superfoods

Spring Superfoods

This season’s crop of fresh produce is loaded with nutritional all-stars. Here’s what to fill your plate with this spring.

There is no better time than spring to boost your intake of fresh produce. Of course, you can buy most fruits and veggies year-round, but nothing beats in-season foods for peak flavor and top nutrition benefits. As soon as produce is harvested, it begins to lose nutrients. So when you buy fruits and veggies that are in season, recently picked, and ripe, you generally get the highest concentration of vitamins and phytonutrients. This spring, fill your shopping list—and your plate—with these five superfoods.

Asparagus

These elegant spears are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. They are also high in folate and full of fiber. During their brief peak season (April and May) asparagus stalks are tender and sweeter than usual.

Tip: Look for stalks that are odorless and have dry, tight tips.

Strawberries

Given that they’re a very good source of fiber and bursting with vitamin C, you’re smart to gobble as many of these sweet berries as you can while they’re at their very best. In-season strawberries are sweeter, juicier, and more colorful than the ones you find in the winter, which tend to lack flavor.

Tip: Don’t wash berries until right before you’re ready to eat them, as the added moisture can make them spoil more quickly.

Peas

Put aside those boxes of frozen peas during the short time that fresh peas are at their peak. Sweet and tender with just a bit of crunch, peas are high in fiber and an excellent source of bone-building vitamin K. They’re also a good source of vegetable protein.

Tip: Buy the brightest green ones you can find.

Radishes

Crunchy radishes are great sliced into salads or enjoyed as a snack, but radish leaves deserve a little love too, especially when they’re at their peak. Radishes are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (along with broccoli and cabbage) and contain chemicals that have cancer-fighting benefits. They’re also high in vitamin C—and their leaves have even more!

Tip: Add well-washed radish greens to a stir fry or use them to make a peppery pesto.

Spinach

This leafy veggie practically defines “nutritional powerhouse,” with high levels of iron, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A and C.

Tip: To keep spinach crisp, store it loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel and tucked in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.