Best Summer Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are most flavorful, nutritious, and fresh when they are eaten in season. Check out the list below for some of the best vegetables and fruits to eat during those hot summer months.
Eggplants are a great food to lose weight, manage diabetes, reduce stress and prevent cancer. Although many think eggplants are a vegetable, botanically an eggplant is a berry! The best time to eat an eggplant during the summer would be between July and August.
Sweet yet tart blackberries are a summer staple. This super food contains plenty of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Throw some blackberries into your next salad, smoothie or yogurt for a burst of flavor! You can find blackberries at their highest quality in July and August.
Peppers are a remarkably healthy vegetable. The bell pepper actually contains more vitamin C than an orange! The peak season for peppers runs through the months of July and August.
Peaches are known to reduce allergy symptoms, prevent certain types of cancers, protect your skin, improve your heart health and aid digestion. Peaches are definitely a fruit worth adding to your diet! Although May is the beginning of peach season, they are actually the best at the end of July and throughout August.
Summer squash comes in a variety of different colors and sizes. The four types of summer squash are crookneck, zucchini, straight neck and scallop. Squash is extremely versatile in the kitchen. You can essentially use squash for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert! Summer squash are the best to eat in May through August.
The kiwifruit is filled with great amounts of fiber, folate and vitamin E. Most of the kiwi’s nutrients come from the skin of the fruit. Don’t let the fuzzy texture scare you away - it’s the healthiest part! Kiwifruits harvest season begins in October and lasts until the end of May. Kiwis taste the best in May, during the final month of their harvest.
Health benefits of fruits and vegetables
The nutrients in fruits and vegetables are vital for the health and maintenance of your body. A steady diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, prevent certain cancers, and diminish risks of digestive and eye problems. Both of these food groups are also low in calories, which makes them a great choice for your waistline.
According to the USDA’S Dietary Guidelines, adults should eat 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day depending on their overall health, age, gender, and physical activity. It may sound like a daunting task to add fruits and vegetables to your everyday routine, but it’s easy! A few simple steps to incorporate these food groups into your diet are to:
- Keep your freezer stocked with fruits and vegetables. This is a simple way to meal prep and cut down time spent cooking.
- Always keep fruits and vegetables in easy to reach areas, such as, a fruit bowl or pre-cut in the refrigerator.
- Keep your meals balanced by filling half of your plate with fruits or vegetables.
Keep your fruits and vegetables fresher longer
Are you wasting food because it ripens, then rots, faster than you can eat it? Storing your fruits and vegetables the correct way can make all the difference. To keep produce fresher for longer, fully dry previously washed food items, use breathable produce bags to absorb air and moisture, and leave some produce out of the fridge. To learn a few more important tips, click here.
At Forklift & Palate, you can find a wide range of delicious and health-boosting meals. Stop by and explore some of our fresh summer menu items!