Wellness Club —  Produce Picks for Summer

Wellness Club — Produce Picks for Summer
Abingdon, VA. - Saturday, Jun 1, 2019.

Written by: Kaitlyn Webb, ETSU Dietetic Intern
Edited by: Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN, Food City Registered Dietitian

It’s getting hot out and the first official day of summer is just around the corner! Seasonal produce is abundant during the summer months and it’s also a great time to get out-doors, breathe in the fresh air, and get active! Lifestyle habits that include nutritious food choices and physical activity play a strong role in overall health. Here are three produce items to add to your summer shopping list:

Did you know that a single avocado contains nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals as well as beneficial macronutrients? Peak avocado production is during the summer months and one avocado alone contains 9 grams of fiber- that’s over a third of your daily recommended fiber intake! Additionally, consumption of monounsaturated fats, like the fats found in avocados, has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol. Check out FoodCity.com for avocado recipes like the Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad or the Avocado Green Tea Popsicles!

Rich, ruby-red beets are packed full of betaine, a phytochemical, that can help fight free radicals and prevent chronic diseases. Additionally, beets are a good source of potassium, fiber, and natural nitrates which are all important nutrients for heart health. Nitrates are converted to nitric acid in our bodies and research has shown that consumption of nitrates in the diet can assist with transport of oxygen, can improve blood flow, and may reduce blood pressure. If you’re new to beets, try roasting with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or with an orange juice glaze!

One serving of cherries contains 3 grams of fiber, is a good source of vitamins A and C, contains potassium and is rich in anthocyanins! Anthocyanins are a group of antioxidants that may prevent against heart disease and cancer and have been shown to enhance memory and cognitive function. While cherries are in season during the summer months, there are so many different ways to include cherries year-round! You can eat them fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or juiced. Add them to smoothies and sweet treats, or enjoy as a snack on their own.