Happy Summer Everyone! This is a great time of year to fire up the grill and do some outdoor cooking. It’s also a great opportunity to try grilling some vegetables and even fruits! There is plenty of new produce becoming available of the new few months. According to fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, these are produce items that are available seasonally this summer.

Anaheim Chile

Apricots

Armenian Cucumber

Asian Pear

Barbados Cherries

Beets

Bell Peppers

Black Crowberries

Black Currants

Blackberries

Blueberries

Boysenberries

Breadfruit

Butter Lettuce

Cantaloupe

Casaba Melon

Champagne Grapes

Chayote Squash

Cherries

Cherries, Sour

Chinese Long Beans

Corn

Crenshaw Melon

Crookneck Squash

Cucumbers

Durian

Eggplant

Elderberries

Endive

French Beans

Figs

Galia Melon

Garlic

Grape Tomatoes

Grapefruit

Grapes

Green Beans

Green Soybeans (Edamame)

Hearts of Palm

Honeydew Melons

Jackfruit

Jalapeno Peppers

Key Limes

Lima Beans

Limes

Loganberries

Longan

Loquat

Lychee

Manoa Lettuce

Mulberries

Nectarines

Olallieberries

Okra

Ong Choy Spinach

Passion Fruit

Peaches

Peas

Persian Melon

Plums

Radishes

Raspberries

Rose Apples

Sapodillas

Sapote

Shallots

Strawberries

Sugar Apple

Sugar Snap Peas

Summer Squash

Tomatillo

Tomatoes

Watermelon

Winged Beans

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Zucchini

June marks Men’s Health Month. With Father’s Day approaching, this can make for a great time to start considering men’s health and nutrition, whether it’s for you or the man in your life. Men are greater risk for some diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Lifestyle change and nutrition may help men to lessen these risks. Here are some dietary factors to consider:

Heart Disease: Fiber plays an important role in our heart health. Fiber, especially soluble fiber, such as the fiber found in oats, can potentially improve cholesterol levels. Including omega-3 fatty acids from foods such as fatty fish like salmon, nuts and seeds including walnuts, flax and chia seeds, can protect our hearts as well.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is known as the “silent killer” as it can affect you without even knowing. Sodium can play a major role in our blood pressure. Unfortunately, controlling the salt shaker at home is only a small piece of the puzzle. Most salt in our diets come from processed foods, fast food and eating out at restaurants. Try cooking at home more often and including potassium rich foods such as bananas, potatoes (with the skin), dairy products, beans, leafy greens and fish, as high potassium foods can help to balance out the sodium in our diets. Do caution these foods if your doctor has told you to limit the amount of potassium in your diet.

 

Cancer: Some cancer, such as colorectal cancer, can possibly be prevented with dietary changes. Some of these changes include eating more plant based foods and less red (such as beef and pork) and processed meats (including lunch meats, bacon and sausage). The World Health Organization suggests that these foods can increase the risk for colorectal cancer.

Grilling and charring food can also produce potentially cancer causing compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). One way to prevent this is to marinate your food before grilling. This is a tasty way to protect your health and make your meat more tender. Choose marinades that are low in salt or make your own with a little olive oil, some vinegar or lemon juice and your favorite seasonings (try some antioxidant rich oregano!).

 

These are just some of the important things for men to focus on in their diets. Though, the fact is that women are still much more likely to visit their doctor for annual check ups and preventive services, such as nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian. So, one of the best things a man can do is seek out regular visits with his doctor and take further steps to preventing these health outcomes.