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Fruity summer

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By Gul Nasreen
Tue, 07, 19

Summer brings with it many different kinds of fruit, bestowing our taste buds with some of the most refreshing....

health

Summer brings with it many different kinds of fruit, bestowing our taste buds with some of the most refreshing flavours of the year. Whether as a small snack between meals or a delicious pudding - in summer, fresh fruit just tastes wonderfully refreshing. Nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than a fresh piece of fruit.

Along with fabulous flavour, summer fruits serve up a potpourri of great nutrition. Most of summer’s fruits are bursting with antioxidants and phytochemicals as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So, rather than reaching for high-calorie fried or sugary snacks whenever you feel hungry, toss a few pieces of one of the summer fruits into your mouth. This will reduce your food cravings without making you pack on the calories. Your skin, hair, and body will also benefit immensely from the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the fruits. Some of the best fruits to eat during the summer are:

Three cheers for cherries

One of the most beautiful fruits decorating store shelves during summer is, of course, the cherry. Who can resist plump cherries on a market stand or in the supermarket? You can happily munch away on these red fruits, because they contain vitamin C and folic acid. The perfect on-the-go snack is also a key ingredient to lazy summer picnics - giving true meaning to the phrase ‘life is just a bowl of cherries’.

The deep red colour of dark-sweet cherries means the fruit contains anthocyanins (a type of antioxidant) that plays a role in improving cognitive function and protects the heart and its surrounding tissues. For those insomniacs who just can’t get to sleep, cherries are a solid source of natural melatonin to aid in catching some undisturbed zzzs. This super summer fruit scores a low 22 on the glycemic index, making cherries great for maintaining blood sugar levels, especially for those with diabetes.

The goodness of Jamun

Black Plum, commonly known as ‘Jamun’, looks small but can do wonders. It is available during the months of June through August, and it belongs to the Myrtaceae family. The fruit is purple in colour and has a distinct bitter-sweet taste. It is associated with many health and medicinal benefits. One jamun packs in 1.41 mg of iron, 15 mg of calcium and 18 mg of vitamin-C. It is also a rich source of B vitamins. Jamun is good for digestive system because of its coolant features. Jamun is being having astringent properties, helps to prevent acne, blemishes, wrinkles and pimples.

One of the best medicinal benefits of jamun is its anti-diabetic properties. The fruit helps to convert starch into energy and keep your blood sugar levels in check. Jamuns are extremely versatile too - you can play around with them in the kitchen and turn them into jams, milkshakes, juices, or simply add them to vegetable or fruit salads.

Give me some strawberries

Whether fresh or frozen, there’s no denying that strawberries pack a healthy punch. The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer. Strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. Strawberries are also rich in fibre, Vitamin C and manganese. You will also get a considerable amount of folate and potassium in strawberries. Quercetin, a flavonoid present in strawberries, has anti-inflammatory benefits. The sweet, slightly tart berries have powerful antioxidant content and do not rapidly boost a person’s blood sugar, making them an ideal choice for those who have diabetes, and a safe, delicious addition to any diet.

Strawberries have a long history and have been enjoyed since the Roman times. Native to many parts of the world, hundreds of varieties of strawberries exist today due to crossbreeding techniques.

Juicy plums

These soft, round-shaped fruits are small but are a powerhouse of nutrients. Plums are a very good source of vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin K and potassium. Plums are rich in nutrients. These round-shaped fruits are rich in dietary fibre and sorbitol which work together to help relieve constipation and other digestive problems. Plums keep the heart healthy by maintaining blood pressure levels and preventing strokes. Consuming plums reduce the risk of breast cancer and type-2 diabetes. Plums also have a low glycemic index which means you can eat plums without worrying about putting on weight. A small plum consists of only 30 calories and is very beneficial while dieting.

Luscious Lychee

This floral and fragrant Chinese-native delicate fruit is rich in antioxidants, minerals and Vitamin C. The Lychee has a hard shell surrounding a very soft and sweet fruit that is perfect for snacking. Its bright red external appearance like strawberries and internal translucent, soft, fleshy mass makes it irresistibly delicious. Considered as an exotic fruit, which has a very short shelf life, lychee offers plenty of health benefits including a range of skin, hair and anti-aging benefits.

It is loaded with potassium that maintains sodium levels and is said to help with blood pressure levels; and the vitamins C and B that purportedly have antioxidant properties and enhance immunity as well as help in producing red blood cells.

From preventing the signs of ageing to soothing skin, lychee works like magic. Lychee is infused with vitamin E, which heal sunburns that can cause pain and irritation. Being a low-calorie fruit, lychee is ideal for those who want to shed some extra kilos.

Appealing Apricots

Apricots are a wonderful treat, especially in summer as summer fruits are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted internally into vitamin A. An apricot is a low-calorie fruit - only 17 calories in a 1.2-ounce piece of fruit. It’s high in fiber (like most fruit) and a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene, potassium and tryptophan. Apricots contain a carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin that appears to be a strong antioxidant. Some experts believe it may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and arthritis. It’s said that 100 grams of fresh apricots gives you 12% of vitamin C, 12% of vitamin A, and 6% of potassium required by the body - all this under less than 50 calories. Overall, consider the apricot to be a great food that provides you with the protective effects of antioxidants while adding very few calories to your daily total.