Bursting with fresh fruits and veggies, summer is the perfect time of year to focus on eating well.
The air is warm, the sun is shining and the farmers market is rife with leafy greens, juicy melons and colorful peppers.
“Local produce is easily accessible during the summer months, which is wonderful for a variety of reasons,” said Amanda Goldman, MS, RD, LD, FAND, system director, CHI Food and Nutrition Services, and director of diabetes and nutrition care, CHI Saint Joseph Health. “Naturally low in calories, fresh produce grown close to home can be purchased and consumed as soon as possible after harvest when the items are most flavorful and the nutrient content is richest. It also may be less expensive than items shipped from far away.”
Smart meal preparation
The ingredients you buy will dictate the success of your meals, so take your time to put together grocery lists with items that are refreshing and satisfying. Think tomatoes, peppers and sweet watermelon. Or, if you have a green thumb and are teaching your children to garden, you may harvest fresh produce from your own backyard. Pick up some of your favorite seasonings, as well as sources of lean protein, like chicken or white fish.