Summer is a juicy season, in more than one sense. The sense we’d like to elaborate upon is fruit, which are at their peak, bursting with juice, vitamins and nutrients. Sure, some fruit and berries are more beneficial than others. Learn to choose the most advantageous and to enjoy them in the healthiest way.
Unfortunately, research shows that only 8% of Americans eat the required daily amount of fruit, which is utterly surprising. A reasonable explanation seems to be the concern about consuming excess sugar, but if we are talking about natural sources of it, there is nothing to worry about. Fruit pack sugar together with antioxidants, healthy fiber and other beneficial nutrients, eating it is completely different from munching on a candy bar. Moreover, the more fruit you eat every day, the lower the risk of developing heart disease, obesity or even cancer. More than that, they are heavenly delicious, which makes including 2 to 3 servings of them into your daily eating plan not in the least challenging!
This tropical delight contains over 20 essential vitamins and minerals! A single cup of fresh mango per day will ensure you get 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C to boost your immunity, secure your teeth and gums and beautify your skin due to supporting collagen formation. Besides, mangos are quite filling thanks to ample amounts of fiber they contain and give you just 100 calories per cup! You can eat mangos fresh, freeze them overnight to get an imitation sorbet with no added sugar or cook a mind-blowing mango salsa for a summer BBQ party out - or try our Spicy Mango Salad recipe!
With their blushing cheeks and matte skin, peaches are probably the most alluring summer fruit of all! They are at their best in June and July, so hurry up to replenish your body’s vitamin stock for the winter! A single peach contains more than 20 various micro and macronutrients (vitamins A, C, E, fiber, zinc, potassium, etc.) and as little as 60 calories – isn’t that great? Wait, there’s more: peaches are devoid of cholesterol and sodium; they are a wonderful snack and a classy ingredient of a variety of dishes belonging to all courses from starters to desserts. You can enjoy them fresh, baked or grilled, or serve on the side with chicken, seafood, and couscous! Start with this simple yet Delicious Peach Trifle!
The smell of cantaloupe alone just screams summer! Some regions can boast of having cantaloupe as long as till late fall, but it mostly is at its best from June to September. Cantaloupe is a slimming superfood, since a cup of the delightful fruit has only 50 calories, but is at the same time loaded with potassium, fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Moreover, cantaloupe is 90% water, so it is sure to make you forget about hunger for quite a while. The only catch is that it is hard to choose the best one – you never know what it hides inside. Here’s a quick tip: ripe cantaloupes have a distinct sweet aroma and are slightly soft-ish (not soft!) at the blossom end. You can enjoy the fruit sliced, add it to fresh summer salads, or try this excuisite Chilled Cantaloupe Soup!
You sure can buy strawberries all year round, but there’s nothing better than the sweet-sour flesh of seasonal strawberries which appear in April and stay at their best till late June in most US states. An 8-berry serving of the epitome of summer provides you with more vitamin C than a large orange, a good portion of antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and folate. In fact, eating strawberries on two days a week may even be beneficial for your brain development – research shows that strawberries can put off cognitive decline to up to 2.5 years later! The best berries are plump, even shaped, and firm, have a rich and even coloring. Strawberries are good for salads, popsicles, and dressings; you can add them to your morning oats or yogurt. Moreover, using strawberries in place of tomatoes will give your summer meals a foolproof, yet very curious twist of flavor! You can begin your day with this Healthy Strawberry Banana Smoothie and proceed with Fresh Strawberry Pie.
Sweet cherries are at their best from June till mid-August, so hurry up to enjoy them before their short season is over! Rich in fiber and potassium, sweet cherries will give you only 100 calories per cup! They owe their deep red color to anthocyanins – beneficial pigments that are known to reduce pain and inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. The best sweet cherries are large, plump, firm and dark red. You can just rinse them and enjoy immediately, but if you feel an urge to try something more elaborate, cook a salad with lettuce, sweet cherries and hazelnuts. Another idea is to cook easy yet very special Cherry Pie with Chambord Liqueur.
Summer’s pace is very fast, so make sure you jump on every chance to enjoy the best of the seasonal summer fruit and give your immunity a pre-winter boost!