Berries and melons are two of the most popular kinds of fruit that can be found in the summer time. These fruits are refreshing, low-calorie snacks that also provide us with many great health benefits.
1. Berries: Most berries are good sources of vitamin C and fiber, while also containing beneficial bioflavonoids that protect against cancer.
- Strawberries: Low in calories but high in the soluble fiber pectin, which helps to lower cholesterol. Strawberries are also one of the highest fruit sources of vitamin C. In fact, one cup of strawberries provide 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.
- Blueberries: Often referred to as a “power food”, blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants among fruits and vegetables. They are also high in anthocyanins, a flavonoid that works to prevent heart disease and cancer while improving memory and brain function.
- Blackberries: The many tiny seeds in blackberries make them good sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Plus, blackberries contain ellagic acid, which has cancer fighting properties!
- Raspberries: These tiny red berries are nutrient packed and an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, iron, and potassium. They are also a good source of insoluble fiber that prevents constipation, and soluble fiber that helps control cholesterol levels.
- Melons:The high water content of melons allow them to be high-volume, but also low-calorie, sweet and flavorful treats that keep us hydrated and satisfied.
- Honeydew Melon: One cup of cubed honeydew melon provides 34% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This delicious melon also contains high levels of potassium, which promote healthy blood pressure.
- Watermelon: Identified as one of the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to the prevention and treatment of certain types of cancers. Watermelon is also rich in amino acids that help promote cardiovascular health by relaxing blood vessels and improving circulation. As an added bonus, a 10 ounce wedge has about 1/3 of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C.
- Cantaloupe: Excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin A, which promote healthy eyesight and prevent the development of cataracts and other vision-related diseases. This melon is also high in vitamin C and antioxidants to help fight free radicals and prevent cell damage in the body while promoting a healthy immune system.
Other fruits and vegetables in season to add color to your plate this summer include: boysenberries, soybeans, eggplant, cucumbers, grapefruit, tomatoes, peaches, passion fruit, shallots, winged beans and summer squash.