Summer Fruits And Vegetables That Benefit Your Heart

Summer Fruits And Vegetables That Benefit Your Heart

Summertime, and the eating’s easy. Summer barbecues, outdoor picnics, and beach days are all fun-in-the-sun events that involve food. The food options are not usually the healthiest options, though. With all of the beautiful, nutritious fruits and vegetables available during the summer months, though, you should focus your efforts on consuming as many of them as possible. Leave the hotdogs in the store and grab some seasonal produce!

Some of the fruits and vegetables that ripen during summer can be quite excellent for your heart. The reason for this is because they contain an assortment of antioxidant compounds. 

What Are Antioxidants?

If you are familiar with Dherbs, you know how much we love to discuss antioxidants. If you want to keep your body as healthy as possible, learn to love antioxidants. According to studies, antioxidants protect the cells in your body from damaging free radicals, or oxidants. These molecules are a byproduct of using oxygen and they can be introduced to the body via radiation, tobacco smoke, or environmental pollution. 

Antioxidants work by binding to these free radical molecules, preventing them from damaging other cells in the body. Some examples of antioxidants include:

The best seasonal produce you can get will be from the farmer’s market, but many local grocery stores offer local and organic produce items. There are plenty of options to choose from this summer, but the following options can help benefit your heart. 

Peaches

A summer classic, peaches come in both yellow and white varieties. The subtle orange hue of the flesh exists because of the antioxidant it contains. That antioxidant is beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A as it breaks the food down. Beta-carotene may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but studies confirm that it will not help prevent coronary heart disease. 

Cherries

Sticking to the stone fruit family, we have cherries, which only have a limited window of availability of freshness. Both sweet and sour cherries can help decrease inflammation and boost heart health. Some studies suggest that sour cherry juice can drastically help your efforts to reduce the damaging effects, or potential damage, of oxidants. 

Tomatoes

These fruits (technically not vegetables) are high in lycopene, a natural compound that gives them their signature vibrant red color. Because of that, the skin is where most of the antioxidants are. One study found that a higher presence of lycopene in the body was associated with a lower risk of hypertension. Additionally, a separate study found that lycopene may exhibit anti-hypertensive effects in rats without causing hypotension. 

Strawberries

Before we get into the health benefits of strawberries, it is important to note that they usually are high on the Dirty Dozen list. For this reason, health experts encourage you to buy organic strawberries. Strawberries are the quintessential summer berry and contain a lot of vitamin C. As they ripen, they become more red, which means more antioxidants for you! Strawberries may help lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood. Berry consumption has also been linked to better gut, immune, and cardiovascular function

Blueberries

Blueberries are an easy berry to say yes to if you want to improve heart health and enjoy brain-boosting benefits. The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages people to consume blueberries because they provide lots of fiber, which works to encourage optimal gut and heart health. Blueberries also contain anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds that give blueberries their blue hue. 

Broccoli

Eating more broccoli is a great way to incorporate more greens into your diet, but it may also encourage healthier heart function. Many studies confirm that broccoli can help lower blood sugar, promote healthy digestion, and boost immune function. Researchers note that broccoli exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help support healthy blood pressure levels and lower LDL cholesterol. Broccoli is also rich in fiber, which can reduce your risk of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular disease.

2024-06-21T15:34:43-07:00
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