During the summer months, we're spoiled for choice, with all the colourful fruits and vegetables to enjoy. From strawberries and gooseberries, to new potatoes and broccoli, the possibilities are endless when it comes to eating well.


To help you make the healthiest choices possible, we've picked the foods with the best health credentials. The foods below are stacked with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, slow-release carbs and fibre. Read on to find out which healthy foods to eat this summer, and find recipes to enjoy them.

Next, discover the top healthiest vegetables and healthiest fruits. Plus, check out our delicious healthy summer recipes.

Here are our 30 favourite healthy foods to enjoy this summer.

1. Apricots

Soft, sweet apricots have a slightly different flavour to peaches and nectarines because of their individual balance in sweetness and acidity. Plus, they work just as well in savoury dishes, like couscous or tagine, as they do in sweet tarts.

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Yellow flesh indicates that apricots have a rich carotenoid content. Carotenoids support healthy eyes and youthful skin. Apricots are also a useful source of potassium, a mineral that helps manage high blood pressure.

Discover more health benefits of apricots.

5-a-day tagine with apricots

2. Asparagus

While asparagus is in season, we love using it in everything from lasagne to quiche.

Asparagus is one of a few vegetables that acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in our gut. It's also a rich source of fibre, as well as vitamins C and E, both of which have anti-inflammatory effects.

Find out more about the health benefits of asparagus.

3. Aubergine

Versatile aubergine holds up well to the punchy spice of a curry or the flavours of parmigiana, and makes a handy meat replacement in veggie tacos.

Aubergines are a source of antioxidants like nasunin, which has been found to protect the fats that make up brain cells, contributing to good brain health. They are low in fat and calories, but high in fibre – this combined with the nasunin means aubergines may help lower cholesterol levels.

There are lots more benefits to eating aubergine.

4. Blackberries

Juicy blackberries are in season from the end of the summer to October, when you can pluck them from hedgerows. Wherever you get yours, enjoy blackberries in a light lemon fool or proper homemade crumble.

Eating berries may support your body's ability to manage blood sugar levels, thanks to their rich polyphenol content, combined with high amounts of fibre and low sugar. Blackberries contain anthocyanins – this is what makes them dark purple – which helps keep our gut healthy and, as a result, our immune system functioning well.

Read up on the health benefits of blackberries.

5. Broccoli

If you've got broccoli in the fridge, you can have a healthy meal in minutes. Add it to easy fried rice, pesto pasta or green soup.

Brassica vegetables, like broccoli, contain a compound that may help balance hormones by regulating oestrogen levels. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, which is responsible for the slightly bitter taste, and thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Check out the health benefits of broccoli.

Fridge-raid fried rice

6. Carrots

The humble carrot adds earthy sweetness to lentil & feta salad, spiced soup and quick biryani.

You've heard the old wives' tale that eating carrots can help you see in the dark. That's because carrots are a rich source of carotenoids, which play an important role in eyesight. They're also packed with vitamin C and fibre, which helps increase feelings of fullness.

Find out more about the health benefits of carrots.

7. Cherries

Cherries are in season from June to July, so make sure you enjoy them while you can. Blitz into a breakfast smoothie, bake into a stunning tart or add to sweet and salty bruschetta.

Learn more about what makes cherries so good for you.

8. Courgettes

Courgettes add freshness to prawn tagliatelle, creamy risotto and lightly spiced curry.

Rich in protective antioxidants and vitamin C, eating courgettes may be good for your vision. Not only are they low in calories and high in fibre, they also contain a good amount of water. This helps keep you full, potentially contributing to weight loss over time.

Check out our healthy courgette recipes.

9. Crab

Delicate crab is delicious in crab cakes, chilli linguine and nourishing chowder.

Like other crustaceans, crab is high in amino acids, the ‘building blocks’ of protein that are vital for growth and repair. It's also a good source of vitamin B12, an important bone-healthy nutrient, as well as vitamins A, D and potassium.

Discover more health benefits of shellfish, including prawns, lobster, mussels and clams.

10. Fennel

With its strong aniseed flavour, fennel is the perfect addition to sardine pasta, pork burgers and lemony risotto.

