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10 Of The Best Summer Produce To Eat Cont.

July 22, 2012

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Fruits of Summer


Rhubarb only grows in the summer and is thought of as a vegetable but is actually a fruit. Most rightly so because its most often used in desserts. Rhubarb looks like red celery, but it gets its red color from the powerful antioxidants, which promote health and prevent disease. Antioxidants, which give the appearance of a red color, are lycopene and anthocyanins. Both of these antioxidants promote the health of the heart, eyes, skin, immune system and prevent cancer. Another antioxidant rhubarb contains is lutein. Lutein neutralizes free radicals and protects the eyes and skin specifically.  In addition rhubarb is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Rhubarb has sufficient amounts of vitamin K, helping the body to form blood clots during times of injury. Rhubarb is loaded with healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, selenium, copper, and phosphorus, which helps with bone health, red blood cell function, and nervous system health. Rhubarb is a non-dairy source of bone building calcium. Although most people prefer to indulge in rhubarb in its dessert form, avoid the extra calories by eating it raw.

strawberries fruit of summerStrawberries

Picking strawberries right off the vine is a perfect summer activity where you can buy strawberries in bulk for cheap. Strawberries are known for their bright red color, plump shape and sweet flavor. Strawberries are full of healthy nutrients with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Strawberries are most notably known for their vitamin C content but are also good sources of vitamin A, K, folate, choline, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, fluoride and manganese. With all its healthy nutrients strawberries health benefits range from prevention of cardiovascular disease, decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes and cancer prevention. That’s why strawberries are the best fruit to eat to load up on antioxidant benefits.


cherries fruit of summerCherries

Cherries are known as a super fruit, which come into season during the summer. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, which provide the body with a wide variety of health benefits. Most notably cherries antioxidants, anthocyanins and melatonin act as an anti inflammatory, which reduces gout and joint pain associated with arthritis, in addition it regulates heart rhythms and in the bodies sleep cycle. Its vitamin and mineral content (beta carotene, vitamin C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate) make it a good food to aid in brain function and prevent memory loss. Cherries are full of fiber, which aids digestion but also helps in weight management by revving up the fat burning process and decrease fat storage. Cherries reduce the risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. So grab a bowl of cherries as your next snack and dig in.


watermelon fruit of summerWatermelon

Summer barbecues and cookouts call for a fresh, juicy delicious dessert, watermelon. Remember eating all the way down to the rind or seeing who can pit the seeds the farthest. Watermelon can be a refreshing treat to cool the body on a hot summer day. Its water content alone can keep you hydrated, boost your mood, sharpen your memory and provide you with energy. In addition watermelon contains powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It detoxes the body, eliminates liver toxins, stimulates the kidneys, reduces acne, removes cellulite and moisturizes the skin. Antioxidants vitamin A, C, carotenoids and lycopene neutralize free radicals, which protect the skin and eyes and prevent cancer. Watermelon contains the amino acid citruline, which helps to create the amino acid arginine within the body. These amino acids remove ammonia from the body and produce nitric oxide. This relaxes blood vessels, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, the immune system and heart activity. The white part of the rind also contains silica, which strengthens bones and helps with proper functioning of the pancreas. Eating watermelon will fill up your stomach and satisfy your sweet craving.


blueberries fruit of summerBlueberries

The best way tot eat blueberries is by picking them right off the branch. Blueberry picking is a fun summer activity, which supplies the body with a ton of health benefits. Blueberries aren’t called super fruits for nothing. Blueberries have the capability to boost the immune system, prevent infections, neutralize free radicals, reduce belly fat, preserve vision, increase brain health, reduce the risk of heart disease and caner and improve digestion and constipation and so much more. Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all other fresh fruits in the world.  Blueberries contain anthocyanins, vitamin C, E, A, B complex, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, carotenoids, flavonoids, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and fiber. Anthocyanins have the highest concentration and are responsible for their blue/purple color. All of blueberries nutrients work in combination to improve the bodies health overall. Head to the blueberry patch and pop some blueberries in your mouth to improve your mood, and sharpen your memory.


raspberries fruit of summerRaspberries

The sweet and tart taste of raspberries in the summer can be just what you need. Raspberries like many other berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries) are in season during the summer. And much like these other berries, raspberries are filled with potent phytonutrient antioxidants, which protect the body form harmful free radicals and prevent cellular damage.  Raspberries have higher antioxidant capacities than strawberries, kiwis and tomatoes. The primary phytonutrient tannin in raspberries is ellagic acid. It is only found in a few other foods such as green tea. Raspberries also contain flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol and anthocyanins, which are responsible for its luscious red color. These antioxidants have antimicrobial properties, which prevent the overgrowth of certain bacteria and fungi, and anticancer activity, which prevent the growth of tumors and the damage of cell membranes. Raspberries are full of fiber, which help to control cholesterol, manage weight and promote weight loss. But raspberries only grow for a short window of time so its vital to get them while their ripe.