Food is the fuel that keeps the body’s engine purring. And as grandmother (and any nutritionist) will tell you, the best foods for you are whole foods. So to keep you at peak performance (and looking great) we’ve assembled a list of our top summer fruits and vegetables.

Apricots

An excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, potassium, iron and beta-carotene, apricots have a powerful effect on maintaining good eyesight, preventing heart disease and encouraging a strong and healthy immune system.

Avocados

This superfood is a great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, K, foliate, and B6. The unsaturated fat they provide has long been valued for its ability to maintain healthy skin and strong, flexible nails.

Beets

A powerhouse of nutrition, beets provide a healthy dose of potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B and C, beta-carotene, beta-cyanine and folic acid. Renowned for centuries for its ability to cleanse the body of toxins, this mighty vegetable has been shown to keep stomach acid levels in check.

Blueberries

Containing one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit, this beautiful berry is a great source of manganese (important for bone development), fiber (for regularity) and vitamin C (for strong gums, flexible capillaries and a healthy immune system).

Cantaloupes

A powerful anti-inflammatory, these melons have long been a summer favorite. The vitamin A they contain can aid with proper lung function, and though scientists aren’t exactly sure why, there’s research to suggest that they can even help with anxiety and insomnia.

Mangoes

Mangoes contain a host of cancer-fighting compounds like gallotannins, alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and more. Their high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene help boost eye health, while the vitamin B6 they provide helps control homocysteine (high levels of this compound in the blood have a direct effect on an increased incidence of heart disease).

Spinach

Popeye didn’t grab a bag of chips when he needed a boost, he grabbed this powerhouse. Loaded with a host of antioxidants (like lutein and zeaxanthin among others), the research on spinach suggests that this may be one of the world’s perfect foods due to its high content of vitamins A, C, E, and K, magnesium, and folic acid.

Swiss Chard

An excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber, this vegetable is perhaps the least well known on the list – but it shouldn’t be. Try roasting the leaves for a crunchy salad topping or in place of crackers when enjoying a (healthy) dip.

Tomatoes

A great source of lycopene (proven to fight certain cancers, prostate being the most prominent), tomatoes are at their peak of freshness during the summer months. As healthy as they are delicious, they contain high levels of vitamins A and C, calcium and potassium.

Watermelon

This summer treat is chocked full of vitamins A and C. It’s also one of the most easy foods to digest and, due to its high water content, is a great way to keep hydrated when it’s hot out!

Sources:

http://www.everydayhealth.com/vision/6-best-foods-for-your-eyes.aspx

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/nails/a34645/healthy-nail-care-tips/

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-beetroot

http://www.webmd.com/diet/antioxidants-in-fruits?page=2

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=17

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19655802

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2626/2

http://www.marthastewart.com/274967/swiss-chard-recipes

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273031.php

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20709014,00.html