Summer is a time to rediscover your love for water sports, traveling and fruit! The produce section is never more colorful than in summer. The fruits that stand out nutritionally generally follow these three color palates; purple/blue, red, and yellow/orange. The plant compounds that give these fruits their color, tend to also contribute antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Three summer standouts, one in every color, are mango, watermelon and blueberries. Read more about what makes each of these summer fruits special and check out the easy recipes below.
Eat More Mango
One of the most popular fruits in the world is one of the most nutrient-packed. Mangos are one of our yellow/orange superfruits because they are packed with compounds (including polyphenols and flavonoids) that may offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity in the body. Mangos also add over 20 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, many of which have been linked to possible improvements in heart and immune health and brain function. One-half cup mango adds so much flavor and color to your dish plus 50% of the Daily Value for vitamin C and about 18% for vitamin A, with only 50 calories and 12 grams of carbs.
Watermelon Brings More Than Water
Chilled watermelon is the ultimate refresher on a hot day! Red fruits tend to have certain plant compounds that come with the color red, many of which may have antioxidant and immune-boosting activity. When you enjoy a bowl or a slice of watermelon you are getting many of these antioxidant compounds (like lycopene) plus several key vitamins including vitamins B6, A and C. A 90-calorie, 2-cup serving of watermelon is both filling and hydrating, thanks to it being made up over 90% water and being a great source of the electrolyte potassium. Enjoy watermelon on its own or in a fruit salad, blend it up for a slush, smoothie or beverage.
Get a Boost with Blueberries
These little powerhouse berries may help with heart health, cancer prevention, and bone and brain health. Blueberries have a lot going for them nutritionally but much of their health benefits can be tied to the antioxidant plant compound that gives blueberries their blue color—anthocyanin. Several berry researchers have recently suggested eating 4-5 servings of berries each week, although the protective effects of berries on humans is still being studied. Blueberries can be stirred into yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal, featured in smoothies or shakes, folded into muffins or pancake batter, or sprinkled over salads or waffles! Get a dose of watermelon and blueberries with this recipe for Watermelon Paradise Pizza:
Watermelon Paradise Pizza
Have fun making and enjoying this fruity tropical twist on pizza! Serve it as a snack, a side dish or even dessert!
Makes 4 servings (about 3 wedges each)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Nutritional Information: Calories 139, Total Fat 4.3 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat .2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.6 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Sodium 16 mg, Potassium 260 mg, Total Carbohydrates 21 g, Dietary Fiber 2.1 g, Sugars 16 g, Protein, 5.5 g
5.3 oz container (1/2 cup) Open Nature™ plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tsp finely chopped orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp honey (another syrup can be substituted)
2, 8-inch slices seedless watermelon (1/2-inch thick)
1 cup blueberries, washed and drained
2 TB chopped roasted macadamia nuts (toasted pecans can be substituted)
2 TB O Organics® Unsweetened Coconut, toasted or untoasted as desired
In small bowl, stir together yogurt, orange zest, vanilla and honey with whisk or spoon; set aside.
Blot both sides of watermelon slices well with paper towel to remove extra moisture.
Spread half of the yogurt mixture over each slice, like you would sauce on a pizza. Dot the yogurt with blueberries then sprinkle macadamia nuts and coconut evenly over the top of each slice.
Cut each slice into 6 wedges and serve!
PRO TIP: To toast unsweetened coconut, place in nonstick frypan over medium-low heat. Add coconut and coat with canola cooking spray. Continue to gently stir mixture with a spatula as the coconut turns golden.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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