Rich in vitamins and minerals, fruit is nature's sweet treat that's sweet for your health. Summer brings a wealth of fresh produce just waiting to be enjoyed.
For a real nutritional bang, choose a variety of colorful fruits. The different colors tend to be rich in different nutrients.
For example, red fruits are often high in lycopene (an antioxidant that has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers) and blue/purple fruits are often high in anthocyanins which has cancer-fighting properties.
This time of year, Farmer's Markets are stocked and pick-your-own farms are just waiting for your visit.
Try these 10 ways to incorporate a colorful variety of fruits into your diet:
- Add slices of banana, strawberries, and peaches to your morning oatmeal or whole-grain cold cereal.
- Mix blueberries and raspberries into low-fat yogurt for a mid-morning snack.
- Freeze grapes for a Popsicle-like treat. Bananas, berries, and peach slices are also delicious frozen.
- Spruce up a turkey or ham sandwich by adding slices of red and green apples.
- Mix diced green apples, sliced red grapes, and cubes of cooked chicken with low-fat mayo and use a whole-wheat tortilla to make a delicious wrap for lunch.
- Skewer balls of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew for a attractive and tasty side dish.
- Add slices of apple, strawberries, pear, or mandarin oranges to a spinach salad.
- Top baked or grilled tilapia with a fresh salsa -- try combining finely diced mango and pear with some cucumber, a little olive oil and pepper.
- Grill sliced stone fruits such as peaches or plums -- spray the halves with a no-calorie butter spray and sprinkle with cinnamon before grilling to enhance flavor.
- Scoop out the seeds in a papaya half and fill with a mix of fruits (such as strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, and star fruit). Top with a small dollop of low-calorie whipped topping or low-fat yogurt.