‘Tis the season…for fruits and veggies

These days, health (and environmental) experts are continually advising us to eat fresh and local foods – but what exactly does that mean? The best way to make sure the food you eat is fresh and local is to keep an eye on what’s in season, especially when it comes to fruits and veggies. For us Bostonians, that can be tough most of the year because colder and longer winters mean shorter and tougher growing seasons.

Like many places though, summer is the best season to enjoy fresh and local fruits and veggies in Boston. Getting access to what’s in season is easier and often cheaper. Head to your nearest supermarket and you’ll likely find the ripest tomatoes, the greenest asparagus, tastiest corn, sweetest blueberries, and more!

Seasonal fruits and veggies differ by region, so to help you out, we put together a cheat sheet for the next time you’re grocery shopping.

Summer vegetables

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Radishes
  • Summer squash

Summer fruit

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Eating seasonal and local fruits and veggies is also a great way to support local farms. There are plenty of farmers’ markets in Boston, open both weekdays and weekends – click the link to find the one nearest you. Most Boston farmers’ markets accept SNAP. In fact, Boston’s citywide initiative, Boston Bounty Bucks, provides a dollar-for-dollar match for all SNAP purchases up to $10.

This means that now’s the best time of the year to start adding more fruits and veggies to your daily diet. In fact, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health just published a study on the health benefits of eating more veggies and less meat. According to their research, a healthy plant-based diet plays a “significant role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.” That doesn’t mean you have to cut out meat entirely from your diet. Even eating less meat per day was linked to lower rates of diabetes.

So whether you do it for convenience, taste, health, or all three, add some seasonal fruits and veggies to you and your family’s plates today!

 

(Photo courtesy of Boston Magazine)

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