Now that spring is here, there are certain seasonal fruits and vegetables everyone should be incorporating into their diets. The benefits of consuming these foods will be long-lasting.
Strawberries are in season during the spring and into the first part of summer. Adding strawberries to one’s diet increases the consumption of Vitamin C and potassium, folate, and fiber. It is easy to incorporate strawberries into any diet. They can be used as a topping in cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt. They can also be used to make healthy smoothies. Many people choose to make roasted vegetable tacos and top them with a salsa made of strawberries to incorporate them into dinner.
Another spring fruit everyone should include in their diet is apricots. They are at their peak in late spring and contain large amounts of Vitamin A and potassium. A lack of apricots in one’s diet can lead to water retention and weight gain. The potassium in apricots helps to increase a person’s metabolism and make it easier to burn calories.
Artichokes are equally healthy and readily available during the spring. This versatile vegetable can be used as a pizza topping in the form of artichoke hearts. They also enhance sauce and many pasta dishes. There are a variety of ways artichoke hearts can be cooked, including steamed and grilled. They are also easy to stuff with the filling of one’s choice. Artichokes are beneficial because they contain large amounts of magnesium, fiber, folate, and Vitamin C.
Asparagus is another vegetable that can enhance anyone’s diet. They make a great addition to a frittata but can also be roasted, grilled, or even pureed and added to a pot of soup. This vegetable has large amounts of folate and fiber, along with Vitamins K, E, C, and A. It also contains glutathione, an antioxidant that helps fight off chronic diseases.
Rhubarb not only makes one’s diet more healthy but adds a pop of color to many dishes. It has a tart flavor, so it works well to balance out any dish that includes sweet ingredients. One example of this is a desert called rhubarb crumble. Because of its flavor, rhubarb pairs well with fresh strawberries, and it is a common ingredient in jams. Its health benefits include high amounts of magnesium, calcium, fiber, and Vitamins A and C.
Watercress is also a springtime vegetable that is in the same class as mustard greens. They are most often added to salads, soups, and even steak sandwiches. Not only does watercress contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C, but it also contains calcium.
Similar to onions, leeks are also a vegetable with many health benefits. It is milder but sweeter than onions and can add extra flavor to many dishes. Leeks can be braised or sauteed, depending on the dish they’re being used in. They can also be pureed to enhance the flavor of any soup. In addition to flavoring dishes, leeks are beneficial for their folate and Vitamins A, C, and K.
For a completely different way to make one’s diet healthier, fava beans are an option. With a soft texture and just a hint of nut, there are many dishes these beans can enhance. They are often added to salad and even risotto. Fava beans help provide your body with these essential nutrients:
Many people include lettuce in their diet, but some types of it are healthier than others. When it comes to red leaf lettuce, more is better. Women who consume it every day reduce the risk of experiencing a hip fracture later in life. The average person only needs two cups of red leaf lettuce every day to get their entire recommended serving of Vitamin K. This is the vitamin that promotes bone strength, making it equally healthy for men and women.
Spinach is at its best during the spring. This is when it is the most tender, making it great for dishes like stir-fry, salads, or even smoothies. Spinach contains iron, protein, fiber, and not only Vitamin A but also C and K.