As we shift from the cold, gloomy days of winter to the warm, brighter days ahead, there’s a lot to be excited about. One of my favorite things is the produce that pops up at my local farmer’s market. These seasonal treats are some of the best superfoods you can get: rich in flavor, bright in color and packed with healthy nutrients.
With brighter days on their way, here are some spring superfoods to look for next time you go grocery shopping!
Roasted, steamed, sauteed or grilled, asparagus makes the perfect side to any main dish. Famous for its long, pointy spears, it’s a favorite spring vegetable that shows up around mid-March to early April. Asparagus is loaded with antioxidants like vitamins C and E that help protect cells from age-related damage from free radicals. And it’s an excellent source of fiber to promote regularity, lower cholesterol and promote the growth of the good gut bacteria in your GI system!
How to eat it: Cut the spears into thirds and sauté them with garlic and butter—or keep them whole and roast them in the oven with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
While spinach and kale might be hailed as the leafy greens of winter, spring is all about arugula. Its slightly spicy and peppery flavor is perfect for any spring dish. But it’s not just its unique flavor that makes it so popular at this time of year, it’s also rich in nutrients like calcium and vitamin K to promote bone health.1 And it’s a great source of vitamins A, C, folate and magnesium to help with metabolism, eye health, immunity and nerve function.
How to eat it: Toss it in a salad, add it to a sandwich, pasta, pizza or make arugula pesto!
3. Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas are like a mix between your classic green pea and the snow peas you find in stir-fry. These small but mighty veggies are full of vitamin C ,which helps prevent cell damage caused by toxins in the environment. It also plays an important role in collagen production, helping your skin, bones, joints and hair health.2 Sugar snap peas also contain plenty of fiber to promote digestive health and keep you feeling full longer.3
How to eat it: Eat sugar snap peas fresh with hummus or sauté them with salt and pepper.
Radishes are a root vegetable most commonly found in salads—but they’re also delicious in stir-fry, soups and even pickled. They’re great for adding a pop of color and a crunchy texture to your dish, but they’re also full of important nutrients. Radishes contain a sulfur-rich phytochemical called sulforaphane, which plays an important role in your body to help promote healthy blood sugar levels. And they’re a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow and promote heart health.4
How to eat it: Roast radishes in the oven with salt, garlic, pepper and olive oil.
These bright red berries are the perfect snack when you’re craving something sweet; they’re easy to eat, delicious and incredibly good for you. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants like anthocyanins, that’s been linked to improving heart health in some studies. Other key nutrients are vitamin C, fiber and folate—which plays a role in tissue growth, repair and cell function.
How to eat it: Eat radishes fresh by themselves, add them to yogurt or toss them in a spring salad with arugula!
Does anyone else think about carrot cake when spring rolls around? The bright, orange root vegetable complements any recipe (even dessert!). Carrots are rich in potassium, which plays a key role in regulating blood pressure and heart health by helping to remove excess sodium and fluid from your body.
And we can’t forget what they’re best known for: vitamin A! Carrots contain beta carotene, an antioxidant that your body converts into vitamin A to help with eye health, immunity and children’s growth and development.5
How to eat it: Toss carrots in a salad, eat them fresh with hummus or make a carrot cake! It’s all about balance, right?
Spring brings so many wonderful fruits and vegetables full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! When you eat seasonally, you’re more likely to get fresh, nutrient-dense foods that are coming from local farms, so travel times are much shorter. Not only do they taste fresher, but certain nutrients like Vitamin C, folate and carotenes can decrease with travel times and long stretches in storage. Try to eat seasonally when possible; your body with thank you!
Check out 5 benefits of eating seasonally next!
Holly is a Licensed Registered Dietitian with her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Michigan State University and completed her supervised practice program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Holly’s goal is to help others understand that living a healthy life is not only easy and enjoyable but attainable for anyone!
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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