I love most fruits and veggies – but if I’m being honest, not all of them are great year-round … especially in the summer.
When the weather gets hot, you don’t feel like something heavy and filling, like squash, potatoes or Brussels sprouts. Instead, you want something light, cool and refreshing – something that will give you some energy and put a little pep in your step!
These lighter fruits and veggies won’t fill you up or make you feel bloated, which is great for those hot summer days, when you’re hitting the beach, wearing short shorts or just laying out by the pool. No one wants to feel sluggish or weighed-down those days.
Having a hard time choosing which fruits and veggies to keep around, and which ones to kick to the curb this summer? I can help. Here’s a full list of the best fruits and veggies to chow down on while summer is upon us:
Though not as popular as their twin the peach, apricots are a delightful little summer treat. Sweet and slightly tart, they’re good in smoothies, chopped up on cottage cheese or just on their own. No need to slice them up either; the skin is one of the best parts!
Melons are always a great summer choice. This includes watermelon, honeydew melon and cantaloupe. For one, these fruits are extremely hydrating, and when the sun is shining and the weather tops 100, hydration is crucial to feeling great. Just cut up a few slices, bag it up and take it down to the neighborhood pool. You’ll feel energetic and refreshed for hours to come.
Tomatoes are great summer foods. They’re perfect in a pico de gallo or salsa, they make a great summer soup or gazpacho, and they’re super yummy with a little salt, basil and olive oil as a snack. But even better than their taste? That’d be their ability to protect you from sunburn. Thanks to their high lycopene content, tomatoes can actually result in 50 percent less skin reddening if consumed before heading outside!
Who doesn’t love a good cherry? They’re sweet and sour all in one, and they even come with their own little stick to pick them up with! The best part? Cherries are great for your health. They can boost your energy, provide pain relief and even help you sleep better.
Only available in the summer months, mangoes are one of the best treasures of the season. Tropical and full of flavor, they’re amazing both in taste and for your health. Eat them on their own or in a smoothie and enjoy a healthier immune system, better cognitive function and a more regular digestive system.
Small, light and sweet, strawberries are the perfect refreshing fruit to eat this summer. They’re great on their own, on top of granola or yogurt, or even atop a fresh salad. The best part? They’re extremely easy to take on the go. Just bag them up, and enjoy them on the beach while you soak in some rays.
Strawberries aren’t the only great berry for the summer. Blueberries are just as summer-friendly and portable, too! They’re sweet, tart and great added on just about any dish or entrée. Bonus point: They can also reduce inflammation, prevent UTIs and improve skin and hair health.
These little-known fruits are a must this summer – especially if you’ve never tried one. Packed full of sweet, juicy flavor, rhubarbs are a great way to sweeten up any dish without adding any unwanted calories or sugars.
Remember, eating these fruits and veggies raw is always the better choice. Sure, they may be great in jams, jellies, tarts and pies, but don’t forget about all the ingredients that go into those – lots of sugar, gluten, butter and flour. Those are all added calories and fats your body doesn’t need!
Always try to eat your fruits raw or, if necessary, cooked just slightly. This will preserve the most nutrients and ensure you don’t get any unwanted calories in the process. If you need to add a little zing to your fruit in order to enjoy it, try sprinkling a little bit of cinnamon on top or adding some lime or lemon juice to make it more tart.
My favorite summer dish? That’d be a good summer salad. Just chop up a rhubarb or two, mix it with some apples, melon slices, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apricots and strawberries (or whatever you have in the fridge), and sprinkle with a little lemon juice. You’ve got a seasonal summer salad that can’t be beat!
What are your favorite summer fruits and veggies? How do you like to eat them or make them more delicious? Share your thoughts in the comments.