Eating foods that are in season makes sense from an environmental and health standpoint. Eating local seasonal produce means you're getting the freshest fruits and vegetables available, and seasonal produce tends to have what we most need at that time. For example, we really need those juicy, potassium-rich fruits on a sweltering summer day, not in the middle of winter. The area of the country you live in will determine which fruits and vegetables are in season at what times, but here’s a sampling of some of the healthiest spring produce:
Everybody loves strawberry season, as short as it is. Those deliciously sweet local strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant and important for the immune system. Strawberries also contain folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects when taken during pregnancy and may also play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Though we can usually get spinach all year round, there’s something satisfying about spinach from a local farm or picked from the garden. Spinach is rich in detoxifying chlorophyll and is a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that most people don’t get enough of in their diet.
Rhubarb is one of the first signs of spring at the farmers' market. The very tart rhubarb is a good source of calcium and is delicious when stewed with a natural sweetener.
Those tender local asparagus stalks can’t be beat when it comes to flavor and nutrition! Asparagus contains folate, vitamin A, and iron. For best results, steam, sauté, or roast asparagus.
Beets do double duty, since you can eat both the root and the greens. The vibrantly colored beet root is a great source of antioxidants and may be helpful for liver detoxification. Beet greens are a good sources of vitamins A and K. Vitamin A is important for vision and a healthy immune system, while vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and plays a role in bone health. Beets are delicious roasted, shredded on a salad, or juiced.
These juicy and sweet tropical fruits make a great dessert and should satisfy even the worst sweet tooth! They are packed with vitamin C and niacin. Niacin is a B-vitamin essential for deriving energy from the food you eat, and it may play a role in cancer prevention.