10 Summer Fruits Your Body Craves

Fruit is an essential addition to any diet—and can help power up your workout

August 28, 2012
10 Summer Fruits Your Body Craves

It’s just not summer without a thick, juicy slice of watermelon or a pint of fresh berries. Rich in fiber, vitamins, and phytonutrients, fruit is an essential addition to any diet—and can help power up your workout. Summer is one of the best times of the year to indulge, according to Sharon Richter, R.D. “Along with tasting the best and being the most nutrient dense during the summer months, fruit is also an excellent source of non-processed carbohydrates, which provide your body with steady fuel during exercise,” she says. Here are 10 of our favorites to eat whole or chop and toss into salads and smoothies all summer long.

Figs
Figs have a bad rap due to their overly processed cookie namesake, but a ripe, fresh fig is delicious. Two figs have 35mg of calcium, which is essential for building bone density.

Guava
What an apple is to Americans, a guava is to tropical dwellers. This wonder fruit is packed with the antioxidant lycopene and has more potassium than a banana. A cup of guava has 3g of fiber, about the same as an apple.

Kiwi
Ounce for ounce, this mini furry fruit trumps the vitamin C content of an orange. One kiwi has 117% of your daily recommended vitamin C requirement which studies show can help keep skin supple and wrinkle-free.

Strawberries
Strawberries are sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and loaded with fiber and vitamin C. Eat them in the warmer months when they’re in season, and avoid those oversized, flavorless Frankenfruits you see at the grocery store the rest of the year. Choose organic when you can; strawberries don’t have a thick skin that can protect their delicate flesh from pesticides.

Papaya
Papayas come packed with a full serving of vitamin C, as well as beta-carotene and vitamin E to help reduce inflammation in your body. When you’ve eaten the fruit, grind the seeds for a black pepper alternative.

Goji Berries
Gogi juice is popular though pricey, but you can get the same benefits of this superberry by buying them fresh. With a flavor some consider a cross between a cranberry and a cherry, the goji berry is said to boost brain health and protect against age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Starfruit
At only 28 calories, starfruit is a low-calorie, nutrient powerhouse. It’s loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants that can help protect you against certain diseases. Found mostly in Asian markets and specialty stores, it can be sliced up for a fun addition to fruit salad.

Passion Fruit
Getting your daily fiber requirement can be a tedious and bland process. Enter the passion fruit. Down a cup of it for a whopping 25 grams of fiber. Beware though: It does contain 229 calories, so factor that into your daily budget.

Mango
The pulp, which is high in both fiber and water content helps aid digestion. Try some frozen mango in your protein shake for a tropical twist.

Watermelon
Want to get more amino acids into your body? Eat some watermelon. This summer staple contains citrulline, a nutrient that your body converts to arginine. Arginine triggers your body to make more protein and can speed up the repair time of damaged tissue.