Healthy summer eating habits

Healthy summer eating habits

 
Hooray! Hooray! Summer has arrived! For me, summer officially begins when I get to cruise through the store and farmer markets and marvel at the vibrant colors and smell the sweet aromas of all the fresh local fruits and vegetables. I enjoy fruits and vegetables year round, but during this time of year there is something about them that’s even more special.

To celebrate the start of the summer season, I prepare a big fresh bowl of local strawberries and share them with my family and friends. Many of these fresh, local berries, full of oh-so sweet flavor are often eaten before they make it to the bowl. Berries

As June rolls into July and July to August, many other fruits ripen for our enjoyment, including raspberries (my favorite berry of them all), sweet melons, juicy plums, scrumptious peaches, succulent nectarines and refreshing watermelon. Yum!

Wonderful Berries

In Eugene, we are fortunate to have fresh berries throughout the season. Strawberries mark the beginning of summer, followed by raspberries, blueberries, marionberries and then yummy blackberries. Eating a berry-rich diet can help to reduce the risk of several types of cancers.

Some “berry” good facts:

• The pigments that give berries their beautiful blue and red hues are also good for your health.

• Cranberries and blueberries contain a substance that may prevent bladder infections.

• Blueberries and raspberries contain lutein, an antioxidant that’s important for healthy vision.

• Berries contain phytochemicals and flavonoids that help prevent some diseases.

Selection, Preparation & Freezing

When choosing berries, look for ripe, colorful and firm berries with no sign of mold or mushy spots. Most berries are naturally sweet and require little time or effort to prepare. Just rinse them under water and enjoy them as a snack or dessert, or add a little flavor and sweetness to your cereal or yogurt. You can enjoy them year round, if you individually freeze them during their peak season when they are most favorable and affordable. Simply place clean berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet or tray and freeze until solid. Then put them in individual freezer bags. When you want some in the cold months of December, they should be as good as the day you picked them.

Nutritional Value Berries (1/2 cup serving)

 

STRAWBERRIES

RASPBERRIES

BLUEBERRIES

CALORIES

24

32

43

FAT (grams)

0.3

0.4

0.3

CARBOHYDRATES

5.5

5.5

10.8

VITAMIN A (i.u.)

21

84

77

VITAMIN C (mg)

45

16

10

CALCIUM (mg)

11

14

5

PHOSPHORUS (mg)

15

8

8

POTASSIUM (mg)

131

99

68

SODIUM (mg)

1

0

5

FIBER (grams)

1.8

4.8

3.5

 

Originally published at www.MarketofChoice.com.

Photo by Flikr user Dano

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