April showers might bring May flowers, but they also bring spring fruits and vegetables and the start of farmer’s market season throughout much of the country and that is equally—if not more—exciting. As we switch from warm soups and comfort foods to spring salads and light entrees, consider incorporating these six spring super foods into your weekly menu. These seasonal foods not only taste amazing, but they also contain vitamins and nutrients that are great for your healthy lifestyle and will fuel your body for all those outdoor spring activities! Check out the full list below to find out which foods can boost your immunity, strengthen your heart and more.|
Peas Slip green peas into your salads and veggie-filled dishes and you’ll be doing your health a favor. Due in part to its high fiber content, green peas are commonly associated with lowered risk of type 2 diabetes. Plus, its high vitamin K content also means that it can play a key role in bone support, an important fact to note for women who have started to experience unwanted bone loss as a result of menopause.
Try them in Fresh Pea Soup.
Spinach People pop it in everything from smoothies to omelets, so it should come as no surprise that spinach is chock full of amazing vitamins and nutrients. What might be a surprise, however, is its potential cancer-fighting powers. Composed of 105% of vitamin A, a vitamin whose carotenoids promote proper cell communication to keep cells from overgrowing (and, thus, cause cancer), spinach has recently been evidenced as playing a role in protecting against aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
Try it in Spinach-Berry Salad.
Asparagus Asparagus is extremely high in folate and, as such, contains folic acid and a B vitamin that aids in manufacturing DNA in developing fetuses, making it important for pregnant women and those trying to conceive. Additionally, asparagus contains high levels of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, which researchers identify as capable of reducing risk of common chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Also, it tastes amazing when grilled.
Try it in Chicken & Asparagus Pasta.
Pineapple If the juicy sweetness isn’t enough to convince you to consume, like, all the pineapples, perhaps you might be interested to know that adding this tropical fruit and its fantastic vitamin C content to a diet can aid in preventing or reducing the severity of everything from asthma attacks and joint pain to recurrent ear infections and the flu. Still need convincing? Vitamin C is also essential in producing collagen to keep the structure of our bodies strong and plays a part in regulating many moods and daily body rhythms.
Try it in Mango-Pineapple-Banana Smoothies.
Carrots Momma always said that carrots would make your eyes strong, but did you also know that they can protect against cardiovascular disease? A study out of the Netherlands based upon food’s pigmentation determined that foods in the dark orange and yellow color zone were effective in protecting against CVD. Carrots were determined to be the single most effective of those foods. Do your lovely heart a favor and stock up on some carrots at your local farmer’s market!
Try them in 100-Calorie Carrot Ginger Muffins.
Strawberry For our money, the strawberry can do no wrong—it’s sweet, delicious, plays well with other fruits and makes a mean dessert in too many ways to count. But the bright red warm weather favorite also packs a punch for your health. With vitamin C levels that are through the roof, the fruit stands as one of the top antioxidant sources found in commonly consumed foods. Regular consumption of strawberries has also been linked to decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and researchers are studying the association between strawberries and blood sugar regulation.
Try them in Grilled Strawberry & Cream Pita.