As it's a good source of fibre, potassium and folate, fennel may support a healthy heart. Getting plenty of these nutrients in your diet is connected to lower blood pressure, and may help manage cholesterol levels, too.

Find out more health benefits of fennel.

Mediterranean fig & mozzarella salad

11. Figs

The floral, sweet flavour of fig works beautifully in Mediterranean-style mozzarella salad, or baked into a sponge pudding. They can be eaten dried or fresh.

Either way, figs act as a natural laxative because of their high fibre content. They are especially rich in calcium compared to other fruits, which helps support healthy, strong bones.

Read more about the health benefits of figs.

12. Globe artichoke

Not related to Jerusalem artichokes, globe artichokes are at their best from June to November. Preparing them might be a labour of love, but it's worth it. Dunk into butter, sprinkle with salt and enjoy. Or, eat them preserved in oil on top of bruschetta.

Artichokes are packed with fibre, so can help maintain a healthy digestive system. They contain inulin, which acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the gut. Interestingly, artichoke leaf extract has been used for everything from treating IBS to protecting the liver.

Find out all you need to know about globe artichoke.

13. Gooseberries

At their best from June to August, gooseberries can be on the sweeter side or slightly more tart. We love them whipped into a tangy yogurt-based syllabub.

Gooseberries are high in fibre and antioxidants – a combination that may support a healthy heart and reduce blood sugar levels, by slowing down how quickly your body absorbs food.

Discover all you need to know about gooseberries, including how to cook them.

14. Halibut

Halibut is a delicious white fish with a firm, meaty texture. It's best between March and September. For a light meal, enjoy Bengali spiced halibut or poached halibut with tomatoes.

Halibut is a good source of selenium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are important for heart health. It's a lean protein, so could be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Buy wild-caught when you can, as it's a more sustainable choice.

Browse all our halibut recipes.

15. Mackerel

Mackerel is an oily fish that's at its freshest during summer months. You might have seen it smoked and peppered in the supermarket, or you may have tried it canned. The salty flesh holds up well to Indian-style masala spices and spicy noodle salad.

Oily fish like mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce risk of heart disease, protect our joints and contribute to good mental health. It's essential we eat enough of these, because the body does not produce them on its own.

Find out all about the health benefits of oily fish including salmon and sardines.

Spicy rice noodle salad with smoked mackerel on a white serving platter

16. Mangetout

Mangetout is a type of pea that's picked very young, and is in season from June to September. They are best cooked lightly to retain their fresh crispness, in dishes like prawn fried rice.

Mangetout is a good source of vitamin C, which supports our immune system, and bone-healthy vitamin K.

Read more about mange tout.

17. Nectarines

Nectarines are smooth-skinned stone fruits with a delicate taste. They are at their best from May to September. Bake them with almonds, raspberries and honey for dessert, or add to burrata salad.

Nectarines are great for hydration, as they contain a lot of water. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, which supports healthy skin and eyes.

See more health benefits of nectarines.

18. New potatoes

As you might have guessed from their name, new potatoes are young potatoes. They hold their shape when cooked, making them a great addition to frittatas and curries.

How you prepare potatoes does impact their nutritional value. Cooking them whole with their skins on retains fibre and some important nutrients, like potassium, magnesium and iron. All potatoes are very low in fat and lower in calories than other carb-based side dishes, like rice or pasta.

Discover more health benefits of potatoes.

19. Peaches

Sweet, juicy and fragrant peaches are ripe enough to eat from July. A true taste of summer, they can be added to healthy breakfast bircher, a fruit tart or light salads.

Peaches are high in protective antioxidants, and peach skin is particularly high in carotenoids, which may protect against some types of cancer.

Find out all you need to know about peaches.

20. Peas

We all have a bag of peas in the freezer, but fresh peas are at their best from May to November. This is when the small green pods are picked, and they have fantastic flavour. Try adding them to pasta, curry and risotto – you could even have them on toast.

Peas are a fantastic source of plant protein and a vegan source of iron. They have a low glycaemic index (GI), high fibre content and nutrients like magnesium and vitamin C, all of which are key for managing blood sugar levels. The type of fibre in peas can also help to reduce cholesterol.

