This post is going to be short and sweet, just like some of the fruits of the summer season, in which we find stone fruit (the kind with pits or stones such as apricots, cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, and apriums). I just learned that raspberries, blackberries, and mulberries are also considered stone fruits because they are drupes, fruits that develop from a single ovary, though they seem quite different from the others. Blueberries top my summer fruit list. I call all these sweet and fleeting so enjoy them while you can.
Fruit is nature’s “candy.” Most people prefer it to eating vegetables. Fruit is also nutritious. However, for some people, too much fruit might cause their blood sugar to rise too quickly, which is sometimes balanced out by the fiber it contains. One cup of strawberries has 3 grams, and 2 figs have about 4 grams. Strawberries are lower on the glycemic index at 41 (how quickly a food will cause blood sugar to rise) and have more Vitamin C than an orange. Figs, on the other hand, when extremely ripe, which for me means dripping off the tree (and yes, you do eat the peel), are very sweet and tasty and have lots of seeds, have a moderate glycemic index of 61 and are a good source of calcium, often with three times as much as other fruit.
Eating a lot of fresh fruit in season is wired into our genes. The downside (and upside) to this is that your body will often let you know when you’ve had too much. Tummy aches and many bathroom trips are your body’s way of “talking” to you. It’s your job to listen.
When summer fruit is abundant, and there is “too much” around, consider freezing it for eating later in the year. It will still be sweet and delicious.
So, what is a typical fruit serving size? It varies, and this short list comes from the 5-a-Day program:
2 small plums
½ cup blueberries
1 nectarine or peach
2 figs, depending upon size.
Jill Nussinow MS, RDN. is a culinary educator, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, and the author of four cookbooks. Her award-winning cookbooks feature plant-based recipes and include The Veggie Queen: Vegetables Get the Royal Treatment, The New Fast Food, Nutrition CHAMPS and her most recent, and most loved by the public book: Vegan Under