Our appetite is slightly reduced during the summer, causing many people to stay away from heavy foods. Juicy fresh fruit has a natural cooling effect on the body, so when the temperature rises, our daily diet will include summer fruit in a variety of dishes and beverages.

In addition to satisfying the taste buds and invigorating the body, most summer fruits are very healthy. They supply us with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and nutritional fiber. Most fruits are very low in fat, and their high percentage of water (80 to 90 percent) gives the skin a healthy glow. Heli Maman, a leader of healthy lifestyle groups, summarizes the benefits of succulent summer fruits and explains why we should add them to our diet: Apricots: They are a good source of iron, vitamin C, beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A), potassium and nutritional fiber. Dried apricots help the body retain water and relieve constipation. They also help prevent anemia, cancer, skin disease, fever, ear aches, digestive problems and constipation.

Berries:
They contain antioxidants and boost the immune system. Blueberries and strawberries contain phytochemicals that help protect the body against cancer, heart disease and circulatory problems. Cranberries have a healing effect on urinary tract infections.

Cherries:
This beautiful, tasty fruit is full of vitamin C and ellagic acid, which prevents the growth of cancerous cells.

Papayas and mangoes: They are an excellent source of vitamin C, beta-carotene and nutritional fiber. Eating enough mangos can turn the body into a storehouse of vitamin A that lasts for months. Mangos are rich in vitamin C and E and contain potassium, iron and nicotinic acid. Papayas are great for weight loss and aid the digestive process. Papayas are often used as a natural laxative.

Peaches and plums:
They contain a large amount of vitamin C, beta-carotene, phytochemicals, antioxidants and anthocyanins, which help neutralize free radicals and slow down the aging process. Peaches can also combat anemia, fatigue and high cholesterol levels.

Pineapples:
Aside from being the richest in vitamins and minerals, pineapples are an excellent source of bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps weight loss. Pineapples contain antioxidants that protect the body from disease.

Watermelon: This luscious fruit helps quench thirst and is a good source of betacarotene, vitamin C, pectin, lycopene, potassium and iron. It can help alleviate kidney, bladder and digestive problems.

Fruit can be included in a wide variety of dishes.

Try to eat fruit salad as a meal or have it with a little yogurt. Fresh fruit juice quenches your thirst and prevents dehydration during the hot summer months. Stay away from canned fruit juice that contains preservatives, added sugar and negligible quantities of fiber.

Summer is a great time to enjoy seasonal fruit and benefit from the wealth of nutritional benefits they provide.

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