by Dr. Will Cole
With each new season comes change – the clothes we wear, the activities we participate in, and even the foods we eat. The earth we live on gives us everything we need to live a healthy and thriving life in any weather; and when we eat the superfoods that are seasonally available, we are getting these fruits and vegetables when they are most abundant and nutrient dense.
While some foods have to be imported from other areas of the country and world, I love eating organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the best superfoods to concentrate on in the springtime when the weather is beginning to warm up.
Monterey, California is home to the largest harvest of artichokes throughout the entire United States. Peak season for artichokes is during the spring months but they are available all year long. Artichokes can be eaten many ways and offer health benefits like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
Asparagus is another vegetable that, while available all year long, peaks through the spring months. This vegetable is sulfur-rich, contains moderate amounts of potassium which can lower blood pressure, and provides over half of the recommended daily allowance for folic acid in just one 5.3 ounce serving.
While grapefruit are in season a large part of the year, get them while you can as springtime is the last leg. Starting in June, grapefruit will take a 4-month hiatus until they are back in season in October.
Grapefruit is one of the lowest-fructose fruits while it offers a large amount vitamin C. It can help protect heart health and prevent cancer as well as aid in skin health and weight loss.
4. Green Onions
The culinary world is still not in agreeance over the relationship between green onions, scallions, and spring onions, but whether they are the same or slightly different, they are all in peak season starting in spring. These onions are harvested before they have time to grow the onion bulb. Green onions are an extremely low-calorie vegetable but offer a large amount of vitamins A and K.
Most herbs can be found in stores and grown indoors all year long, but their natural life cycle begins with growth in the springtime. Some warm weather herbs include basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and sage.
Each herb offers different health benefits and can be used in different ways. For example, basil is an antioxidant, immune booster, and pain reducer. Oregano can help decrease bloating, improve digestion, and provide antibacterial properties.
Kiwifruit is one of the few that thrive in colder weather, so the springtime wraps up the kiwi season. If you love kiwi, be sure to pick some up before the end of May. It’s no doubt the kiwifruit is a quiet superfood that doesn’t get as much credit as it should. Just one kiwi offers over the daily value of vitamin C and about half of the recommended daily value of vitamin K. Kiwis promote eye health, skin health, respiratory health, bone health, and is a large source of antioxidants.
7. Leafy Greens
Ever wonder why they call it “spring mix” at the grocery store? Greens like spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce are in season starting in the spring and into the summer. These non-starchy vegetables boast nutrients like folate, B vitamins, and magnesium while feeding the healthy gut bacteria in your microbiome.
Depending on where at in the world they are grown, strawberries begin their peak season in spring or early summer. This lower-glucose fruit supplies calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, fiber, and vitamins A and C and can promote heart, brain, and eye health.
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