There’s nothing like wandering the local farmers market and discovering all the seasonal produce. The beautiful and fresh fruits in season are tempting. Whether you love ripe persimmons or tempting tomatoes… the colors of seasonal produce can entice.
But not all fruits are good for you. In fact, some can be quite harmful. So, how do you know which varieties of fruits and berries are okay to eat? Easy… follow this guide to the right fresh produce in season.
If you read on, you’ll learn what fruits in season are best. You’ll also see a list of fruits to avoid (like tomatoes) — even at the farmers market.
What Fruit is in Season When?
One of the perks of living in the modern age is that anything you want is available at almost any time. Craving pizza at 3 in the morning? Click a button. Need a sugar fix? Click a button.
Historically, certain foods were only available during certain seasons. And fruits were never around all year. Summer was the only high-fruit season. When our ancestors began to eat fruits in season, their bodies knew it was time to store fat for a harsh winter.
Yet, thanks to modern agriculture, and advances in shipping and food storage, many fresh fruits are everywhere, all the time. And though you’ve always been told fruit is healthy (and a few fruits in season are), it’s not meant to be enjoyed every day. So, why should you stick to seasonal produce?
The Change of Seasons and Your Body
Every year, there are phases of reproduction and growth. The spring and summer seasons call on your body to use more energy. There are periods of regression and a reduction of energetic output, too, in autumn and winter.
Why Does This Matter?
Aligning your habits with the seasons matters. During those periods of regression and scarcity, your body uses the fat it stores. Before refrigerators and grocery stores were in every home and neighborhood, folks burned the stored glucose in their muscles and liver until they came across more food.
Now, you come across more food every time you open the refrigerator door. You’re never really in a time of scarcity. The bacteria in your gut don’t have time to switch from digesting glucose to digesting fat.
Seasonal Fruit Calendar
Of course, fruits in season will depend on where you live. And there will always be some variables based on the year’s weather. Growing seasons and crop availability will vary.
In the warmer regions, each growing season begins earlier in the calendar year and lasts longer too. But for some reason, year-round vegetables are easier to find than year-round fruits.
So, how do you know which fruits in season to enjoy when? Read on to find out more.
These Fruits Are Your Real Friends (From the Gundry ‘Yes’ List)
The following fruits can be enjoyed all the time.
The Green Banana
You’ve seen them on your grocer’s shelf. To display them before they go bad, bananas are harvested when green. This is so they don’t over-ripen before you get them home. If you wait for your bananas to ripen, they’ll likely produce close to 15 grams of sugar.1
But the riper the banana, the more starch it’s lost. And the more starch it’s lost, the more simple sugars, like fructose, you’ll find in the fruit.
However, a green banana has yet to convert its starch to sugar. And a green banana is full of resistant starch, which the good bacteria in your digestive tract feed on. Don’t go overboard with green bananas, even though they’re much better for you than their ripe counterparts.
You may not have actually considered that the avocado is a fruit. That’s because, contrary to most other fruit, the avocado has no more than a half gram of sugar. Furthermore, the avocado is nutritious beyond compare. Check out these nutritional values for a cup of avocado:
- Vitamin K — 26% of your recommended daily value
- Folate — 20% of your recommended daily value
- Vitamin C — 17% of your recommended daily value
- Potassium — 14% of your recommended daily value
- Vitamin B5 — 14% of your recommended daily value
- Vitamin B6 — 13% of your recommended daily value
- Vitamin E — 10% of your recommended daily value 2
Furthermore, Haas avocado oil consists of over 70% monounsaturated fatty acids. It’s also chock full of polyunsaturated fatty acids and saturated fatty acids. These fatty acids help support healthy blood lipid profiles. And recent clinical studies show the avocado helps support cardiovascular health.3
Does the fig even belong on this list? Not really. Figs are actually flowers. But most everyone considers them fruits. Whether you eat them fresh or dried, figs have high amounts of fiber and healthy polyphenols.
Figs have been enjoyed for centuries for medicinal purposes. They are said to have beneficial metabolic, cardiovascular, and respiratory effects. Figs are also seen as helpful anti-inflammatory remedies.5
Now, figs are high in sugar, but their dietary fiber content is so significant that they’re worth eating. And a ripe fig is a tasty fig. Stay away from the stem, but enjoy this delicious treat in moderation.
Technically, the coconut is a tree nut. But many people consider it a fruit. No matter what you think of the coconut, the good fats in this superfood can help your health.
Turns out the oil of the coconut is high in healthy saturated fats. These are the good fats that help support fat burning and supply a boost of energy. These fats may also raise your good cholesterol (which can help reduce the risk of heart health issues).6
So, when you’re looking for a refreshing “fruit” to curb your appetite, reach for the coconut. You’ll enjoy its creamy, nutty flavor and its satisfying crunch.
What Fruits Should You Avoid?
Always avoid high sugar fruits. Why? Well, take a slice of watermelon, for example. The watermelon has almost 10 grams of sugar per serving. And the vitamin and mineral content of the watermelon is nothing to write home about.7 Avoid high sugar citrus fruits like the orange too.
It’s tough when you realize something you thought was healthy your whole life isn’t actually that good for you. But there are so many truly good-for-you options out there, you won’t miss the following fruits.
Avoid These “Way Too High in Sugar” Fruits (Among Many Others)
The Ripe Banana
The banana is grown in countries across the world. But if the green banana tops the “list of the acceptable fruits” why does the ripe banana top the “fruits-to-avoid” list?
It’s actually quite simple. As mentioned above, the green banana is made mostly of starch. But when a green banana starts to go ripe, the starch becomes sugar, like fructose (fruit sugar) or sucrose. And you guessed it — you should want nothing to do with fructose.8
Recent data suggests consuming too much fructose could lead to weight gain.9 So, again, make sure that banana is green before you bite in and enjoy.
Believe it or not, there are 16 grams of sugar in one cup of pineapple.10 That’s like eating 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar! Many people like pineapple for its sweetness. But that’s precisely why the fruit should be avoided. It’s just too sweet.
Tomatoes are fruits, yes, and they also belong to the dangerous nightshade family.
Nightshade fruits and vegetables contain solanine. Solanine is toxic (in high concentrations). In fact, there is such a thing as solanine poisoning which can wreak havoc on your digestive tract.11 It’s best to avoid tomatoes, and all nightshades, especially in their whole form. To enjoy tomatoes, make sure to peel them, remove the seeds, and pressure cook them.
Eating for Longevity
If you’re really trying to eat for longevity, it’s simply better to limit your fruit intake. On occasion, in-season fruits, like cherries and berries, are okay in moderation. Dig into green bananas and fruits in season. Or indulge all year long, in things like coconut, figs, and avocados. Don’t forget about the health benefits of lemons as well.
Not all fruits in season are full of sugar. But if you struggle with sugar addiction, take most fruit out of your recipes. And if you must indulge, stick to fruits in season.
Why Fructose Is Poison (and why a lot of fruit isn’t healthy)
Coffee Fruit: Why I Am Obsessed with this Nutrient
The California “Superfruit” That Helps Lower Cholesterol