Summer Fruits and Veggies
Summer fruits and vegetables are showcased throughout the summer at local farmers markets, backyard gardens, and roadside fruit stands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who consume generous amounts of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet are likely to have reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Fruits and vegetables help combat free radicals, support digestive health, and reduce the chances of developing cataracts or macular degeneration. Vitamin C, for example, helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
Experts suggest eating five to thirteen servings (2½ to 6½ cups) of fruits and vegetables a day, depending on one’s caloric intake. The specific amount you need may vary with your age, gender, and activity level. Don’t worry, you can do it!
At your next trip to buy groceries take advantage of the remaining weeks of delicious summer produce. Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables raw, or lightly cook them to get the most nutrient value. Stay healthy by filling up on what nature has provided for us.
Did You Know?
- Find a farmers market near you.
- Search for what fruits and vegetables are in season.
- Eating local and seasonal fruits and vegetables is not only good for your body,it’s also good for the environment by cutting down on your carbon footprint.
Selecting & Preparing Summer Fruits and Veggies
- Peak summer fruits that are high in Vitamins C and A include cantaloupe, watermelon, and tomatoes. Cherries are a good source of potassium. Also try peaches, blueberries, and honeydew melon.
- Eggplant, zucchini, and green beans are good sources of dietary fiber.Summer squash is a good source of manganese and molybdenum. Other summer veggies include bell peppers, snap peas, corn, onion,and broccoli.
- Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Mix your favorite nuts with dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, or apricots for a homemade trail mix to keep at your desk.
- Visualize your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains should take up the largest amount of space. They also add flavor and texture to your dish. Try vegetable stir-fry, vegetable fajitas, or pasta primavera.
- Pick fruits and vegetables in a range of colors to ensure that you get a variety of minerals and vitamins.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States Department of Agriculture, Produce for Better Health Foundation, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.