Best Nutrition Buys for Summer Produce
UCCE Advisor, Kern County
Nutrition, Family & Consumer Science
July 20, 2000
BEST NUTRITION BUYS FOR SUMMER PRODUCE
July is a great month for summer produce. This is the time of the year the markets are full of freshly picked fruits and vegetables. However, not all fruits and vegetables are created equally when it comes to nutrition. Some of the produce available supplies an abundance of nutrients. So if your want to get more nutrition for your shopping dollars try the following.
Melons: This is the peak time of the year for melons.
Watermelon is a good source of Vitamins A and C and it contains some iron.
Cantaloupes are also a good source of Vitamins A and C. Both of these melons
provide some Thiamin. This B Vitamin helps the body release energy from
carbohydrates during metabolism.
Citrus: Valencia oranges, grapefruit, and lemons are all
good sources of Vitamin C. If you eat the fruit (instead of drinking the juice
from the fruit), citrus is also a good source of fiber.
Peaches and Nectarines: Both of these fruits are a good
source of Vitamin A and fiber if you eat the skin. A peach also supply some
Niacin, a B Vitamin, is involved in the synthesis of DNA, and maintains the
normal function of your skin, nerves, and digestive system. Nectarines also
supply some Vitamin E.
Cabbage: This vegetable is a great source of Vitamin C
Peppers: Sweet red peppers are a great source of Vitamins
A and C. Green peppers are a great source of Vitamin C.
Summer Squash: Varieties such as zucchini and crookneck
supply moderate amounts of Vitamin C and fiber if you don't peel before
Corn: This vegetable is a great source of fiber and supplies essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acid. The body can't make these essential fatty acids which are required for normal growth and maintenance of cell membranes, and healthy arteries and nerves. In addition they help keep your skin smooth and lubricated.
Lettuce: There are many varieties of lettuce. The darker the leaves the more nutrients lettuce contains. Iceberg lettuce has the least amount of nutrients. Varieties such as red leaf and romaine, are a good source of Vitamin A, and Folic Acid.
Tomatoes: This vegetable is known for its Vitamin C
content. Tomatoes are also a good source of the antioxidant lycopene, which
appears to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
As mentioned, not all fruits and vegetables are created equally when it comes to nutrients. However it is important to eat a good variety of food including fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that you eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. There is convincing evidence that a lowfat diet with lots of fruits and vegetables helps reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other health problems.