Summer seasonal favourites for your nutrition

Libby Limon BSc NT mBANT / Jun 13, 2016

Eating seasonally is the best way to get the most from your food in terms of flavour and nutrition as well as value for money. Spring/summer is possibly the UK’s most abundant time of year so here are our favourite fruit and veg bursting into season right now, what their nutritional benefits are, and some interesting recipe ideas…

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Fennel is part of the parsley family so it is very high in the electrolyte potassium. It is very hydrating if added to a juice recipe. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, fibre and the anti-cancer compound coumarin. It is frequently used naturopathically to ease digestion discomfort and balance female hormones. It goes perfectly with fish if braised in the oven with olive oil, lemon juice and capers or you can add to a stirfry.

 

Tomato is one of the easiest things to grow, even if you only have a small outside space. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially the beta-carotene called lycopene. Studies have shown lycopene to protect against prostate, skin, colon, lung and breast cancer. The lycopene is actually concentrated and released, increasing its bioavailability, when cooked in olive oil. It features heavily in the Mediterranean diet which is one of the reasons why it is considered such a healthy way of eating.

Whiting. Yes, fish have seasons too! Whiting is small fish related to the larger cod, it is native to UK waters and both economical and sustainable. It also contains less mercury than most other fish. Fish is a fantastic source of lean protein as well as B12. Simply grill and serve with roasted veggies or use as you would cod in a fish pie.

Nectarine were originally native to china; these fragrant fruits aren’t really worth eating out of season but are sublime when the time is right! As being a good source of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, they are good fibre fruits, contributing to a healthy bowel. Add to you breakfast, eat with nut butter as a snack or even grill them and add to salad.

Mint. The mint family is one the most useful medicinal and culinary herbs and can be very helpful in reducing hayfever symptoms. Peppermint oil is also a muscle relaxant and can be helpful if you IBS. On the flip side, you shouldn't have mint tea if you suffer from reflux as it relaxes the oesophagal sphincter, which could make your symptoms worse. Add to salads, lamb dishes or make a tea by steeping a fresh bunch in hot water.