There are so many things to love about spring.
Finally getting a break in the bitter cold weather. The budding trees and blooming flowers. The busy little birds building their nests.
And, of course, the delicious spring vegetables arriving at your local grocery store and Farmer’s market.
I usually do my shopping on the weekends. And during the months of April and May, I don’t mind admitting I’m like a kid in a candy store. Every Saturday morning I fill my cart with all the fresh spring veggies I can possibly eat.
Now of course I don’t need to tell you that vegetables are good for you. But you might be surprised to learn just how good a few of your favorite spring veggies are.
In fact, some of the vegetables that will be showing up in the produce section of your favorite supermarket in the next few weeks are true spring superfoods.
Must have spring superfoods for your seasonal menu
Following are six spring veggies you should put on your shopping list this week.
Asparagus is the classic spring vegetable. When you think of the season, it’s usually the first veggie that comes to mind. And if you had a bunch gracing your Easter dinner table recently, you’re not alone.
But it turns out asparagus is also a hidden spring superfood. It’s loaded with the “alphabet vitamins” to protect your immune system, brain, heart and bone health.
Plus, the folate in those gorgeous green stalks helps your body produce the feel-good chemicals, dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. So you’re lifting your mood while pleasing your palate at the same time.
Have you been walking right past the radishes in the produce section? Or skipping over them on the salad bar? If so it’s time to give them a second look. Because you’ve been missing out on some surprising health benefits.
The humble radish is loaded with anthocyanins, an antioxidant that helps control chronic inflammation, and which could help fight heart disease and arthritis. It’s also an excellent source of collagen, which is necessary for beautiful skin and healthy joints.
And if that wasn’t enough, a study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition revealed compounds found in radishes can actually kill cancer cells and stop them from spreading.
These days you can eat spinach all year around. It comes bagged or tubbed to your local grocery store even in the dead of winter. But spring is when spinach really shines.
Skip the prepackaged stuff, pick up a bunch or two of fresh spinach, and prepare to be wowed. The flavor is out of this world. But along with the better flavor, you’ll be getting all the health benefits spinach has built its stellar reputation on.
With each delicious bite, you’re swallowing powerful cancer-fighting compounds, free-radical scavenging antioxidants and vitamins, and the critical minerals you need to boost every system in your system.
Just make sure you’re always buying organic. Spinach is often in the top ten vegetables contaminated by pesticides.
Peas may be tiny, but they sure pack a powerful punch. And they’ve earned their spot on the list of spring superfoods. Nutrient dense? Check. Impressive health benefits? Check. Delicious, springtime pop of flavor? Check!
Peas are high in protein, fiber and all the nutrients you expect from a green vegetable. Which means they’re great for your overall health, heart health and digestion.
But what makes them one of the top spring superfoods is their unexpected benefits:
- Reduce diabetes risk: Peas are low on the glycemic index. Which makes them a great choice for anyone who is concerned about their blood sugar, including folks trying to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Relieve allergy symptoms: Suffering from spring allergies? Eat some quercetin rich peas. Japanese researchers found that quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine and can help control allergies as effectively as some over-the-counter meds.
- Fight cancer: Peas are brimming with the phytochemicals called saponins. And several early studies, including a meta-analysis out of Poland, revealed these nutrients could be powerful cancer fighters.
So go ahead and load up on sweet, delicious fresh peas while they’re in season.
The artichoke might look like some sort of alien creature from outer space. But don’t be intimidated by this delicious vegetable’s strange appearance. Those gorgeous green leaves are packed full of flavor and nutrients. And hidden inside is the tender and tasty heart.
Artichokes are an excellent source of magnesium. Every single cell in your body uses this critical mineral. It’s vital for energy production and overall health. Plus artichokes contain important prebiotics which feed your good gut bugs.
Fresh artichokes require a bit of preparation to eat. But their unique and delicious flavor, which is unlike anything else you’ve ever eaten, makes it well worth it. Try YouTube for quick and easy tutorials on preparing them.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a salad I don’t like. But when arugula comes into season, it takes my salads to the next level. This springtime superfood can rejuvenate even the saddest salad, thanks to its fresh, peppery punch of flavor.
But the benefits stretch far beyond flavor. With arugula’s abundance of magnesium, you’re supporting a healthy immune system, strong bones, solid muscles and a sturdy heart. The antioxidants in the delicious leafy green—including vitamins C, K and A—fight free radicals. The carotenoids are natural cancer fighters. And its folic acid content helps your body produce and maintain new cells, including red blood cells.
Feel like you’re turning into a salad lately? Arugula is just as delicious in pesto and eggs or topping a sandwich or pizza.
Spring has sprung and it’s time to start taking advantage of all the season has to offer. Stock up on these six spring superfoods and you’ll be elevating your menu and your health.