Fruits are refreshing, convenient, easy-to-prepare, and don’t require any cooking, which is especially helpful for keeping you and your kitchen cool during warmer weather. In addition, locally grown fresh fruits are bursting with flavor and packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, fiber, and water.
Pleasing for even the pickiest of eaters, fruits provide beautiful colors, tantalizing textures, and are a healthier sweet-tooth-satisfying alternative to insulin-spiking processed desserts. Naturally sweet, fruits contain decent amounts of sugar, but also contain fiber to help lower the glycemic load, or the rate at which sugar enters your blood. Enjoying fruit with healthy fats, such as nuts, will also help to lower the GL of your meal or snack.
Listed below are 10 Summer fruits to help you beat the heat while enjoying a delicious treat. Although these fruits are best enjoyed raw and taste great on their own, I’ve also included some serving suggestions to give you more snack/meal ideas. Look for local fruits for maximum flavor and nutritional benefits. Lastly, opt for organic to reduce pesticides, especially for fruits that don’t contain an outer peel/skin such as apricots and berries.
A great source of antioxidants, beta-carotene and vitamin C, apricots are also rich in fiber and potassium. Serve on top of a grilled chicken salad, or drizzled with honey on top of vanilla ice cream.
3 apricots (100 g) = 48 calories, 11 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 9 g sugars, GL 4
Especially convenient, bananas are a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6. Enjoy spread with a spoonful of organic peanut butter, mashed with raw nuts and shredded coconut, frozen in smoothies, or sliced with dark chocolate and almonds.
1 small banana (100 g) = 89 calories, 23 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 12 g sugars, GL 8
Rich in the phytonutrient, anthocyanin that gives berries their dark color, blackberries are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, folate, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Enjoy with creme fraiche or mascarpone.
3/4 cup (100 g) = 43 calories, 10 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 5 g sugars, GL 3
A true superfood, blueberries contain among the highest amounts of antioxidants of all fruits. They’re also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Enjoy in a fruit salad, green drinks, or gluten-free pancakes.
3/4 cup (100 g) = 57 calories, 14 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 10 g sugars, GL 4
Sweet or sour, cherries contain high amounts of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, antioxidants, quercetin and ellagic acid. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Enjoy in a chocolate protein shake or with Greek yogurt and almonds.
3/4 cup (100 g) = 63 calories, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugars, GL 6
A great source of potassium and fiber, figs are a true summertime treat as they are only widely available fresh in June and July. Enjoy added to green drinks, gluten-free baked goods, homemade ice cream or with goat cheese and aged balsamic.
2 medium figs (100 g) = 74 calories, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugars, GL 6
Sweet and smooth, mango are a good source of fiber, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Enjoy added to fresh salsa for pulled pork tacos, atop an avocado and shrimp salad or blended in a blueberry smoothie.
1/2 large mango (100 g) = 65 calories, 17 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 15 g sugars, GL 5
Packed with flavor and nutrients, peaches are a good source of fiber, beta carotene, niacin, potassium and vitamin C. Enjoy with a handful of pecans, atop cottage cheese, or baked and served with date whipped cream.
1 small peach (130 g) = 51 calories, 13 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 11 g sugars, GL 4
An excellent source of fiber, raspberries have a low GL and the lowest sugar content of the fruits listed here. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and manganese. Enjoy with walnuts, added to yogurt or served with quinoa and pecans.
1 cup (100 g) = 52 calories, 12 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, GL 2
Containing 141% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, strawberries provide an excellent immunity boost. They’re also a good source of fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese. Enjoy added to smoothies, on top of a spinach salad with goat cheese or dipped in dark chocolate.
1 cup whole (144 g) = 46 calories, 11 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 7 g sugars, GL 3