As summer kicks into high gear, you’ve likely been enjoying the sunshine, the warm temperatures and the fresh air, but what about the fresh produce? While you may not think of summer as a season rich in fruits and veggies, there are a surprising number of nutritious favorites you can enjoy.
In fact, much of summer’s bounty includes some of the most popular fruits and veggies. And by enjoying them while they’re in season, you’ll get the added benefit of peak flavor and nutrition.
So with all of these delicious options in season, it’s the perfect time to replenish your body with heart-healthy foods. Whether it’s a healthy snack at the pool, a nutritious burger topper for your next barbecue or a sweet treat, these healthy options are sure to become a staple of your summer.
Avocados: With almost 20 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, avocados are rich in nutrients your heart will love. This includes folate, monounsaturated fats and L-Carnitine, just to name a few.
Tomatoes:As one of the most versatile veggies out there, you can enjoy tomatoes of all shapes and sizes during the summer season. Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes that’s responsible for their bright color, is believed to reduce heart disease risk.
Salad greens: Whether it’s spinach, kale, arugula or romaine lettuce, all of these healthy greens are nutrient powerhouses. Each of these leafy greens is full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Chili peppers: As a spicy and flavorful addition to nearly any savory dish, chili peppers provide an impressive array of vitamins and nutrients. While they may be small, they are mighty, including nutrients such as vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants.
Beets:This nutritious veggie has gotten a bad reputation for being bitter in taste, but with a little seasoning and either roasting, grilling or steaming, you’ll enjoy a milder, sweeter flavor. You’ll also enjoy the plant alkaloid, betaine, as well as folate, which promote the health of your arteries and heart.
Red bell peppers: The bright red color of bell peppers is not only pretty; it’s also an indication of the antioxidant, lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes. This nutrient, along with soluble fiber and vitamins A and C, makes them a summertime favorite.
Berries:As one of the season’s most beloved delights, berries of all kinds, from strawberries and blueberries to raspberries and blackberries are all filled with heart happiness. Blackberries provide polyphenols and high amounts of fiber, while blueberries are high in antioxidants and compounds that support arterial health. Let’s not forget about strawberries, which are high in vitamin C and folate and of course raspberries, which are high in manganese and polyphenols. When it comes to berries, you can’t go wrong.
Heart health is always in season.
Eating this season’s fresh fruits and veggies is a great way to support the health of your heart. However, you don’t want to overlook some of summertime’s heart health hazards either. Things like dehydration and heat exhaustion can spell trouble for your heart.
To ensure the health of your heart all season long, turn to the experts at the GMC Primary Care & Specialty Center-Suwanee. At this center, you’ll enjoy primary care, OB/GYN, cardiology, gastroenterology and imaging services provided in a comfortable, spa-like environment.