Summer time is upon us, and with that comes warm weather and the chance to relax. The summer season also brings perfect grilling weather and some of the best fresh fruits and vegetables of the year — they’re more flavorful, they’re more affordable and they’re healthier for you.

“Summer is the ideal time to take advantage of the abundance of fruits and vegetables for healthy, flavorful dishes,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Kim Segiel RDN, LDN, Geisinger Wyoming Valley. “Fresh fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, sugar and salt than their canned or frozen counterparts.”

Here are some fruits and vegetables to add to your diet this summer.

Peaches

Sweet, juicy peaches taste more like candy than a healthy fruit when they’re in season from June to August. Each delectable fruit has just 70 calories and packs 3 grams of fiber. They’re also a good source of vitamins A and C. Try grilling peaches for a delicious, low calorie treat.

Blackberries and raspberries

If you want a healthy snack this summer, reach for blackberries or raspberries — they’re both low in sugar and calories, and high in antioxidants.

“Blackberries and raspberries are high in bioflavonoids, which can keep your memory sharp, and antioxidants, which protect your cells from potential cancer-causing free radicals,” said Segiel.

Bell peppers


One medium bell pepper has just 0.2 grams of fat and includes vitamins A and C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. They come in colors including green, red, yellow and orange, and some of their health benefits are color-specific.

“Red peppers get their color from the antioxidant lycopene, which can help prevent heart disease, and orange ones have beta carotene, which can help prevent certain cancers and strengthen the immune system” said Segiel.

Corn

Fresh corn makes an excellent addition to your summer barbecue. It’s sweet, and it packs a lot of vitamins and nutrients in each small kernel. One ear of corn has 2.5 to 3 grams of fiber and vitamins like B6, C and folate. Just be sure to keep your fresh corn healthy by limiting toppings like butter or cheese.

Green beans

Fresh, crunchy green beans are plentiful during the summer and early fall and are tastier than the canned version. Green beans are fat free and a good source of fiber and vitamin C, making them a great side dish. 

Tomatoes

These fruits (yes – they’re actually a fruit!) are tastier during summer months and are a main ingredient in many dishes.

“Tomatoes are incredibly healthy because they contain alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene, which are antioxidants that help prevent cancer,” said Segiel.

Add fresh tomatoes to salads, sandwiches, salsas and sauces for some extra flavor.