Stock up on these fruits and veggies this summer

One of my favourite summer activities is visiting farmer’s markets where I live on Vancouver Island. Eating seasonally is vital for our health, and not only does stocking up on fruits and veggies grown locally make for better meals, but it also feels good to support local farmers.

Eating according to what’s in season allows us to have year-round variety in our diets. When we eat according to what’s grown in each season, we can prevent developing allergies (which often occur when we eat the same foods year-round), eat more nutrient-dense foods, practice environmental sustainability, and even save money.

 
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Here are some nutrient-dense summer foods to stock up on this summer:

  1. Watermelon: Not only does this fruit help keep you hydrated on those hot summer days (it contains 92% water), it also contains high levels of vitamin A and C, which helps to keep skin and hair healthy due to boosting the body’s production of collagen and elastin. Check out this watermelon salad with arugula, feta and fresh herbs via Yummly. 

  2. Berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and cherries are goldmines for nutrient density. Loaded with antioxidants, which help protect the body against free radicals and oxidative stress; fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy; and anti-cancer, cholesterol-lowering, inflammation-reducing properties to improve and maintain your overall health, you can’t go wrong with adding berries to your meals or snacks. Check out this berry chia seed pudding via Downshiftology

  3. Peaches: packed with fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants, peaches can help to lower cholesterol, improve skin, eye, and heart health, and even protect the body against oxidative stress which reduces risk of cancer and other diseases. Try this fresh peach salsa via Feasting at Home.

  4. Zucchini: this summer veggie helps to regulate blood sugar levels, support thyroid and adrenal function, improve digestion, and improve heart health due to its antioxidants and phytonutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, zeaxanthin, and lutein. Try this vegetarian zucchini noodle pad thai via Inspiralized.

  5. Tomatoes: chock-full of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, tomatoes also contain vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. Try these caprese skewers via Kitchen Trials.

Riley Webster