Spring is just around the corner, and it’s finally time to say goodbye to the winter blues and enjoy the season’s longer days with renewed energy and high spirits. Birds are chirping, the weather is improving, and the blossoming world around us brings delicious new fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy. If you’re looking for a healthy shift into spring, break out your sundress and head to the farmer’s market to pick up the season’s best health-boosting produce.
Asparagus is a nutritional rockstar, filled with nutrients like folate, which works with B12 to protect cognitive function in our brains. It also contains high levels of glutathione and antioxidants, both of which can protect our bodies from cell damage caused by free radicals and decrease our risk of developing cancer. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and K. Enjoy asparagus raw, sautéed with olive oil and citrus, or use it in this perfect picnic side dish.
Recipe: Lemony Shaved Asparagus Salad
Versatile, delicious, and incredibly healthy, this funny-shaped vegetable is definitely a spring staple to add to your kitchen. Artichokes are great for optimizing your metabolism with high levels of manganese, protecting bone health and cognition with vitamin K, and offering digestive support with high fiber and cynarine. They also are packed with folic acid, which is phenomenal for pregnant women. To add more artichoke to your diet, try this hearty artichoke wrap for lunch.
Also commonly known as broad beans, fava beans are a nutritional powerhouse and a wonderful plant-based source of protein. Filled with lots of iron, these little beans can help to prevent anemia, and their high levels of manganese are great for bone health, protecting our immune systems, and easing PMS symptoms. Add these to a healthy salad for a light, energizing meal, or couple them with a hearty pasta dish.
The nutrients in these little vegetables definitely make them one the the rad-ish guys at the market. Part of the cabbage family, these low-calorie veggies contain loads of vitamin C to keep you healthy as well as the ability to hydrate and cool down the body. Eat them with hummus as a healthy raw snack or add them to a rich and nourishing main dish for a punch of flavor.
When it comes to strawberries, eating this fruit is a pretty sweet deal. In addition to tasting absolutely delicious, strawberries are incredibly nutrient-dense, filled with fiber, antioxidants, manganese, potassium, and even more vitamin C than an orange. While they are perfect to eat by themselves, they make an excellent addition to both savory and sweet recipes. Try them in a spring salad or a healthy raw dessert!
There’s more to rhubarb than pie. Though it looks similar to celery stalk, rhubarb is technically considered a fruit. It’s filled with calcium and vitamin K to ensure healthy bones, and lutein, which is great for your eyes and skin. Additionally, it’s filled with fiber, antioxidants, and a low-calorie count, all of which help you achieve optimal health. While rhubarb is amazing in a variety of dishes, it pairs particularly well with desserts, so try it in a sweet spring treat.
Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
What are your favorite spring fruits and vegetables for clean eating? Tell us in the comments!
Also by Ashley: How A Plant-Based Diet Helped Me Find Body Acceptance
Related: 7 Must-Eat Spring Foods for Beauty
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Photo: Kathryn Farrugia, Peaceful Dumpling, Molly Lansdowne, Kate Coffey, Bethany Cox