It is officially hot weather season. With this, sweaters go into storage, bathing suits come out, and ice cream cravings increase. My vice: a Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Peace Pop. Were I to indulge in this craving on a regular basis, those bathing suits would go right back to storage. Instead, I up my fruit intake and stick to ice cream on occasion. By using fruit to satisfy a taste for sweetness, left behind are unwanted fats, calories and the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, filled with fiber, are cleansing and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make a great summertime cool-down snack. Try frozen grapes, frozen bananas dipped in melted raw cacao, fruit smoothie popsicles, or frozen berries blended with rice milk as a healthy ice cream alternative.
Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:
Apricots: High in Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A; great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.
Bananas: High in Magnesium, Vitamins B6 and C; help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are extremely rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).
Cherries: As an Antioxidant they are anti-inflammatory and protect cells of the body from the damaging, aging and disease producing affects of oxygen, nitrogen and UV radiation. Increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.
Grapefruits: Extremely high in Vitamin C and Fiber. Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.
Papayas: A rich source of antioxidants, B vitamins, folate, potassium, magnesium and fiber. Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumor compound.
Raspberries: High antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticarcinogenic levels. Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anemia and can promote labor at childbirth.