Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Spring | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Top 5 Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Spring

April 3, 2012

Must See Nutrition Videos

Want to add more flavor to your diet? Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. In-season foods are picked at their peak, which means they taste great, are full of nutrients and provide maximum health and performance benefits. Plus, seasonal foods are cheaper and more widely available, so you can stock up on your favorites.

Spring is one of the best seasons for a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Below are my top five to try this year and some fun ways to enjoy them.

This vegetable is a good source of vitamins A and C, high in folate and naturally low in calories, sodium and fat. The vegetable's unique texture and flavor make it a satisfying side dish. Three great ways to prepare asparagus:

  • Roast it in the oven with olive oil and garlic
  • Steam it and add it to pasta dishes with olives and feta
  • Grill it and sprinkle it with lemon juice for an outdoor barbecue

Butter Lettuce
This seasonal vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin K, and a good source of vitamin A and calcium. This is a strong lettuce that works great as a wrap or cup. Three preps:

  • Fill it with ground turkey and soy sauce for homemade lettuce wraps
  • Make individual salads with butter lettuce leaf as the base
  • Shred it and top with shaved parmesan for a healthy start to a meal

Watercress is an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1, B6, C, E and K; and it contains abundant iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains a flavonoid called quercetin, which is thought to reduce inflammation and to serve as a natural antihistamine, aiding in muscle recovery. This seasonal vegetable has a unique peppery taste.

  • Make your own spring rolls with grilled chicken, watercress and a sauce of your choice
  • Mix it with fennel for a tasty salad base, then add other toppings
  • Puree it with potatoes and onions to make watercress soup

Rich in potassium, fiber and iron, apricots are a great fruit to try this spring. They add flavor and color to any healthy grain dish, such as barley or quinoa.

  • Add dried apricots to a quinoa salad for lunch
  • Mix with almonds for an afternoon snack
  • Stir them into muffin or bread batter for a sweet addition to baked goods

Green Peas
Green peas are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, including vitamins C and E, plus a good amount of the antioxidant mineral zinc. They are also a reliable source of omega-3 fats.

  • Make your own fried rice with peas and carrots
  • Roast them with salt and pepper for a crunchy afternoon snack
  • Sauté them with shiitake mushrooms for a new side dish

What fruits or vegetables are you most looking forward to this spring? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!


Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian in private practice at Rebecca Bitzer and Associates. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations for athletes of all ages and activity levels, and is an active member of the Sports Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Visit for running and recipe updates.

Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Must See
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,797,524
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,086,641
Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 2,251,445

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Wisconsin Views: 224,260
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 117,335
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 388,894
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

The Case for Red Meat

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

The Boston Cannons'

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic