Six Spring Fruits and Veggies and How They Benefit You
Sweet, juicy, bright and abundant — who doesn’t love sinking their teeth into a delicious peach or munching on crunchy radishes? Springtime delivers a bounty of fresh, natural foods that are brimming with color and flavor. Another great thing about spring fruits and veggies is that they’re nutritional powerhouses. They can help your body naturally get the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. Are you ready to try some of the best? Add a few — or all — of these seasonal stunners into your snacks and meals this spring.
Ripe, ruby-red strawberries are some of the healthiest spring fruits around. They’re packed with vitamin C and potassium, which can help your immune system stay strong. Strawberries also have a type of nutrients called flavonoids. These natural chemicals can help reduce inflammation in your body. Eat your freshly picked strawberries within a few days to enjoy the freshest flavors.
Bring a taste of the tropics to your table with bold, juicy mangoes. Like strawberries, mangoes contain flavonoids that can keep your blood pressure stable, strengthen your bones and even reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Their niacin — a type of vitamin — helps your body draw more energy from the food you eat, too. Snack on fresh, sweet mango cubes, or toss them in a salad with shrimp, cilantro, avocado and tomato.
These stalky spears are a springtime staple that stay in season from March all the way through June. Tender asparagus is a great source of fiber that keeps your digestive system working smoothly. It also contains a vitamin called folate that can boost your memory and help your brain process information quickly. Try your asparagus steamed and finished with a spritz of lemon juice.
Earthy, sweet beets are famous for their rich red color — and they’re rich in nutrients, too. These root vegetables are loaded with potassium, a mineral that helps your nerves and muscles stay healthy. You can even eat beets’ leaves to get an extra dose of vitamin A, which keeps your eyes bright and your skin clear. Roast beets in the oven with olive oil and salt to create a mellow suppertime side dish.
This versatile veggie is great grilled, baked and even raw. No matter how you choose to eat it, you’ll get the heart-healthy benefits of potassium in every bite. One serving of this type of squash also provides over 30% of your daily vitamin C requirements. That’ll help your bones stay strong and protect you against harmful molecules called free radicals, which can damage your body’s cells. Try using shredded, sauteed zucchini in place of pasta with your favorite sauce.
Tart and tasty cherries are some of the best spring fruits to enjoy when you want an easy snack. When you pop a cherry in your mouth, you’re giving your body fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanins, which are nutritional compounds that may play a role in preventing cancer. These tangy fruits are also a natural source of melatonin. This chemical can help you get better sleep and make it easier for your body to create new cells.
Bon Secours Physical Therapy has outpatient nutrition services where you can be assessed by registered dietitians. Several of our dietitians have additional certifications in weight management, diabetes education and sports nutrition. Our nutrition staff provides personalized nutritional advice based on your medical history, condition, individual needs and goals along with sport specific nutrition. We offer flexible hours and convenient locations throughout Richmond. For more information, visit here.