Fruit of your Loom

July 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Naturally we lose the winter weight in the summer months, not only for Facebook pictures in our bikinis, but also because we are more active and food is fresh. Farmers Markets are brimming over with some of the best fresh fruits and vegetables. Not only are they delicious but packed with hidden benefits. July is the best time to put these few at the top of your shopping list.

Nectarines:  Ah, the peach without a jacket. California grows over 95% of US nectarines. These 60 calorie wonders are close to home and ripe for the picking. This fruit contains good ratio of minerals and electrolytes such as potassium, iron, zinc, copper and phosphorus, making it a great post work-out snack.

Other nutrients include: beta-carotene, vitamin C, lutein, potassium, and fiber.

Cherries: Not just your average berry. That rich red color that makes this fruit the most sensual of them all comes from cherry anthocyanins. This powerful pigment has not only been shown to be one of the richest in antioxidants but also carries an anti-inflammatory component. Need help relieving muscle and joint soreness? Get your cherries now! Cherries have a short growing season that is peaking right this moment.Other nutrients include: beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.

Eggplant: Eggplant is great anytime but it’s at it’s best right off the vine around late July. However, it’s not just fiber I’m raving about. There is current eggplant research showing the presence of phenolic compounds known to act as antioxidants in our bodies. On top of that the eggplant’s deep purple skin contains antioxidant rich anthocyanins. When choosing an eggplant for your table, make sure to grab one that’s firm and heavier than it looks.

Other nutrients include: fiber, Vitamin B6, folate, niacin, and thiamin as well as potassium, magnesium and calcium.

Fennel: Seen widely as an herb in Mediterranean dishes, but some varieties now grown have a bulbous stem that can be considered a vegetable. Fennel has been used in some cultures to aid eyesight, increase breast-milk production in nursing mothers, and promote digestive health. Enjoy fennel raw in a salad, cooked as a stir fry or try pickling them.

Other Nutrients include: potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.

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