Seasonal Produce

After weight loss surgery, the main dietary focus is protein. Protein at every meal. Eat protein first. Hit your protein goal. But the end game is not to just eat protein forever! A balanced diet, whether pre or post surgery, always includes protein and produce. Variety in the diet is just as important after weight loss surgery as it is before. Fruits and vegetables provide crucial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and water to the diet.

I often hear from patients that incorporating produce is easier in the summer months. Readily accessible, in season produce is more flavorful and inviting. Fresh fruits and vegetables simply taste better when they are at the peak of freshness, and it goes without saying that we are more likely to eat foods when they taste good! As summer is quickly coming to a close, here are some of the fruits and vegetables currently in season. Grab them while their flavor is fantastic!

Melons: good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and water! Get them in while you still can!

Figs: contribute fiber, B vitamins, copper and manganese

Eggplant: good source of fiber and manganese. If you haven’t tried baba ghanoush (similar to hummus), now is the time!

Tomatoes: excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant known for cancer fighting abilities. Slice up a fresh one and pair it with low fat cottage cheese for a balanced and filling snack.

Bell Peppers: provide vitamins A, B6 and C. Different colors provide different nutrition, so grab them all!

Green Beans: provide folate, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium and potassium. Bring them to life with different pairings: almonds, basil, shallots, tomatoes, vinegar, and parmesan are all great options.

Cucumbers: more than just water, they are a good source of Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and manganese, and an excellent source of Vitamin K. Don’t peel the skin: the color is where the nutrients are.

Zucchini: good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and manganese, and an excellent source of vitamin A. A versatile vegetable, zucchinis make a great addition to most any dish.

Jennifer Tveitnes, RD, LD

Registered Dietitian, Bariatrics and Weight Management