One of my favorite things about the summer is definitely the endless variety of summer fruits that are available. Not only do they help to cool you down when you just can’t beat the heat, they can also helps to satisfy your sweet tooth, while filling you up with good-for-you antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. From the well-known watermelon to the less popular fig, here is a list of 10 summer fruits that I consider a must-have this season.
Watermelon is definitely one of my all-time favorite summer fruits. A perfect snack for a day at the beach, or a sweet treat before bedtime, watermelon not only works wonders at replenishing lost fluids for the body, it can also help keep you cool, hydrated and satiated. Containing a healthy dose of lycopene that protects your skin against sun damage, watermelons are also a good source of vitamins A and C.
At only 49 calories per cup, strawberries are not only amazingly delicious, they are also extremely healthy for you. Containing 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein per serving, they are also a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and manganese. Furthermore, strawberries can help promote increased blood flow to your skin and decrease your sensitivity to light, improving your skin’s appearance, structure and texture.
Conjuring up images of exotic locales and tropical vacations, pineapples provide a good mix of vitamins and antioxidants. They also contain enzymes, like bromelain, that can protect your body against inflammation and help keep your gut in balance.
Mangoes are another sweet tropical fruit that make me dream about beautiful beaches and cool, frothy drinks. Surprisingly low in calories thanks to their high water content, at about 135 for the whole mango, they are also high in potassium, vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Did you know green and yellow kiwis contain more vitamin C than oranges do? These giant berries are also packed with vitamin E, potassium and fiber, and only contain about 40 calories per fruit.
Papaya is a creamy, astringent fruit that is pleasantly sweet with a lightly musky flavor. The seeds are also edible, though a bit on the bitter side. Extremely high in potassium, vitamins A, C, folate and beta-carotene, an entire cup only has 55 calories. It also contains 2.5 grams of fiber. Papaya is also rich in papain and other digestive enzymes, making it a great choice to keep your system running smoothly.
Peaches are one of those fruits that I have a love-hate relationship with. When they are ripe, I can’t get enough – but when they aren’t, they are really bad! Thankfully they peak during the summer, making them the perfect addition to your summertime fruit salad. Full of vitamins A and C, peaches are another low calorie fruit.
Fresh figs are only available when in season, so they are a true summer treat (although some warm climates get another short season in November). Higher in sugars than most of the other fruits on this list, they are also relatively high in fiber, at about 2 grams per fig, helping to reduce their overall glycemic load. Figs are also full of potassium, with good amounts of vitamin B6, calcium and iron, as well.
9 Red Grapes
Nature’s perfectly portioned kid snack, red grapes are not only delicious but filled with powerful phytonutrients as well. From the flesh, which is sweet and contains a nice dose of soluble fiber, to the seeds, which are loaded with tannins and other antioxidants, even the skins are tannin-rich and contain high amounts of the anti-aging resveratrol and other flavonoids. Grapes also provide a decent hit of vitamins A and C.
Cherries are another true summer fruit, thanks to their short growing season. While all cherry varieties contain a good source of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, tart cherries contain even higher concentrations and may help reduce risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Cherries are also rich in antioxidants and cancer-preventive compounds, including quercetin and ellagic acid.
While the temperatures can vary from one climate to the next, and we may not all enjoy being in the sun as much as others, there is one thing we all have in common, no matter which state we live in – the summer fruits! Sweet and cooling, rich and rehydrating, I can’t help but look forward to summer fruits all year long! What summer fruit can you not live without?