Summer Produce

Summer is here! What are the fruits and vegetables to look for? Here are some highlights:
  • Beets: These need to be heavy for their size with smooth, firm skin. They are a great source of anitoxidants as well as calcium!
  • Berries: Look for plump (rather than soft) berries with rich color. These have anthocyanins, or in other words, TONS OF ANTIOXIDANTS!
  • Chinese Cabbage: The leaves on cabbage should not be wilted or have a strong odor. They should also be free from blemish. Cabbage is rich in a powerful antioxidant called glucosinolate. It can help to protect your cells from cancer causing agents.
  • Corn: Look for white or yellow kernels rather than brown and make sure the husks are nice and fresh. Corn gets a bad rap for some reason but it is rich in the B vitamins and fiber.
  • Cucumber: Make sure they are crunchy and firm without bruises. Cucumbers have vitamin C and lots of water. That water and fiber will help keep you full for VERY little calories.
  • Eggplant: Make sure the skin is a shiny, uniform color without wrinkles. They have a nice sturdy texture (much like mushrooms) so may be used in the place of meat. They are a great source of the B vitmains, folic acid in particular that helps to keep your cells healthy.
  • Jicama: Look for one that is well formed and without cracks or blemished skin. Jicama is actually sometimes called the Mexican potato and is nice and crunchy. It is packed with water and fiber to keep you full as well as vitamin C to keep your cells healthy.
  • Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots: These should be slightly soft to the touch and very fragrant. As with most fruits, these are very high in vitamins A and C as well as potassium. Potassium is key to controlling blood pressure.
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini: These should be firm to the touch without blemishes or bruises. They are rich in the antioxidants vitamin A and C as well as a good source of pottasium and fiber. They are lower in calories compared to winter squash.
  • Tomatoes: Pick tomatoes that are rich in color and mostly firm. The darker the red color, the more lycopene, which can reduce your risk for certain types of cancers such as prostate and breast cancer.
  • Watermelon: You want a watermelon that is fairly heavy with a smooth rind. If it is seeded, the seeds should be dark. Tomatoes aren’t the only ones to have lycopene! Lycopene gives both tomatoes and watermelon their red color. It is also so darn refreshing with all that water content!

    What are your favorites?


    Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD