Healthiest Spring Produce

April 4, 2019 Dr. Elizabeth Meade

 

Healthiest Spring Produce

As farmer’s markets and grocery stores start featuring spring produce (or maybe you grow some yourself!) we often wonder what the healthiest or most nutrient-dense options are. Here are some great picks for springtime seasonal fruits and veggies.

Artichokes – Artichokes have lots of antioxidants and may help lower cholesterol.

Arugula, kale, spinach – We should aim to eat dark, leafy greens every day.  They are always a great pick when looking for a nutritional powerhouse.

Asparagus – Asparagus acts as a natural diuretic and also contains inulin, a natural prebiotic that is great for digestion and for supporting your microbiome.

Beets and beet greens – These are amazing! They contain tons of minerals and vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. The greens are especially nutritious so don’t throw them out – they can be cooked or added to smoothies.

Fennel – Fennel has vitamin C, potassium, and fiber – and is great for digestion.

Strawberries – Lots of vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and a good source of potassium to boot.

I often get questions about buying organic; while limiting exposure to pesticides is hugely important, organic produce can be expensive. I love to use the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists found here. They give great guidance on what to prioritize when shopping organic, and which things we don’t need to worry about as much. From this list for example, we would want to get organic strawberries, spinach, and kale. But asparagus – go for the regular! What are your favorite ways to eat these nutritional superstars?

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