Posted inNutrition

Fruits and Vegetables to Buy

To eat the freshest and healthiest fruits and vegetables, you should eat them in season. Even though it’s fine to eat tomatoes or cucumbers year-round or to enjoy a mango in the middle of January, the best time to eat any fruit or vegetable is when they are freshly harvested or picked.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables taste better and usually don’t have to travel long distances to arrive in your area. Conversely, those not in season are often picked early to be shipped and distributed to your local supermarket. This means they do not taste as fresh and may not have as many nutrients.

“Seasonal fruits and vegetables that require shorter farm-to-table time often have a higher nutritional content, as some nutrients diminish over time from when the produce was picked,” Mindy Haar, PhD, RDN, a registered dietitian and assistant dean for the School of Health Professions at New York Institute of Technology told Health. “They also may be less expensive when regionally in season.”

Here are some of the best fruits and vegetables in season right now.

kitzcorner / Getty Images


Many people consider blueberries a “superfood.” Not only are they packed with antioxidants, but some research suggests that they also may play a role in reducing the risk of cancer. Blueberries are also packed with nutrients and are low in calories.

With only 40 calories in a half cup, blueberries provide 22% of the Daily Value (DV) of fiber. They are also rich in vitamin C and do not contain any fat or sodium.

To incorporate blueberries into your diet, make a parfait with Greek yogurt and granola, toss them in a spinach salad, whip them into your waffle mix, or blend them in a smoothie.

Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty Images


Cherries contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation, improve sleep quality, and support heart health, Mareya Ibrahim, a chef and cookbook author, told Health.

One cup of cherries provides 18% of the DV for vitamin C and 10% for potassium. Plus, it’s a versatile fruit that can be used in a number of ways. You can bake a cherry pie or get more creative and make cherry salsa, chutney, mustard, or preserves.

Daniela White Images / Getty Images


Corn provides a number of essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, and magnesium, and it’s also great at promoting digestion and overall health, according to Ibrahim. Corn also tends to be high in water content and a good source of thiamin.

In addition to eating it directly off the cob, corn can be used to make many dishes, including Mexican street corn, corn salsa, and cornbread. You can also try corn chowder, polenta, and popcorn.

Alberto Rojas Garcia / Getty Images


Cucumbers are high in water content, making them highly hydrating. They also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium.

“Cucumbers are great for drinks, salads, and hour d’ oeuvres,” Chris Aquilino, a chef and the director of culinary at Elior North America, told Health. “They can also be sweetened or used in dishes like gyros, coleslaw, tabouli, and more, which makes them very versatile. They pair nicely with tomato, avocado, red onion, and mozzarella for a refreshing summer salad.”

MEDITERRANEAN / Getty Images


Green beans may conjure up thoughts of green bean casserole at Thanksgiving, but there is so much more to these vibrant green vegetables—especially in the summer. Green beans are an excellent source of fiber as well as vitamins A, C, and K.

You can roast them in the oven, grill them, stir fry them, or add them to a refreshing three-bean salad. You can pickle them or turn them into relish.

Overall, green beans are great as a side dish, like a Thai papaya green bean salad. according to Aquilino. “The versatility of this vegetable makes them a go-to on my summer menus,” he said.

Veena Nair / Getty Images


Okra is rich in vitamin A and vitamin K, as well as antioxidants. It supports your digestive health, reduces inflammation, and aids in blood sugar control, said Ibrahim. Okra is also a great source of vitamin C, folic acid, and soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. Plus, a half-cup serving only contains 20 calories.

Try roasting or blanching it and serving it with wasabi soy sauce. Some people enjoy okra in stir-fries, while others prefer to mix it with other vegetables as an accompaniment.

alvarez / Getty Images


According to Ibrahim, peaches contain vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants. They promote skin health, support digestion, and strengthen the immune system.

Of course, peaches are great eaten as they are, but they’re also versatile. In the summer, you can grill peaches, blend them into smoothies, and even use them to make frozen peach pops. Other good choices include making peach salsa, using them in a caprese salad, and creating a peach compote. Of course, you can’t forget the peach cobbler.

FreshSplash / Getty Images


Raspberries contain high levels of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants—all of which help support immune function, digestion, and heart health, according to Ibrahim. Raspberries may even help blood sugar control for those with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

If you’re looking for ways to incorporate raspberries into your diet, you can try adding them to salads, baking them into breads, or making sauces, salsas, or spreads. They also make a great topping for yogurt and ice cream.

BruceBlock / Getty Images


Summer squash, which provides vitamins A, C, and B6, fiber, and antioxidants, is known for being good for your eye health and digestion, said Ibrahim. It’s also a mild-flavored vegetable that partners well with a wide range of herbs and seasonings.

Though most people enjoy grilling or roasting squash in the summer, you also can get a little creative. Try making a summer soup or using it in desserts.

Plateresca / Getty Images


Tomatillos are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants. Tomatillos support immune health, aid digestion, and have anti-inflammatory properties, according to Ibrahim.

