With the summer sun and heat at full blast this month, gardens across the country are bursting with a bounty of summer veggies. Eating seasonally from local farms —  when vegetables are at optimal ripeness and freshness, instead of food that’s grown out of season and shipped from around the globe to your grocery store — is more nutritious and better for the planet. In the past, we’ve shared with you our top three favorite and unusual summer foods to enjoy for a stronger immunity and more energy. But rather than focus on exotic fruits and tasty wild greens, today we’re turning our eyes to more commonly grown backyard veggies that will make this summer your healthiest summer ever.

Why Should We Eat More Summer Veggies?

Seasonal produce is typically harvested at its peak ripeness, resulting in superior flavor and freshness. Fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer tend to be juicier, sweeter, and more vibrant in taste, enhancing the overall enjoyment of meals.

But they don’t just taste better. They’re better for you, too. Eating summer veggies grown right in your own backyard or locally is often more nutritious because it is allowed to fully ripen before being harvested. Fruits and vegetables that ripen naturally under the sun tend to have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to those picked prematurely and artificially ripened.

Eating seasonally also encourages a wider variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Different produce becomes available during the summer, allowing you to explore new flavors, textures, and recipes. This variety ensures that you obtain a diverse range of nutrients, promoting overall health and well-being.

Speaking of good for you, adding summer veggies to your diet this month is good for the planet, too. Choosing seasonal produce supports local agriculture and reduces the environmental impact of long-distance transportation. When you consume locally grown fruits and vegetables, it decreases the travel miles associated with transporting produce from distant regions. Additionally, seasonal eating encourages a more sustainable use of resources as farmers align their production with nature’s natural growing cycles.

Finally, focusing on summer veggies is good for your wallet. Seasonal produce is often more affordable due to its abundance and lower transportation costs. When fruits and vegetables are in season, the increased supply typically leads to lower prices, making them more accessible to a wider range of consumers.

By embracing seasonal eating in the summer, you can enjoy the freshest, most flavorful produce while supporting local farmers and promoting sustainability. It’s a win-win situation for your health, taste buds, and the environment.

5 Summer Veggies to Try That Taste Good and are Good For Your Immunity

1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. They support heart health, promote healthy skin, improve digestion, and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.

2. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are hydrating and low in calories. They provide vitamins K and C, as well as minerals like magnesium and potassium. Cucumbers aid in hydration, support digestion, promote healthy skin, and may help manage weight.

3. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers come in various vibrant colors and are packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as dietary fiber. They support immune function, promote healthy eyes and skin, and provide antioxidants that protect against cellular damage.

4. Zucchini

Zucchini is low in calories and high in dietary fiber. It’s a good source of vitamins C and B6, potassium, and antioxidants. Zucchini supports digestion, promotes healthy weight management, and provides anti-inflammatory benefits.

5. Eggplant

Eggplant is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium and folate. It contains antioxidants like nasunin, which may protect against oxidative stress. Eggplant supports heart health, aids in digestion, and may help regulate blood sugar levels.

These vegetables are not only delicious and versatile in summer recipes but also offer a range of health benefits, making them valuable additions to your diet. Remember to incorporate them into balanced meals and consult a healthcare professional if you have specific dietary concerns or medical conditions.