Fruit is the perfect food group to satisfy summer cravings and combat dehydration. All fruits are high in vitamins and minerals, but to get the best taste, it is best to eat those in season. Here are five of our favorite, delicious fruits that are in season during the summer.
Strawberries are in season from late April to August. They are rich in the flavonoid quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve seasonal allergies. They have high levels of water and fiber, both of which contribute to bowel regularity. Berries are very low on the glycemic index scale, so they will not spike the body’s blood sugar or contribute to a crash.
Move over oranges because one cup of fresh strawberries contains over 100% of our daily vitamin C requirements. Make sure to buy organic brands to avoid the excess pesticides since they are on the “dirty dozen” list, and pick berries that are dark red with no white or green spots to ensure the best taste.
Peaches are in season during different months in each state, but in general, they are most ripe from June to August. The stone fruit is very high in vitamin C, which benefits the skin, supports heart and eye health, and can even decrease the risks of cancer. They are high in fiber, so they are the perfect sweet treat for diabetics. The fiber slows glucose absorption, keeping the blood sugar levels consistent. Peaches are ripe when they have tight, fuzzy skin that gives in when pressed. To ripen them, leave them in a paper bag or near a windowsill with sunlight exposure.
Cantaloupe season is from May to August. Because of their high water content, melons are great fruits to combat dehydration and promote regular bowel movements. They contain high levels of vitamin A, which benefits the skin, hair, and other bodily tissues, and the potassium levels contribute to decreased blood pressure.
Firm, heavy and symmetrical cantaloupes without soft spots or bruising are at peak ripeness, but be sure to wash the outside of the melon before chopping to prevent salmonella contamination.
Ripe lemons are available year round, but we seem to crave them most during the summer months. Unlike other fruits, lemons do not ripen more after being picked, so producers pick them at their peak ripeness. Lemons are high in vitamin C as well, which is great for the skin, hair, and immune system. It may reduce the risk of stroke, and it can aid in the proper absorption of iron.
Drinking warm lemon water before getting out of bed is great for kick-starting the digestive process, and pairing lemons with other nutrient dense foods is the best way to add them to meals or snacks. Top meats or fish with sliced lemon or add it on top of salad as a dressing.
Passion fruit season is May through August. It is high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A, and it also contains a small amount of iron, which is easily absorbed due to the vitamin C. It is rich in antioxidants, including beta-carotene and polyphenols, which protect against chronic inflammation and decrease the risk of cancer.
It is most often eaten as a dessert or topping for salads or yogurt, and it tastes great blended into smoothies as well. Larger and heavier passion fruit often contain more juice, and they are ripest when the skin is deeply wrinkled.
If you crave sweet treats in the summer, treat yourself to these five fruits instead of cakes or cookies, and you will see a difference in your health and energy.