With the abundance of healthy fruit and vegetables, it only seems natural that we incorporate these delicious gems into our summer diet. To get you started, here are some amazing fruits and vegetables to add to your diet today!
With its peppery flavor, this little leafy green makes a great addition to salads. As the most nutrient-dense food, watercress earned the top billing on the “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables list compiled by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It contains a denser concentration of vitamin C than an orange, and is also a great source of calcium, iron, folate, plus vitamins A, B6, and K. Watercress also contains only 11 calories per 100 grams. In addition, a study found that daily intake of watercress could reduce DNA damage to blood cells significantly (DNA damage to blood cells is considered an important trigger in the development of cancer).
Part of the legume family, fava beans are popular in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and South America. Also know as broad beans, fava beans are an excellent source of lean protein, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B6, and K. In addition, they are rich in fiber and contain no cholesterol or saturated fats. You can enjoy them raw or cooked, however, the pods must be blanched first.
Who doesn’t love watermelon? Since it is nearly 92% water, it is a great way to stay hydrated on hot summer days. A two-cup serving contains 88 calories and 1g of fiber, plus it is a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which prevents cell damage.
Also a part of the CDC’s “powerhouse” list, lots of nutrients and vitamins are packed into the dark leaves and red, purple, or yellow stalks of Swiss chard. These nutrients include fiber, protein, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K. You can enjoy it raw in salads or cooked and sautéed (a cooked cup contains 3.5g of fiber and only 35 calories).
And because of its unique benefits for blood-sugar regulation, Swiss chard can be beneficial to diabetics. The syringic acid within Swiss chard inhibits the activity of alpha-glucosidase (enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars).
This South American fruit is a great source of fiber, antioxidants, plus vitamins A and C. One serving will also give you two times as much potassium as a banana.
Low in calories with high water content (almost 90%), radishes can be a great summer snack. Also included on the CDC’s list, they are natural diuretics, very filling, and contain vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and folate. Radishes are also natural detoxifiers, which is great for the liver, and have antipruritic properties, which is why they can be used to treat bee stings and insect bites.
Arugula is part of the cabbage family and has a mild peppery, spicy flavor. Another member of the CDC list, it contains 4 calories per cup and is a good source of folate, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K (14% of daily vitamin K requirements). Arugula also contains lutein, which is an antioxidant that maintains healthy eyes, skin, and heart.
With only 68 calories per peach, not only are peaches low in calories but they also provide a great source of fiber. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, which include vitamins C, A, E, and K, plus potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Try grilled peaches for an interestingly delicious treat.
Zucchini is a popular summer squash and a great source of fiber and potassium, with no fat or cholesterol. One cup has only 20 calories plus 35% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Zucchini can be enjoyed raw, grilled, rolled, or diced. Try making “zoodles” for a lighter pasta alternative.
These little red berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals including potassium and vitamin C. One cup of raspberries contains only 64 calories plus 8g of fiber, some of which is soluble in the form of pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. Raspberries may also help fight inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
For a fresh salad or yummy sandwich made to order, visit the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli in Pomona. Try our online ordering system at www.BrickMarketDeli.com to save time and skip the line. You can take your food to go, or enjoy our indoor and patio seating.