Are you looking for healthy, fresh foods for Summer? Dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, has five superfruits that you can incorporate into your diet today.
Load up your cart with these fresh finds to savor the flavor of Summer.
Berries are among the most nutrient- and antioxidant-packed fruits, but blueberries are known for their ability to help keep your mind sharp as you age. Other studies shows that they also provide heart-health benefits and anticancer properties and may even help reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery postexercise. A cup of fresh blueberries has 80 calories, 25 percent of your daily vitamin C, and 3.5 grams of filling fiber.
Great as a snack (alone or with yogurt), blueberries are also great to add to your favorite smoothie, as well as an ingredient in whole-grain side dishes or salads.
The sweet, fragrant scent of the cantaloupe is another unmistakable sign of Summer. A cup of cantaloupe has just 50 calories. They’re also loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Consider cantaloupe your secret to beautiful skin as the beta-carotene helps protect it from harmful UVA and UVB rays. And, since they are about 90 percent water, they help you feel fuller.
Enjoy cantaloupes sliced or diced, and add them to your Summer salads.
Nothing screams “Summer” like a ripe, juicy peach. The hot-weather, fuzzy-skinned fruit is at its peak from June through September, so now’s the time to enjoy them. This sweet Summer fruit not only tastes amazing, but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse. In just 60 calories, a medium peach packs in more than 20 different essential nutrients including fiber; vitamins A, C, and E; antioxidants; potassium; and zinc.
Peaches are a perfect snack but can also be a featured ingredient in many dishes, from appetizers to desserts and even beverages. They’re excellent baked, grilled, or pan-seared and topped with cinnamon for a guilt-free dessert. Need a sweet treat that will please everyone at your next cookout? Try this grilled peach recipe that has fewer than 35 calories per serving.
One serving of eight strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange and is packed with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients including potassium, folate, and fiber. And here’s some food for thought: a study reported in the Annals of Neurology found that strawberries might slow cognitive decline by up to two and a half years.
Use strawberries in your favorite salads or as a topper for your yogurt or hot or cold cereal. You can also use strawberries as you would a tomato for a caprese salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
Succulent sweet cherries are in season only from June through August, so enjoy them while they last! Sweet cherries are high in fiber and potassium while remaining low in calories ¨D just one cup of sweet cherries is about 100 calories. Their deep red color ¨D due to compounds called anthocyanins ¡ª not only makes them beautiful but also brings an added health benefit. Studies show that anthocyanins help reduce pain and temper inflammation.
They’re picked once a year, so enjoy these special treats as a delicious snack on their own or you can pit them and use in salads (a chicken-cherry Waldorf salad is one of my favorites!).
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne