As the summer season draws closer, more and more people are going to be looking to lighten up their menus, choosing foods that are eaten cold or that can be easily prepared on the barbeque. Now’s also a prime time to take advantage of the seasonal fruits that are available to help boost your vitamin and fiber intake, while satisfying your taste buds for something sweet. You’re far better to reach for a piece of fruit when the craving strikes than cakes, candy or ice cream.
Here are some of the main fruits you should focus on to fill your snacks or serve as a dessert to a well balanced meal.
While strawberries are the popular choice in the berry family, and very easily added to cereal, don’t neglect blackberries. Blackberries are very high in fiber, offering 7.6 grams for ever 1 cup you eat. In addition to this, they are also high in potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, as well as lutein, a nutrient that helps promote healthy eyes. Vitamin K is one of the vitamins that is also especially important for males, since it helps to protect against prostate cancer.
The fruit that speaks summer to most people is watermelon. Watermelon is a very good way to stay hydrated as the heat rises since it is almost 92% total water content. The fruit is also a good source of vitamin C, providing 25% of your requirement in a single cup. The additional vitamins and minerals in this fruit include vitamin A, vitamin B6 and B1, as well as potassium and magnesium.
One nutrient that especially stands out in watermelon is lycopene, which provides cancer-fighting benefits.
Papayas make for a great summer fruit as they can easily be added to your salads or eaten on their own with low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt for dessert. The nutritional highlight of papaya is its vitamin C content, providing over 300% of your daily need.
It also is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin E, which all work together to help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which puts you at a lower risk for heart disease.
Finally, two protein-digesting enzymes known as papain and chymopapain help to lower inflammation in the body, aiding those who suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Most men only get pineapple when they order a pizza, but the nutritional punch this fruit packs makes it a good option to eat during the summer months. The big nutrient that pineapple has to offer is manganese, which helps increase the use of biotin, thiamine and ascorbic acid in the body. It also helps the body synthesize the fatty acids you take in and promotes a healthy thyroid gland.
The other nutrients found in pineapple include vitamin C, vitamin B1, copper, and fiber. These nutrients work together to help improve the immune system, protect against macular degeneration and increase energy levels.
Including pineapple in your diet has also been said to improve the taste of sperm, so this fact alone makes it a very good fruit for men to eat for their sexual partner’s sake.
One of the biggest advantages to the guava fruit is that if you choose to consume the seeds of the fruit, you’ll take in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The fruit itself is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and dietary fiber, helping to boost your immune system and keep your digestive system healthy. It also contains carotenoids and polyphenols, which are two main antioxidants for the body that protect against free radical damage. One fruit contains just 35 to 50 calories, so it’s a great option for those who are looking to lose body fat over the summer.
Finally, the last healthy summer fruit for guys to add to your day is kiwi. Kiwi’s are much higher in vitamin C than the traditional orange, which is known for this nutrient and contains a good dose of dietary fiber, helping to improve your colon health and prevent cancer. Kiwi is also a source of potassium, copper, magnesium, and vitamin E, rounding out the nutritional benefits it offers.
Having a diet higher in vitamin C is associated with reduced risk for hypertension and stroke, and with one kiwi meeting 95% of your vitamin C needs for the day, it makes for an incredibly easy way to get your required intake.
Fruit for Thought
Be sure you are not limiting yourself to just apples, oranges and bananas this summer. Mix it up by including the seasonal produce that will add variety and nutrients to your daily diet.
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