Every season brings with it delicious fruits and veggies, but none quite like the fruits and veggies abundant (and oh-so-sweet!) in summer. Eating fruit and vegetables when they are in season is a great idea for many reasons:
1. Abundant Antioxidants
Antioxidants act as one of our natural defences against sun damage and help repair the damage that UV rays can cause. Nature is clever! Lots of our summer fruits and veggies are loaded with protective antioxidants—rich reds and dark purples are the classic colour for fruits and veggies with high levels of antioxidants.
"Nature is clever! Lots of our summer fruits and veggies are loaded with protective antioxidants."
2. It's Cheaper!
Think back to your economic days, when supply goes up, price goes down—and summer produce is no exception. If you are working to a food budget—this is especially helpful for families—eating seasonally can dramatically reduce your grocery bill.
3. Nourishing Nutrients
Fruit and vegetables contain the greatest number of nutrients when they are allowed to ripen naturally. For instance, watermelon sold in winter has often been picked early then frozen or chilled to prevent it ripening too quickly. Nutrients degrade with heat and light—and you can tell, they just don’t taste as good out of season.
We know through studies conducted on supermarket produce that one week after harvest, many fruits and vegetables have lost up to 80% of their nutrient levels.
The benefits of food rich in nutrients and antioxidants
Have you heard of free radicals and oxidative stress? Our favourite example of oxidative stress is when an apple goes brown after being cut in half and exposed to oxygen—oxygen pulls the electrons from the apple, causing damage. It's exactly the same in the body. Free radicals (or oxygen molecules) enter the body and act as scavengers, stealing electrons from your healthy molecules and causing damage at a cellular level and inflammation
The more stress we are under, UV ray exposure we have and chemicals and environmental toxins we are exposed to, the more antioxidants our body needs to offset this damage and the more nutrients it needs to function well.
Given the high demand stress and modern living places on us it is vital we get as many nutrients as possible from our food sources. This is especially important in summer when we have long sunny days and little ozone layer protection.
Eating with the summer season
From plums and peaches, to slices of watermelon, to strawberry picking, it’s often easier (and more enjoyable!) to eat fruits in summer. This aligns with our natural more active movement patterns and longer daylight hours.
When it’s warmer outside, we are often more active, spend time at the beach or going for walks after dinner. Fruit is an easily digestible - and delicious - form of energy to fuel this activity. It is, of course, always best to be mindful as fruit does contain naturally occurring sugars and eating large amounts in a sitting can cause your blood sugar levels.
During these warmer months, it is the ideal time for crunchy, cooling foods, like raw salads and eating fruit straight from the tree—as opposed to winter when our digestion needs a rest. If you find raw food too hard on your gut, lightly steaming or sautéing your veggies as well as using them in fresh salads will keep you energised and nourished.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the fruits and veggies that are in season during summer:
Seasonal Summer Vegetables
- Courgettes (Zucchini)
- New season potatoes
- Snow peas
- Asparagus (Late Spring / Early Summer)
- Broad Beans
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Cos Lettuce
- Spring onion
Seasonal Summer Fruits
- Sweet Navel Oranges
For an extra dose of antioxidants—at any time of the year—try adding a scoop of BePure Collagen+. Don't forget antioxidants are degraded by heat and light, so Collagen+ is best suited to your morning smoothie or iced beverage.