Fresh fruits and vegetables…Make the most of summer produce and amp up your diet

fruits vegetables

Looking to improve your nutrition and reap the health benefits? Summer is the perfect time to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. A variety of in-season foods are available, so it’s easy to add some variety and try something new.

Here are some easy ways to fit more produce into your day:

Smoothies: Grab a blender and get to it. Try yogurt or almond milk, ice and the fruits of your choice. This is a great way to get a little green into your day, too. Spinach and kale are actually quite tasty in smoothies!

Salads: I know, I know – a salad can seem like the most basic and boring way to eat vegetables. But a little imagination makes a world of difference. Try sliced peaches on kale or add berries to your favorite spinach salad. Getting a wider variety of nutrients can be as easy as adding new toppings to your favorite meals.

Stir fries: There’s no wrong way to make a stir fry. Grab veggies like green beans, kale, peppers and onions and go to town. This is another opportunity to add something new to a recipe that’s an old favorite.

Soups: Sure, a hot pot of stew isn’t top-of-mind in the summer heat. But consider cold soups. Gazpacho is a refreshing way to eat tomatoes, peppers, onions and celery. And there are a bunch of cold cucumber-based soups that are easy and delicious.

Snacks: Don’t settle for a granola bar. In the summer, it’s especially easy to snag fruits and veggies on your way out the door. Prep a small container of fresh berries or carrots. And remember apples and bananas are great grab-and-go grub year-round.

Sauces: When you’ve got tomatoes coming out of your ears, consider the cold winter days when you’d kill for some homemade marinara or a perfect salsa. A little work now making and freezing these goodies can create a mighty bounty that will feed you in the months to come.

Fruits: Think outside the crate and get creative. Fruit can be amazing grilled. Try pineapple and peaches to get started. And don’t forget fruit pie, cobblers and preserves. Sure, these last three aren’t exactly health foods, but live a little. Fresh fruits are at their peak for such a short time – take advantage!

In Kansas City, we’re fortunate to have many sources for local fruits and veggies. There are several community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs in town. And the City Market and downtown Overland Park both have vibrant farmer’s markets. Liberty has a farmer’s market every Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon at the downtown square. Stock up on produce, try something new and fuel your body right.

Article by Dr. Lynn McIntosh. Dr. McIntosh is a board certified chiropractor, licensed in Kansas and Missouri.  In addition to general chiropractic work, Dr. McIntosh is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician and works with athletes from multiple disciplines on specific sports related problems. To learn more, call 816-753-4600 or visit

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