Spring forward by doing some spring cleaning with your diet.
Warmer temperatures are on the horizon, heavy sweaters can be put in storage, and open-toe shoes are back…It’s finally spring! As the seasons shift, the food you eat should shift too. Spring is when fresh and light veggies come back into season. Eating seasonally means eating the fruits and vegetables that naturally grow in abundance during specific times of the year. Foods that are in-season contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body specifically needs for that current season. This also allows us to consume the most nutrients fresh produce has to offer in the peak of its harvest.
So, what should you buy? Here are a few of my favorites:
Leafy greens including arugula, kale, spinach, swiss chard, and collard greens are rich with nutrients this time of year. They’re loaded with vitamin C and packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene. Consuming these nutrients consistently can increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. In the spring, these fresh leafy greens also support skin health, cell regeneration, and hydration. Eat your greens for a healthy glow!
Filled with vitamins, fiber, and chronic-disease fighting antioxidants—these green spears pack a nutritional punch. Try asparagus grilled, oven roasted, or sneak them into a casserole dish.
On the sweeter side of things…strawberries are ripe for picking starting in the spring. An excellent source of vitamin C, this fruit also contains fiber, potassium, folate, and more. It’s also a very versatile option. Toss some strawberries on top of oatmeal, into a smoothie, or pair with whipped cream for a sweet, healthy treat.
For a twist of tang, pick up some lemons and limes. These citrus fruits contain vitamin C, an element proven to build the immune system and increase the production of white blood cells. Those are key to fighting infections. Slice fresh lemons and limes and add to your water for a refreshing flavor while you hydrate!
It’s got a pungent reputation but hear me out! Garlic contains compounds that naturally act to destroy bacteria and infection, which helps support your immune system. Research also suggests that consuming garlic may help reduce the risk of becoming sick and staying ill. It’s easy to incorporate ginger into your food. It can be added to vegetables or used to season meat to make it more savory.
Carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflower should be the base of your spring meals. Root vegetables grow underground, so they absorb a large amount of nutrients from the soil when they are in their prime. They are packed with a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and iron, helping to cleanse your system.
How to get started on spring food shopping.
Consider your environment when making your selections. The region, climate, and environmental factors will impact what’s growing in your local community. The farmer’s market is a great place to start to shop local for fresh produce. Your typical retail grocery store will always have an abundance of options, seasonal and non-seasonal. Start by building your meals around in-season produce options for healthier, tastier, and more cost-effective grocery shopping.