The official beginning of summer is this weekend! While it may be tempting to reach for that pint of Ben & Jerry’s to beat the heat and satisfy your craving for a sugary snack, summer is actually the best time to work healthier snack options into your diet. The summer harvests bring many more options for tasty, locally grown fruits, and when you’re eating local food, it’s fresher and usually tastes better than when it’s imported. At LG Insurance, we’re always trying to be healthier and support our community. This summer we’re going to be snacking on some of these delicious fruits which grow right here in our area (There’s a good reason New Jersey is called the Garden State!), and we hope you will too!
- Blueberries. This superfood is a summer favorite. Put them on top of your yogurt, mix them in with your cereal or include them in a fruit salad to give yourself a huge nutritional intake for only a few calories. Along with being one of the most antioxidant-rich foods on the planet, blueberries also pack in lots of fiber, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
- Raspberries. Like blueberries, red raspberries are rich in antioxidants which reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The fiber they contain is also great for weight loss as it helps you feel fuller. Raspberries make a great addition to smoothies or as a snack on their own.
- Watermelon. Watermelon is wonderfully juicy and will keep your hydrated on those hot days. (Just don’t eat too much right before a long car ride!) Watermelon is also a great summer fruit since it contains lycopene, the compound that gives certain fruits their reddish or pinkish color. Lycopene has been shown to protect skin from sun damage. Another great source of lycopene is . . .
- Tomatoes. Some people forget that tomatoes are a fruit and not a vegetable. While these antioxidant and Vitamin C rich fruits are a staple of most people’s diets, we recommend you buy some local tomatoes (or grow some of your own!) this summer, since New Jersey is known for producing great tomatoes, and they tend to taste the best when grown in the height of summer.
- Peaches. Peaches are so deliciously sweet, you’ll forget that they’re not a junk food! A medium sized peach is only about 60 calories and contains fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and lots of other nutrients.
- Cherries. If you like fruit that is a bit more tart than sweet, cherries are a great choice! They’re full of antioxidants and Vitamin C and also contain melatonin, which aids with a healthy, regular sleep cycle.
And those are just a few! We’re lucky to have so many fresh fruit options grown right here in our community. We hope you enjoy the bounty Mother Earth and local farmers give us this summer, and that you’re also looking forward to the fall, where we’ll have plenty of local apples, pears and cranberries to munch on too!