7 summer fruits your body will thank you for eating

Slice into a fragrant melon or savor the honey-sweet taste of a ripe apricot; these foods are remarkably good for you.

Summer fruits like fresh berries and juicy peaches are not only a seasonal treat, they are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients that can work wonders for your health. Go ahead, indulge yourself. Slice into a fragrant melon or savor the honey-sweet taste of a ripe apricot; these foods are remarkably good for you.

Watermelon

No picnic in the park or backyard barbecue is complete without this fruit. For the juiciest, sweetest watermelons, look for melons in late July and August. The fleshy, pink center is high in vitamins C and A, two nutrients that also act as free-radical scavenging antioxidants . Watermelons are also high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to the prevention of degenerative diseases like cardiovascular disease. Enjoy this fruit on its own or paired with feta cheese and fresh mint for a delicious summer salad.

Cherries

Cherries are renowned for their anti-inflammatory benefits from their high anthocyanin content. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, research indicates that eating bright red cherries can help to fight inflammation from diseases like arthritis and heart disease . This summer treat is in season from June to August. Fresh cherries make a wonderful topping for yogurt or your morning bowl of oatmeal.

Blueberries

Of all the healthy summer fruits, blueberries are the most well-known as a super food. Like cherries, they are high in anthocyanins as well as vitamin C and vitamin B6. Another benefit of blueberries is the high fiber content; one cup contains 14% of your daily recommended requirement for fiber . A bowl of fresh berries with a dollop of fresh cream is the perfect summer dessert; it is simple, elegant, and healthy.

Apricots

Keep your eye out for fresh apricots at your local market. They are one of the first summer fruits to arrive to mark the season. High in vitamin A, this is a great food to enjoy to support healthy vision. Add sliced apricot and almonds to your next green salad for a splash of flavor.

Plums

Available in a range of colors from late spring to early fall, you can enjoy this fruit throughout the season. Add plums to your plate for vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber . Fresh, ripe plums make a perfect snack on-the-go. Use your ripened fruit to make delicious summer tarts .

Peaches

Plums, apricots, and peaches are the tasty stone fruits that make summer a little sweeter. Nothing is more reminiscent of warm, lazy afternoons than biting into the juicy flesh of a ripe peach. A good source of vitamin C and magnesium, top ice cream or frozen yogurt with sliced peaches for a healthy dessert.

Papaya

Rich, musky papaya is full of nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, and K . It is also very high in fiber. Papaya is ideal for making healthy breakfast smoothies . Blend with soy milk, yogurt, and any of your favorite summer fruits.

Photo: Flickr