Paparazzi, get your cameras ready. There is a new crop of stars on the rise. No, it is not the young Kardashian sisters. It’s (drum roll please)… summer produce.
tSure, you probably have heard of these before, but you may not have put them into action when they are at their absolute best. Why would you buy last season’s fruit and veggies if you wouldn’t buy last season’s shoes? Exactly. Produce tastes the best when it is in season. Pack up the cooler with these delicious stars for a snack at the beach or add them to your meals throughout the day for a little pizzazz. Snap a pretty pic, share it on your favorite social media outlet and see your stars shine in the spotlight.
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t Feeling blue? Turn that smile upside down with blueberries. These baby blues are full of flavonoids, which have the power to boost memory, cognition and balance. They are deliciously sweet and fun to eat. A winning combo if you ask me. Kick your salad up a notch and add these in for a nice summer flair.
t Tardy to trying tarty? Now is the best time of year to try cherries. Both the tart and sweet versions have high levels of anthocyanins which are anti-inflammatory compounds that fight against free radicals. Eat ’em solo or stir them into your morning oatmeal.
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t Attractive? Maybe not. But who really cares about looks when the health benefits are overwhelmingly awesome. Anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-bad cholesterol, that is a whole lot of anti to brag about. Forget the typical BBQ veggie skewers. Slice this bad boy up, toss it with olive oil, add some spices, and throw it on the grill for one seriously delicious and surprising side dish.
t The Green Giant isn’t jolly for no reason. Green beans are a good source of folate, which helps keep your noggin functioning properly. These beans also offer a dose of vitamin K to keep your bones strong and healthy. Boil them or eat raw to add crunch to your salad.
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t Have some summer fun with plums. Plums are a sweet way to prevent aging. They are packed with flavonoids, which are known to help prevent Alzheimer’s. They also have vitamin C, which will keep your immune system strong and prevent you from getting sick and missing out on all the fun. Stir them into sangria for a delicious twist on the classic favorite.
t Get figgy with it. This sometimes-forgotten fruit is full of potassium to keep your blood pressure in check, fiber to keep you full, and free-radical-fighting antioxidants. I love stuffing them with goat cheese and almonds and handing them out as hors d’oeuvres at my summer soirees.
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t Tom(ay)to, tom(ah)to. Regardless of how you pronounce it, it boasts some serious health perks. Vitamins C, K and the mineral potassium are all in the mix, but the superstars of this bunch are really the carotenoids. Carotenoids are free radical fighters that protect you against prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, and offer protection from the sun with the carotenoid lycopene. Chop some up and mix with mozzarella and basil for a delightful dish, still apply sunscreen and enjoy the sun.
t Get bikini ready with zucchini. Zucchini is low-cal and high in fiber to keep you full throughout the day. Its high water content makes this a fantastic way to cool off and beat the heat. Slice and skewer with other veggies for delish skewers. Or substitute zucchini for spaghetti (use a spiralizer for perfect and easy strands); you will hardly notice the difference.
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