigment that gives red and pink fruits their color and is linked to health benefits ranging from heart health to protection against sunburns and certain types of cancers. Serve watermelon wedges for dessert, cut them into cubes and mix them into a fruit salad, or put watermelon chucks in the blender with ice, lime juice, and honey for a refreshing slushy drink.
As different fruits and vegetables come into season, you can explore new flavors by selecting seasonally grown produce as the main ingredient to diversify your meals. By making mindful choices about the foods you consume, you can enhance your well-being while positively impacting the local community.