Some of us are hopefully enjoying traditional warm June weather! And June also brings a great range of delicious and nutritious foods that are in season right now and therefore should definitely be featuring on your menu.
Eating with the seasons means you are getting foods at their best both in terms of nutritional content and flavour: always check out your local farmer’s markets and farm shops to discover the best foods on offer local to you.
Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, shares her top five seasonal foods to be enjoyed this June.
- They provide a great source of energising folate, heart-loving potassium and immune-boosting vitamin C
- They seem to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels
- They help with liver detoxification
The only question, therefore, is what to do with them! Globe artichokes are a sightly strange shape and just need a little more preparation than other veggies, but they are well worth the reward. You simply take off the tough outer leaves and base in order to access the prize which is the heart.
Globe artichokes are great eaten cold in a summer salad with vinaigrette. They are best eaten in season when the leaves are less tough, and the taste is magical!
- They a provide a rich source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant
- They also deliver plenty of beta-carotene, another antioxidant and great for the immune system
- They are a great source of fibre and can be really helpful in cases of constipation
Peaches look and smell amazing, and certainly deliver on taste too! When they are at the ripest, they are also the juiciest. Eat them just as they are or bake in the oven with spices.
However, as summer is with us, why not include them in a healthy and delicious summer fruit salad with other in-season fruits such as blueberries and strawberries.
- They are rich in protein and low in fat
- They are a packed with the mineral selenium, a powerful antioxidant
- They are a great source of vitamin B12 which is often deficient in the daily diet
Scallops are, indeed, nutrient powerhouses! As with most seafood, they contain a wide array of nutrients including the minerals calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are great for the bones, and zinc which fulfils many functions including immune support.
English scallops have a truly amazing taste when in season, as they are now, and need to be only very lightly cooked. They work well with strong flavour such as chorizo or oriental flavours such as ginger, chilli, and lemongrass.
- They are a great source of vitamin C and energising folate
- They provide a good source of fibre
- They are rich in vegetable protein with around 29% of calories coming from this macronutrient
One of the easier vegetables to home grow, runner beans are always best when freshly picked and cooked before they become tough and stringy. They don’t just provide all of the above but also some vitamin K, which is essential for the heart and bones. As with all vegetables, runner beans provide a good balance of essential micro and macro nutrients.
Runner beans provide a perfect vegetable side to almost anything but are especially well partnered with a traditional Sunday roast. Or combine with other vegetables in a delicious salad. Enjoy whilst you can!
- It’s an excellent source of vitamin C
- As a member of the wonderful cruciferous vegetable family, it provides lots of protective health benefits
- It is a great source of the antioxidant beta carotene
The only downside with watercress is that you need to eat a reasonable amount to gain these benefits. That’s why its great to add it to juices as much as possible, create delicious watercress soups, or add liberally to salads.
In traditional medicine, watercress has long been used to treat kidney problems and it makes a great liver detoxifier too. Its dark, green leaves ensure it’s going to provide an array of phytonutrients, all providing loads of health benefits, so load up your plate today!
June provides us with an amazing variety of seasonal foods that can be enjoyed in so many different ways – enjoy!
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