When in doubt, track it out!
June is here and the official start to Summer is around the corner. Not only is Summer a lush, green, sunshine-filled time for us when we spend more time outdoors and have more energy thanks to that sunny Vitamin D, it is also a fantastic time for colorful, healthy produce! Eating seasonally is not only ideal for eating fresh, robust-flavored produce, but it is also healthier, saves money, and more!
OVERALL BENEFITS OF EATING SEASONALLY
- MORE FLAVOR: Flavor is sacrificed when produce is picked before it is fully ripe. If your produce is coming from across the US or another country, it is picked too early and then packed up to travel, oftentimes sprayed with chemicals to prevent ripening when on-the-move.
- MORE NUTRIENT-DENSE: When produce is picked before it’s ripe (in order for it to travel long distances,) the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. When picked too early, they don’t have the sun to grow them into their full nutrient potential, which limits their full health benefits.
- SAVES $: Produce in season is more abundant, so it is less per pound in the store. If you are buying produce that is out of season, it comes from a long distance and has added cost for the travel or measures taken to grow it locally in a greenhouse during off-seasons.
- COMMUNITY: buying seasonally is most likely also buying local. That is a great way to support local CSAs, Farmer’s, and businesses.
SUMMER’S SEASONAL PRODUCE LIST
HERBS, SPICES/PEPPERS, + GREENS
Butter lettuce is amazing to use as a wrap for tacos or as a low-carb bread alternative in so many circumstances!
BERRIES: Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, + Cherries
STONE FRUITS: Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Plums
For info on the many health benefits of peaches, check out my blog
I love adding stone fruits to my salads, so using peach slices in a simple chicken salad is a fantastic way to change-it-up and add a dose of seasonal produce to a meal.
MELONS: Cantaloupe, Honeydew, + Watermelon
For plenty of refreshing watermelon recipes like grilled watermelon-feta salad, watermelon salsa, watermelon sorbet, and more, check out the health benefits blog for the summertime melon
Try my healthier take on Elotes for a great corn recipe this summer!
- Try using cauliflower, and purple cauliflower at that, with this creative Cauliflower “Grits” breakfast bowl- made with eggs and oh-so creamy and good!
- I also use cauliflower to make a keto-approved, low-carb Everything Bagel recipe
- For the health benefits of purple cauliflower
GREEN BEANS + LONG BEANS
I use radishes ALL of the time, but 2 of the more creative recipes using my favorite watermelon radishes are:
TOMATOES + TOMATILLOS
This easy to make instant pot recipe is a great #tacotuesday summer dish: Chicken Verde
Millions of peaches….peaches for free! The health benefits and tasty, sweet goodness of this pitted stone fruit are incredible! Nutrition truly does come straight from the produce department!
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PEACHES
- Aids in digestion: thanks to beneficial gut bacteria in the prebiotics that help with inflammation, immunity, and mood, peaches along with their decent level of fiber, are good for your digestive system.
- Immune system support: thanks to their Vitamin C + A content, these antioxidants help peaches boost your immune system.
- Beneficial for your skin: thanks to the water content (85%!) peaches help keep your skin hydrated while the Vitamin C content helps build collagen which fortifies the skin’s integrity and elasticity. Beta Carotene is found in peaches as well (thanks to their orange coloring,) and is what lends to the benefits of Vitamin A; protects from sun damage, balances the skin’s color, and lends to a glow.
- Helps protect your vision: Vitamin A lends to eye health, while peaches also have lutein and zeaxanthin that protect the eyes from macular degeneration.
- Lowers blood pressure: the potassium content in peaches, which works directly with sodium to keep the body in balance, helps regulate blood pressure. This relationship with sodium also helps potassium control bloat.
Buying Guide and The Benefits of Wild Salmon
….with some recipe links too!
When shopping for it:
- Keep in mind that wild salmon is seasonal and has an “off-season” of November to March
- Wild salmon is also called: Coho, Sockeye, + King
- Color: farmed salmon is lighter and more pink, while wild has a deeper reddish-orange color
- If you cannot find wild salmon, these other seafoods have similar health benefits: mackerel, sardines, herring, + black cod.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS
Fatty fish like salmon is needed in the diet to provide us with the essential fatty acids: the long-chain omega-3s, EPA, + DHA. “Essential” meaning we have to consume these fats to get the needed benefits. Wild salmon, vs farmed salmon, has more of these fats and also has less fat and calories!
While there isn’t a standard requirement for EPA and DHA, many health organizations recommend that healthy adults get a minimum of 250–500 mg of them combined per day.
SALMON HAS EVEN MORE HEALTH BENEFITS
- A healthy protein source, which helps us heal, protect our bones, + builds our muscles.
- An excellent source of several B vitamins, which are needed for energy production, controlling inflammation and protecting heart and brain health.
- Contains a good deal of potassium, which helps control blood pressure and prevent excess fluid retention.
- Has selenium; a mineral involved in protecting bone health, improving thyroid function and reducing the risk of cancer.
- An antioxidant, astaxanthin, is found in salmon and is said to benefit heart, brain, nervous system and skin health.
- Fatty fish like salmon are said to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and may decrease the risk of age-related memory loss.
- Salmon and other fatty fish can help lower inflammation; which reduces the risk for many chronic diseases.