With summer up on us, there are hordes of juicy, tasty fruits that you can sink your teeth into. They are good for the nervous & respiratory system and lead to healthier looking skin. They are approx 80% water with high natural sugar giving energy to one and all when eaten fresh and ripe. Gorge on these sweet luscious fruits this summer –
Apricots – Apricots are rich in potassium, magnesium supplying stamina. They contain vitamin C, iron and beta carotene. They are fairly firm with bright orange colour. To be had when ripe. Unripe fruit can be stored for up to 2 days or so at room temperature before eating. Keeping them in the fridge will make them last a bit longer. Rinse and wash apricots before eating.
Strawberries – Buy sweet smelling strawberries that are red in colour without any white or green spots. Strawberries are full of vitamin C, potassium, sodium and iron as well as being low in calories. Strawberries can be frozen up to twelve months whole or sliced, with or without sugar. Do not remove the stem of fruit while storing it in the fridge. Before eating, rinse gently under cold running water.
Raspberries – Good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and fiber, raspberries are the most fragile of all the berries. So they have to be plucked gently. Buy firm dry raspberries avoiding soft ones. They are high perishable and should be refrigerated if not eaten immediately. Gently rinse the raspberries under cold running water and dry them on paper towels before serving.
Watermelons – Mostly water so they are low in calories. Excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and high in pectin. To know whether if the fruit is sweet, thump it with the knuckles and if you hear a hollow sound, then the fruit is going to taste sweet. Watermelon has dark green skin and bright red coloured flesh. Uncut fruit should be stored in a cool place, while cut watermelon should always be tightly wrapped, refrigerated and used within a day or so.
Cherries – Dark cherries = high in nutritional value. Packed with enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Buy heavy firm cherries with bright colour and fresh stem. They last for two days or so. Chilling not only preserves them, but also makes them more flavorful. Simply rinse cherries in cool water and drain on paper towel until they are ready to be eaten.
Pineapples – Storehouse of minerals, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, calcium and iron. They have loads of vitamin C and are an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that helps digestion. The best fruit to be eaten is the one with strong sweet aroma. The colour of the fruit skin should be dark golden colour; leaves should be fresh and green with no brown or yellow tips. They ripen at room temperature. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate it.
Peaches – They are a rich source of beta-carotene and potassium and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C. Buy bright coloured, firm peach with smooth skin and sweet aroma. They can ripen at room temperature. It is ideal to refrigerate the ripe ones and eat it within 5 days.
Kevin Pederson manages websites on nutrition, diet and health. A Nutritious Diet ensures well being, and reduces the risk of several debilitating diseases like cancer, cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke.