Top Picks for Seasonal Summer Produce
Here are some of our top picks for seasonal summer produce and why they are beneficial to your health. So read up and make a trip to your local farmers market or favorite store. When possible you’ll want to choose organic.
Apples – not only are apple delicious and inexpensive, they fill you up due to their high water and fiber content. Apples contain pectin, a fiber source, which is also known as a prebiotic. Prebiotics deliver good bacteria to your body.
Asparagus – a natural diuretic, helps the body to flush excess water and salt, combating bloat. Full of tryptophan, mood levels can be elevated by consuming asparagus. Asparagus is also high in Vitamins B, especially folic acid, E, and K. Go for purple asparagus and get even more antioxidants.
Beans (Shell) – also known as “poor man’s meat,” because of their quality protein levels. Beans are quite high in fiber, making them a top satiating food. Adding on, beans are a great source of B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Choosing beans over meat, just two times a week, promotes healthy cholesterol levels and helps protect against heart disease.
Lettuce – a good source of chlorophyll and Vitamins A, B, C and K. Lettuce is high in folic acid and minerals manganese and chromium. The darker the lettuce, the greater nutrient content.
Morel Mushrooms – high in iron, Vitamin D, and Phosphorus, which helps deliver oxygen and plays a role in forming strong bones and DNA. Eating just a cup of these delicious and rare mushrooms provides a generous serving of antioxidants, which help ward off certain diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Nettles – Nettle leaf is most commonly used to treat pain, osteoarthritis, allergies and hay fever. You can add the leaves and stems to a salad, steam them, toss into soup, or make tea out of them. Some people mix extracted nettle root with alcohol to make a tincture, take it in an encapsulated form, or turn the dried version of it into a tea.
Onions – an excellent source of B Vitamins, C and K, chromium, and dietary fiber. Onions are a good source of folic acid. Onions have blood sugar lowering qualities. Onions contain quercetin, which is a natural anti-histamine.
Peas – are high in protein and fiber. Peas are a good source of Vitamins B, C, and K. By eating peas, you will consume a variety of minerals, including phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Potatoes – are a great source of many nutrients, including potassium, Vitamins B6 and C, and Niacin. Potatoes contain a good amount of fiber and a moderate amount of protein. Don’t throw away the skins. This is where you will find most of these nutritional features. They are full healing properties that have even been known to treat skin wounds.
Spinach – is extremely nutrient dense. Spinach is full of Vitamins B, C, and K. It contains twice as much iron as other greens. Spinach contains chlorophyll which aids in blood flow. Spinach is one of the best sources of lutein, which promotes eye health.
Thyme – an antioxidant rich herb. Thyme is a good source of manganese and a variety of flavonoids. It is known to have significant antibacterial and fungicidal properties.
Don’t forget to add your seasonal summer produce choices when grilling this summer. Go here for important grilling information from the Sears backyard and to find their favorite BBQ sauce recipes.
Murray, Michael T., Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. London: Time Warner, 2005.