Summer isn’t just the best time of year for weather, but for food too! All manner of fresh and organic products burst onto the market in summer and it’s important to know which ones to look out for. In this blog I’d like to tell you about some of my favourite in-season summer foods, as well as their benefits and a few ideas of how to get them into your food plan.
Fresh Wild-Caught Salmon
Even though you can buy salmon all-year round, wild salmon is only available in the UK between March and September! I always stress the importance of buying wild-caught fish to clients and friends alike. Though farmed fish still offers some benefits, they don’t have the same natural protein and fat qualities that can be found in wild fish.
Salmon is one of the richest sources of essential omega 3 fatty acids, and wild-caught salmon contains 15% more than farmed! These omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and have been linked to lowering blood pressure. Salmon is also a good source of protein, potassium and various Vitamin B complexes. Furthermore, salmon is an incredibly versatile protein eaten by people all over the world; therefore it can be used in all sorts of cooking.
In French, mangetout translates to ‘eat it all’, and rightly so! This vegetable is packed with essential vitamins; one portion contains 128% of your recommended Vitamin C intake, 50% of your recommended Vitamin K and 33% of your recommended Vitamin A. Vitamin C is essential in your skin’s health and also has anti-infectious agents, Vitamin K helps to regulate your bone-based proteins and Vitamin A is a key ingredient for healthy hair. Mangetout also contain folate (folic acid), meaning they are perfect for pregnant women as this nutrient can make up for the common deficiency of folate in pregnant women, which can lead to new-borns being underweight or suffering from conditions such as spina bifida.
Recipe Idea: Try this Asian-Inspired Mangetout and Cumber Salad; full of flavour and nutritional benefits.
Nectarines are a lovely sweet fruit with a great flavour and health benefits. Nectarines contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, C, E, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. In fact, nectarines are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits available! As a result, these fruits can benefit your body in a multitude of ways, from your hair and nails to digestion and heart regulation. It is however important to remember that fruit is sugary and you should avoid having more than two portions as part of your 5-a-day.
Recipe Ideas: Conventionally, you would just pick up a nectarine and eat it (always rinse beforehand)! However, if you are feeling adventurous, then slice up a nectarine and add it to a salad or perhaps use the slices to top a tart for desert.
There are of course many other in-season foods to add to your food diary this summer, take a look at this chart which will help you understand which foods are at the best during certain months of the year! If you would like some advice on how to fill your food plan with nutritional and in-season ingredients, then book yourself in for a free 30 minute discovery call.