As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, our bodies naturally crave lighter, fresher foods. Seasonal produce is not only more affordable this time of year, but it also tastes better and packs a bigger nutritional punch. Here are six spring ingredients to incorporate into your spring meals!
1. Asparagus – This green veggie is not only low in calories, but it’s also a good source of fibre, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. Eating asparagus is linked with improved digestion and lower blood pressure. Asparagus is perfect for roasting, grilling on the BBQ, or stir-frying and pairs favourably with a range of herbs and spices.
2. Peas – another low-calorie food that’s high in fibre and nutrients like vitamins A and C, iron, and potassium. They’re delicious cooked and served as a side dish or added to soups and salads. These little balls of health can easily be tossed into almost any dish.
3. Artichokes – Artichokes are a great source of antioxidants and have been shown to improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels. They can be steamed, grilled, or roasted and make a great addition to a range of meals.
4. Strawberries – Strawberries are one of the first fruits of spring, and they are packed with nutrients. Just one cup of strawberries contains 140% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation, improve skin health, and boost immunity. Strawberries are also a good source of fibre, which is important for gut health. Add them to your breakfast bowl or enjoy them as a healthy snack.
5. Watercress – Watercress is an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as calcium, potassium and magnesium. This trifecta of minerals is important in maintaining healthy bones. It has a peppery flavour that goes well in salads or as a garnish on soup or other dishes. It is also full of beta-carotene, which is an excellent antioxidant.
6. Lemons – Lemons are tart citrus fruits that are available year-round but are especially good in the springtime thanks to their high vitamin C content—just one lemon contains 187% of your daily needs! Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation, improve skin health, and boost immunity. Lemons are also a good source of dietary fibre, which is important for gut health, and potassium, which is essential for heart health. Add lemon juice to dressings or squeeze some over a smashed avo on toast.
These are just a few of the many delicious seasonal superfoods available in springtime! Be sure to take advantage of their health benefits by incorporating them into your meals as much as possible. Your body, and taste buds, will thank you!
By Sarah Panther