Summer Fruit Frenzy
'Tis the season to savor fruit's fresh, healthy goodness
Only when I'm washing a basket of ripe strawberries or slicing into a juicy
watermelon do I declare it officially summer. It's time for blueberry pancakes
and muffins, strawberry shortcake, exotic, colorful salads, and waffles with
everything from peaches to berries piled high. If there's ever a time when we
are likely to eat our recommended servings of fruit, this is it!
Along with fabulous flavor, summer fruits serve up a potpourri of great
nutrition. Most of summer's fruits are bursting with antioxidants and
phytochemicals (plant chemicals, many of which are thought to have a protective
effect against cancer), as well as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A rule of
thumb for fruits and vegetables is, in general, the brighter the color, the
more nutrients. So you can imagine how summer fruits such as blueberries, red
grapes, strawberries, mangos, and boysenberries score on the nutrition
Here are 11 popular fruits of summer and their nutritional attributes.
Apricots: Rich in the phytochemical beta-carotene, a cup of
apricot halves has 3 grams of fiber, half of the recommended daily allowance
(RDA) for vitamin A, 26% of the RDA for vitamin C, and 17% for vitamin E.
Berries: 1 cup of blueberries has 4 grams of fiber, 32% of
the RDA for vitamin C, and 18% of the RDA for vitamin E. A cup of boysenberries
has 6.3 grams of fiber, 27% of the RDA for folic acid, 50% of the RDA for
vitamin C, 13% of the RDA for vitamin E, and 10% of the RDA for magnesium. A
cup of raspberries: 5 grams of fiber, 18% of the RDA for folic acid, and 51% of
the RDA for vitamin C. Raspberries also have the phytochemical ellagic
Cantaloupe: 1 cup of cubed cantaloupe contains 64% of the
RDA for vitamin A, 12% of the RDA for vitamin B-6, 15% for folic acid, and 113%
for vitamin C. Cantaloupe also has phytochemicals such as alpha-carotene,
beta-carotene, flavonoids, coumarins, and phenolic acids.
Cherries: 1 cup has 2.5 grams of fiber and 17% of the RDA
for vitamin C.
Grapes: Both red and green grapes contain ellagic acid. Red
grapes also have the newly discovered phytochemical resveratrol. 1 cup of red
flame grapes has 13% of the RDA for vitamin B-1, 11% of the RDA for vitamin
B-6, 29% for vitamin C, 14% for vitamin E, and 28% for selenium. A cup of
Thompson seedless grapes has 14% of the RDA for vitamin B-1, 11% for vitamin
B-6, 29% for vitamin C, 14% for vitamin E, and 28% for selenium.
Honeydew melon: 1 cup of cubed honeydew contains 12% of the
RDA for vitamin B-1, 28% for folic acid, and 70% for vitamin C.