July 11, 2019
Summer is in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy healthy meals with fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables that provide plenty of nutrients and delicious taste. Eating seasonal produce has numerous health advantages. Adding seasonal foods to your diet can help protect against heart disease, support your immune system and boost your mood.
Foods that are in season are usually fresher, healthier and more nutritious for you. In fact, eating fruits and vegetables during their peak season allows them to ripen naturally and develop more beneficial minerals and nutrients. FreshConnect is a good resource to find out what’s in season in New York at any time of the year.
Apples are rich in fiber and water, which helps keep the body hydrated during the summer months and can help control weight loss. Apples also contain antioxidants that help with bone health. These antioxidants help retain calcium within the bones that are typically lost over time. Apples have also been linked to helping reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Strawberries contain a high number of antioxidants, helping to fight off diseases and inflammation. They also contain a high amount of vitamin C, fiber, and manganese (a mineral used for many vital functions). Strawberries can even help protect against vision loss and ward off cancer.
You can usually expect to find an abundance of grapes during the summer season. Grapes, like strawberries, contain the trace mineral manganese and also have a high amount of Vitamins C, B1 and B6. Adding grapes to your diet can help maintain strong heart function and provide energy for the central nervous system.
Head to any summer party, and there’s a good chance you’ll see this fruit. Clearly, water makes up a large part of this fruit, which helps stave off dehydration during warm temperatures. Watermelons are also very high in Vitamins A and C, which helps with eye health and strengthens the immune system against infections. It also contains a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage, a useful benefit against the sun’s heat.
Let’s get into some vegetables! We all know that green beans are a popular summer staple, so it’s naturally a great time to add them to your diet. They contain a high amount of fiber and almost all of the daily protein requirements your body needs. They are also rich in Vitamins A, C, K and B6. Green beans have also been proven to reduce heart disease, prevent diabetes and boost the immune system.
Did you know that cabbage is loaded with valuable nutrients? Some of these nutrients include calcium, potassium, magnesium and many vitamins (K, C, and B6). Cabbage’s antioxidants help control chronic inflammation. And, cabbage is rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps your digestive system healthy.
Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A. This comes in the form of beta-carotene, which helps protect against vision loss. Carrot juice extract has also been shown to help in the fight against leukemia, either inhibiting its cell growth or outright eradicating the cells entirely.
At Episcopal SeniorLife Communities, community gardens are available at several of our campuses, offering fresh fruits and vegetables during the warmer months. Also, we provide convenient services and amenities so seniors can live a vibrant, healthy lifestyle any time of the year, and our Neighborhood Programs promote senior health and wellness through nutrition education, exercise, and informative presentations. Contact ESLC today to learn more about our senior living options for an enriching, enjoyable retirement.