Read up on the health benefits of peas.

Chickpea, Red Pepper, Egg and Feta Hash

21. Peppers

A popular addition to the Mediterranean diet, peppers are delicious in traybakes, tagines and breakfast hash.

Red peppers are especially rich in protective nutrients, such as vitamins C and E. This suggests they have strong anti-inflammatory benefits and are likely to lower the risk of chronic disease.

Find out more about the health benefits of peppers.

21. Radish

Crunchy, peppery radishes add a pop of colour to salads, but they can also be roasted until soft and sweet.

Radishes are heart-friendly, as they are a source of sulforaphane and other protective plant compounds, like anthocyanins.

See more health benefits of radishes.

22. Raspberries

Actually a member of the rose family – which is why they have a subtle floral flavour – raspberries are a British summer staple. We love them in everything from smoothies and baked oats, to scones and flapjacks.

Raspberries are nutrient-rich and low in calories, and they're loaded with protective plant compounds. Studies show they may even reduce the symptoms of arthritis.

Discover the health benefits of raspberries.

23. Runner beans

Runner beans are a popular garden vegetable that work wonderfully in fragrant curries and creamy pasta dishes. If you want to preserve your summer glut, try making a chutney.

Runner beans are a fantastic source of plant protein. They are also high in fibre and folate – eating enough fibre may help to prevent heart disease and diabetes, as well as strengthening our immune system.

Try our runner bean recipes.

24. Salmon

Salmon is an oily fish that is commonly eaten across the world. It works just as well with the flavours of teriyaki as it does with Scandi-style beetroot and lentils.

Oily fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which we can only get through diet, so it's important to make sure you're eating enough. Omega-3 fatty acids have been connected to improved memory and brain health, as well as reducing inflammation in the body.

Read more about the health benefits of salmon.

25. Samphire

Samphire is at its best in July and August. It has green, fleshy stalks and a distinctly crisp, salty flavour. Serve it alongside sea trout, or add to creamy salmon pasta.

Discover all you need to know about samphire.

Watermelon & spinach super salad

26. Spinach

Leafy green spinach has is one of the most versatile vegetables. Whether you're making a vibrant paneer curry, healthy super salad or bowl of creamy mushroom pasta, spinach is a welcome addition.

It's a nutritional powerhouse, too: it's packed with bone-healthy calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, as well as iron, which helps transport oxygen around the body, improving energy levels.

Read up on the health benefits of spinach.

27. Strawberries

Nothing says summer like strawberries. Pile them onto pavlova, top pancakes with them and make your own healthy yogurt ice cream.

Strawberries are low in calories, making them a lighter dessert choice. They contain plant compounds called flavonoids, which may support a healthy brain, and they help fuel good bacteria in the gut, thanks to their high fibre content.

Discover more health benefits of strawberries.

28. Tomato

Another Mediterranean favourite, fresh tomatoes plucked from the vine have a slightly green smell and sweet taste. When you have lots to use up, batch-cook a summery soup, toss into a light salad, stir through risotto or add to tuna pasta.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, which gives them their red colour, and potassium, both of which support a healthy heart.

Find out more health benefits of tomatoes.

29. Watercress

The deep-green leaves of watercress have a bitter, peppery flavour. Serve in a classic ham hock & pea salad or chilled summer soup.

Like other brassica vegetables, watercress is stacked with nutrients. It contains all of your recommended daily amount of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health, and may help prevent heart disease. It's also a good source of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system.

Discover all you need to know about watercress.

Watermelon smoothie

30. Watermelon

At the peak of summer, we're always craving juicy, refreshing watermelon. It adds a beautiful shade of pink to morning smoothies, but we also love adding it to salads with feta or halloumi, to contrast the salty cheese.

It's vital for our health to stay hydrated – even more so during summer. As watermelon is 92 per cent water, it's a great choice for hot days. It also has a low calorie content and contains a phytonutrient, L-citrulline, which may lower blood pressure.

Discover more health benefits of watermelon.

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All health content on goodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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