Cherries! Artichokes! Carrots!

With a new season, fruits and vegetables are in their prime with an abundance of benefits.

Cherries are the fruit to indulge in this summer! Quell a post-workout soreness with cherries as they contain natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cherries work in a similar way as common NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; e.g. Ibuprofen) but  without the health threats and concerns of gastrointestinal bleeding, liver damage, kidney damage, and cardiovascular damage. Cherries are great alternatives to Ibuprofen and aspirin! 

There are three main types of cherries. Sweetheart cherries (more commonly called "Bing" cherries) are dark in color and delicious for eating. Emperor Francis cherries (more commonly called "Ranier" cherries) are delicious for eating raw. They are a yellow/red combination in color and are a bit sweeter than Sweetheart cherries. These cherries do not produce the deep red juice that stains- a perfect summer treat for kids who love to dribble on their shirts! Lastly, Meteor and Surefire cherries (both are sour varieties) make for great jams and pie filling. These cherries are very sour but will sweeten a bit when cooked. Additional Sugar is needed in recipes to attain the sweetness of pies. 

Artichokes are a delicious and exotic looking vegetable. They provide the visual decadence for a dinner party in addition to the great nutritious properties. Artichokes contain folate, fiber, inulin (supports digestive health), and tons of antioxidants. They are an easy side dish to prepare with your meal. They are best steamed and served with a balsamic dipping sauce or simply a small amount of melted butter. Peel off each leaf individually and dip the "meaty" part of each leaf into your sauce of choice.

Finally, we have always heard that carrots are great for your eyesight. Yes, that is true, however there are more perks to nibbling on carrots throughout the day! Eating carrots gives your skin a luminous, healthy glow. Paired with the vitamin D your body produces from exposure to sunlight, you will be radiant. Other "glowing" vegetables are red and yellow peppers and dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach.

Indulge in something new this summer and seek out foods that nourish and sustain you!

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