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10 Of The Best Summer Produce To Eat

July 22, 2012

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Summer is a time for sun in the fun, picnics, and days at the beach, barbecues and lots of fresh produce like strawberries, watermelon, corn on the cob, tomatoes, etc. Summer is the best time to head to the farmers market; roadside fruit stands, and produce markets. Locally grown produce is sold cheap due to the abundance of fruits and vegetables available this time of year. This makes summer the best time of year to buy plenty of fruits and vegetables. Load up on the multicolor cornucopia of nutrients that this summer’s produce provides.




Vegetables of Summer

corn vegetable of summerCorn

You know its summer when you see the corn stocks sprouting up in the once wide-open cornfields. Corn on the cob is a summer staple at cookouts and barbecues and for good reason. Corn contains a unique combination of phytonutrients, which provides the body with antioxidant benefits. With all the nutrients corn contains such as B-complex vitamins B1, B5 and folic acid, as well as antioxidants vitamin C and manganese, its phytonutrients are the most beneficial to the body in the summer.  Corn contains antioxidant phytonutrients including anthocyanins, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, lutein, syringic acid, vanillic acid, protocatechuic acid, and zeaxanthin. These powerful antioxidants help protect the body from the suns damaging rays and lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. Unless you live in Antarctica it’s hard to stay out of the sun during the summer months, which means lots of exposure to UV rays. So eat a lot of corn this summer to protect your body from the damaging effects of the sun.

Zucchini

Part of the summer squash family, zucchini is a powerful summer vegetable low in calories, but high in fiber and nutrients. Its fiber content aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains blood sugar levels and helps with weight management by discouraging overeating. Zucchini’s nutrients include but are not limited to vitamins A, B6, B5, C, folate, minerals copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and antioxidants lutein, and beta-carotene. The antioxidants within zucchini, which include vitamin C and A, fight against free radicals, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer and have anti inflammatory effects on the body. The minerals found in zucchini provide several health benefits. Copper helps to reduce the development of hyper inflammatory disorders such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Magnesium reduces the risk for heart attacks and stroke and along with phosphorus builds and maintains healthy bones. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure.  Zucchini along with its close relatives in the squash family are versatile, healthy summer vegetables.





 

eggplant vegetable of summerEggplant

Eggplant is officially the most well known purple vegetable out there. Its purple color comes from its phytonutrient compounds, which have antioxidant properties. The phytonutrient compounds found in eggplant include phenolic compounds caffeic and chlorogenic acid and flavonoids anthocyanin and nasunin. These potent antioxidants protect the body by eliminating free radicals and protecting cell membranes from damage. Chlorogenic acid found in eggplants happens to be one of the most potent antioxidants with additional beneficial characteristics. It is an anti mutagenic (anti cancer), anti microbial, anti LDL (bad cholesterol), and antiviral. Nasunin, which is found in eggplants skin, is an iron chelator in addition to being a powerful antioxidant. Don’t knock it until you try it, this funny shaped purple vegetable has tons of health perks.


tomatoes vegetable of summer 
Tomatoes

Although tomatoes are available year round, they are the freshest during the summer. Big, red, plump tomatoes are great protectors of your skin, heart and health. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant carotenoid called lycopene, which not only helps give them their color but is responsible for several health benefits. Lycopene protects cells from free radical damage. It acts like a natural sun block reducing the damaged caused by UV rays. Its vitamin C content helps to protect against infections, oncoming colds, and viruses. Add tomatoes to your summer meals to avoid getting sunburn.


Continue to see the Fruits of Summer