Nutrition

Nutrition From The Garden – 8 Summer Fruits/Vegetables For Healthy Eating And Fat Loss !

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As someone who values the importance of healthy eating and shopping locally, my favourite part of summer is the nutrition from the garden available to me from local farms. Some women love shoe shopping, but for me a few things make me as happy as spending time browsing the incredible abundance of fresh produce available at farm stands and farmers’ markets.

Let’s take a look at the 8 best summer fruits and vegetables you can enjoy while they are in season:

Bell Peppers

Sliced and raw, chopped on salads, grilled, or stuffed, few veggies say summer like peppers. I love their bright colours and the following nutritional benefits that they bring to my summer diet:

  • more than 100% of your daily recommended amount of Vitamins A and C
  • Vitamin B6 and Folic Acid, helping to reduce the risk of high cholesterol

bell peppers

Berries

At summer temperatures rise, all varieties of berries get plump and juicy. The health benefits of including them on their own or on top of salads include:

  • a taste of something sweet that is low in calories
  • rich in antioxidants, helping to minimize cell damage
  • may reduce the risk of colon or ovarian cancer
  • may reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s disease

berries

Cucumbers

I am off to my favourite farm today to stock up on a fresh crop of these cool, crisp veggies. They are great sliced on their own or in salads, but how about trying them instead of or in addition to chopped celery in your tuna/chicken salad ? Their benefits include:

  • good source of fibre, potassium and magnesium
  • source of silica, which improves skin health and complexion

cucumbers

Eggplant

Eggplant is one those vegetables that don’t immediately spring to mind, probably due to their rather bland taste and being associated with high-calorie, high-fat dishes like eggplant parmesan/baba ganoush, my all-time favourite dip. However, grilled or roasted, added to soups and stews they provide the following nutritional advantages:

  • good source of B Vitamins
  • rich in antioxidants
  • may reduce cholesterol

eggplant

Check out our fat-free, low calorie, vegan and gluten-free Baba Ganoush Recipe​ to start implementing eggplant within your diet today !

Green Beans

​Green beans are found in abundance at local farms and farm markets. Like many legumes, green beans provide a variety of health benefits like:

  • ​a decent source of protein
  • good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, choline, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin B6 and vitamin E
  • ability to lower our risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease

green beans

Pears

Pears are an extraordinary summer fruit. They have a mild flavour and soft texture that leads them to pair well (pun intended) with other tastes for gourmet summer dishes with the following nutritional benefits:

  • good source of Vitamin C and Copper
  • 4 grams of dietary fibre per serving

pears

Summer Squash (Zucchini)

​Like eggplant, summer squash (or zucchini) is one of those under-rated vegetables that pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are delicious sliced and raw like cucumbers, or grilled/roasted and their firm flesh makes them a pretty addition on shiskabobs. These are a few of their health benefits:

  • ​zucchini peel is an excellent source of dietary fibre
  • yellow-skinned variety in particular is rich in flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as carotenes and lutein, which help to eliminate free radicals from the body
  • excellent source of potassium
  • good source of folates and the B-complex vitamins
  • good source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C

summer squash

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are technically a fruit, but they appear at vegetable stands everywhere. Here are the many health benefits and uses for tomatoes:

  • ​1.5 grams of fibre in each average sized tomato
  • a good source of Vitamin C, with one average sized tomato providing 28% of recommended daily intake
  • a good source of Potassium, which is beneficial for blood pressure control and cardiovascular disease prevention
  • a good source of Vitamin K1, which is important for bone health
  • a good source of folate

tomatoes

Summer is a great opportunity to pump up your nutrition from the garden.  Check out farms or farmers’ markets in your area, and enjoy the summer bounty.  You will be supporting your local businesses while benefitting from produce at its peak of flavour and nutrition.

This article was written by Miranda Cole and for more nutrition posts and amazing recipes please visit her website: Diet-Scams

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