Spring has sprung and a new season is upon us! The birds are chirping, the days are getting longer and the temperature is rising. This is my favorite time of year; a time of renewal and when everything comes back to life.
It’s also the perfect time to renew our eating habits and provide our body’s with the proper nutrients for the new season. In the Fall/Winter we want to eat warm, hearty foods, while in the Spring/Summer, we want to eat more light and cooling foods.
With every new season comes a new all-star lineup of produce that will benefit us and our health. So I wanted to share with you some of the benefits of eating in season as well provide you with a list of produce you should be on the lookout for in the grocery stores and farmer’s markets.
One with Nature
Eating in accordance with nature’s cycles has so many benefits. Just as you would want to eat cooling, hydrating foods that are in season during the summer, the same principle applies for the fall/winter. Consuming winter vegetables in your favorite warming dishes like soups and casseroles provide vital minerals, warmth and comfort to get you through those cold, chilly nights, while consuming light, cooling foods in the Spring/Summer help keep our body’s hydrated and our internal temperature cool without overheating.
Produce grown in season offers more nutritional value than those that are not in season. This is because they ripen and fully develop without much outside assistance. When produce can grow in their natural environment, they provide more nutritional value due to the soil, weather and climate creating a recipe for the most nutritious and delicious produce available. Like that crispy apple or juicy, plump orange or tomato.
Eating in season is also beneficial to the environment as well. Since less outside assistance is needed, less pesticides are used for production. Less pesticides equal healthier produce and people! This is why it’s also important to choose Organic when possible to limit your exposure to harmful chemicals/pesticides that have been known to cause serious health issues as well as comprising the soil quality for the future.
Support Local Community & Farmers
Produce in season doesn’t have to travel far when you purchase foods from your local community farmers. When produce doesn’t have to travel far, this helps to reduce emissions, which helps reduce our carbon footprint. So not only are you supporting your local community by shopping local, you’re also helping the environment as well….win, win!
So get your pen and paper ready because below is a list of fruits and veggies you should try this season and some of their amazing benefits.
Don’t be afraid to venture out and try something new or include it in a new recipe!
Here Are Some of My Favorite Spring-Time Produce and Their Benefits
*Some produce can be available in multiple seasons and/or might not be in season depending on the region you’re in. Check your local directory or almanac for more produce that is in season in your area.
Apricots- apricots are loaded with vitamins and minerals, full of fiber and are great for your digestive/gut health. Eat them fresh, dried or baked into a desert.
Arugula– one of my favorite greens is Arugula. It has a spicy, peppery flavor that is a great addition to my salads during this time of year.
Beets- I prefer them juiced or raw in a salad during the springtime. Beets have been known to improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Cabbage- red cabbage is my favorite and is so easy to sauté as a side dish or you can add to a stir fry or cabbage rolls. Another great source of fiber that aids in digestion.
Cherries- You can’t go wrong with this stone fruit that’s high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Cherries are such a great and simple choice for a snack or you can use them when baking to make a pie!
Kiwi- loaded with more Vit.C than an orange, this tiny fruit packs a lot of flavor and fiber. Use in your smoothies or slice it up for a quick afternoon snack or desert.
Mango- high in antioxidants that helps boost your immune system, and they also taste great! Add to your smoothies or slice it up for a quick afternoon snack or desert.
Mushrooms- a good source of Vit.D, mushrooms are a great addition to salads or use as a meat replacement.
Strawberries- while strawberries can be found year-round, they are their sweetest from now until the end of summer. Add them to your smoothies, a topping for waffles or just as a quick snack.
Spinach- spinach can also be found year round but is at it’s best during the springtime. Loaded with iron and magnesium, it’s a great addition and basically goes with anything.
Make sure you download my Food & Pantry Essentials Checklist. for more produce & pantry items to stock up on all year long.