Every season is amazing, but summer is my favorite by far. That's probably because there's so much that grows in the summer, especially fruit! Out of all the seasons, summer hosts the most fruit and I cannot get enough of their juicy goodness. Just pop by any farmers market and you will see exactly what I mean. Farmers markets only sell exactly what's in season to your area, so it's a great way to gauge what's supposed to be growing this time of year, and what's not. We all know supermarkets would have us think almost every fruit and veggie can be grown pretty much year round (even in the dead of winter), but that's simply not the truth. Besides, seasonal produce has the most flavor and nutrition benefits. To really connect with this season of abundance, here are four summer fruits you should be eating this summer.
Keep Skin Glowing with Cherries
I probably eat too many cherries for my own good in the summer months. When I was little, I especially loved white cherries, but now I've come to appreciate the dark red ones just as much. The good news is, they're in season and let me tell you, they taste better than ever. Cherries only have one season (summer) so make sure to get them in while you still can! They're loaded with good for you nutrients too, like vitamin C and potassium. They're also bursting with antioxidants, which help keep your body looking and feeling younger. Still, it's great to know these guys help premature aging. Also, the pigment molecules called anthocyanins in cherries help firm your skin and keep deep connective tissue strong and youthful. Not to mention they protect DNA from oxidative damage. Believe it or not, cherries also help prevent UV damage: That's because they have the antioxidant quercetin in them (which is also an antihistamine that may reduce allergy symptoms). It literally makes them the perfect food to eat while taking a sun bath (paired with natural mineral sunscreen, of course). The main thing I love about cherries is that they're powerful anti-inflammatory foods: This helps to reduce skin redness! Their anti-inflammatory properties are also great for alleviating arthritis, soreness after workouts, and blocking wrinkles (sweet!). So stop the chatter and get snacking on these powerhouses!
Boost Hair and Nails with Raspberries
We love raspberries in my household! These delicious gem-like berries contain an impressively large list of antioxidants. From collagen-protecting anthocyanin pigments to toxin fighting ellagic acid, these little fruits pack a powerful punch. I see scores of them at the farmers market, and let’s just say their taste is impeccable (way better than the ones at the grocery store). Since they're currently in season, they taste even better! Raspberries also offer age-fighting, collagen building nutrition from vitamin C and plenty of fiber. Don't be fooled by their small size! They also have fantastic liver-supporting and blood-building properties that strengthen and support beautiful skin and hair. Raspberries also contain biotin, which is important for growing hair and nails. So if you'd like to keep your skin, hair, and nails looking radiant, start stocking up on raspberries! They make great additions to smoothies and salads!
Fight Aging with Blueberries
I love putting blueberries in my salad. They add that perfect pop of sweetness (without being overly sweet). The good news is, they're loaded with anti-agers that'll keep you looking youthful for a long time. Specifically, anthocyanin is what makes blueberries so special: They boost skin elasticity and connective tissue and protect against UV damage (much like cherries do). Blueberries are also a great source of vitamins C and E, along with a healthy dose of potassium which boosts the circulation of oxygen and nutrients. Believe it or not, these blue bad boys may even reduce fat storage in your body, thanks to their ability to decrease insulin resistance. That makes them the perfect go-to snack for anyone looking to shed a few pounds! For the best results, eat them fresh or frozen in smoothies, salads, or as a garnish.
Detoxify with Watermelon
Sometimes, watermelon is the only thing that quenches my thirst on a hot summer day. There's a reason for that: watermelon has 92 percent water in every bite! It's essentially like a hydrating drink of water, but for your skin. There are several other perks to eating watermelon though. Watermelon helps give your body strong UV-protection (similar to cherries and blueberries) thanks to the antioxidant lycopene. Eating this melon in sync with your natural sunscreen will help you stay sun-damage-free all summer long! This fruit is also great at helping with weight loss and slimness: That's because it reduces water retention and cools and detoxifies the body. It's also a really great source of iron, which is important for red blood cell production. The more red blood cells you have the better, as they encourage healthy skin, hair, and nails. Watermelon even helps the body make arginine, an amino acid that is indirectly involved in bodily healing and production of anti-aging HGH. Arginine also supports cardiovascular health, ensuring healthy blood flow throughout the body. So if you have a lack of iron in your diet, want to slim down, need to hydrate, or want a healthy heart, make sure to eat more watermelon! After all, it's only seasonal to summer (which makes it all the more exclusive and special).