Healthy summer foods

Summerís in full swing, which means colorful produce is popping up all over. As June turns into July, keep an eye out for these seasonal fruits and veggies and learn how to mix them into easy, nutritious meat-free meals.

1. Cherries
Nutrition boost: According to research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, eating antioxidant-packed cherries every day can lower your risk of inflammation-related conditions such as tendinitis and arthritis. Tart varieties in particular also contain melatonin, a compound touted for easing jet lag and improving sleep patterns.

2. Apricots
Nutrition boost: The vitamin A in apricots keeps eyes healthy and may help prevent heart disease. They also contain a healthy dose of the iron thatís essential for transporting oxygen to your brain and muscles.

3. Broccoli
Nutrition boost: Packed with the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, broccoli may help fend off cancer, reduce inflammation, and flush toxins from the body. Broccoli also boasts one of the most easily absorbed forms of calcium found in food.
4. Kale
Nutrition boost: Eating kale is a quick way to load up on essential nutrientsóitís packed with vitamins A, C, and K and manganese. This leafy green has also been found to help protect against breast and ovarian cancers.

5. Basil
Nutrition boost: Basil is rich in vitamin K, which works with vitamin D and calcium to build bones. The flavonoids in basil give it anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against heart disease and neurological conditions.

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