Due to their tangy, citrusy taste with a hint of sweetness, tomatillos are a natural choice for salsas and marinades, gazpacho, and chimichurri. You can also use them in enchiladas, breakfast tacos, or alongside eggs. They even make a great accompaniment to grilled meats.

Mykhailo Hrytsiv / Getty Images


Tomatoes are high in vitamins C and K, potassium, and the antioxidant lycopene. They are known to support heart health and skin health and reduce cancer risk, according to Ibrahim. Additionally, the phytonutrients in tomatoes may be protective against the effects of UVB radiation from the sun.

Tomatoes also are a classic summertime staple. You can grill, stuff, and roast them or use them in salsas, salads, and more. Some people even fry green tomatoes. They are also great on their own. “A perfect vine-ripened tomato with just a little olive oil and good sea salt—there’s nothing better in my opinion,” said Aquilino.

Funwithfood / Getty Images


Zucchini, which is slightly sweet and crunchy when eaten raw with the peel on, is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. It also supports eye health and digestion and reduces inflammation, according to Ibrahim.

Zucchini is extremely versatile, too. You can throw them on the grill, roast them in the oven, turn them into noodles, or bake them into bread. Plus, they are great stuffed, made into fries, used as crudités, or even added to sauces.

Eating fruits and vegetables in season often means that you’re eating them when they are at their peak in terms of nutritional value. Plus, they are less likely to have been artificially ripened or picked earlier than they should have been.

Here’s when some of the most popular summer produce is at optimal freshness:

  • Blueberries: June-July
  • Cherries: June-August
  • Corn: July-August
  • Cucumbers: June-August
  • Green Beans: June-August
  • Okra: June-August
  • Peaches: July-August
  • Raspberries: June-August
  • Summer Squash: June-August
  • Tomatillos: July-August
  • Tomatoes: July-August
  • Zucchini: June-August

Other Summer Produce to Consider

Here are some more ideas on which fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer months

More Summer Produce
Fruits Vegetables
Apples
Apricots
Avocados
Bananas
Blackberries
Cantaloupe
Honeydew
Lemons
Limes
Mangos
Plums
Strawberries
Watermelon
Beets
Bell peppers
Carrots
Celery
Eggplant
Garlic
Lima Beans
U.S. Department of Agriculture, SNAP-Ed Connection. Seasonal produce guide.

Eating fruits and vegetables when in season is not only delicious, it’s when the seasonal produce is in prime time from a texture, flavor, and nutrient standpoint, according to Aquilino.

“Seasonal fruits and vegetables have up to double the amount of nutrients when grown in the right temperature and conditions,” Rita Faycurry, RD, a registered dietitian with Fay Nutrition, told Health. The season in which food is grown can significantly affect its nutritional content. One older study found that broccoli grown in the fall has twice the vitamin C as broccoli grown in the spring.

Whether in season or out of season, fruits and vegetables are typically packed with phytonutrients, which are plant components that can impact and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, said Haar. They are also good sources of nutrients and fiber.

Eating fruits and vegetables in season can be pleasing to your palate and provide you with a host of nutrients you may be missing when eating them in the off-season. It also can be more budget-friendly since in-season fruits and vegetables tend to be more affordable at their peak.

Even though eating fruits and vegetables in season may be preferred, that doesn’t mean you can’t have corn in the winter or winter squash in the summer. They may not be as packed with flavor that season, but they still will provide your body with some essential nutrients and fiber.

Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Clemson Cooperative Extension, Home and Garden Information Center. The benefits of season eating: Fresh, nutrient-dense, and budget-friendly.

  2. Kristo AS, Klimis-Zacas D, Sikalidis AK. Protective role of dietary berries in cancerAntioxidants (Basel). 2016;5(4):37. doi:10.3390/antiox5040037

  3. University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. Blueberry.

  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Cherries, sweet, raw.

  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Corn, sweet, yellow, raw.

  6. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Cucumber, with peel, raw.

  7. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Green beans, raw.

  8. University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment. Okra.

  9. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Peaches, raw.

  10. Derrick SA, Kristo AS, Reaves SK, Sikalidis AK. Effects of dietary red raspberry consumption on pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus parametersInt J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(17):9364. doi:10.3390/ijerph18179364

  11. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Summer squash, yellow, raw.

  12. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Tomatillos, raw.

  13. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average.

  14. Groten K, Marini A, Grether-Beck S, et al. Tomato phytonutrients balance UV response: Results from a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studySkin Pharmacol Physiol. 2019;32(2):101-108. doi:10.1159/000497104

  15. U.S. Department of Agriculture: FoodData Central. Squash, summer, zucchini, includes skin, raw.

  16. Wunderlich SM, Feldman C, Kane S, Hazhin T. Nutritional quality of organic, conventional, and seasonally grown broccoli using vitamin C as a markerInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2008;59(1):34-45. doi:10.1080/09637480701453637

Credit to..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *