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.

Asparagus
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
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

Apricots
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!

Source:  fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
Photo:  simplyrecipes.com

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 dietitianindc.blogspot.com 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
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 20,641,762
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,784
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,226,187

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 187,099
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 12,178
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Views: 220,234
Load More

Resources

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

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,842
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,378
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,865,919
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,784
Johny Hendricks Workout Overview
Views: 822,554

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

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

You diet hard all week, eating nothing but clean foods, train your butt off in the gym, and feel like you're making real progress. Then Saturday comes -...

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

The Case for Red Meat

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

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

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

The Boston Cannons'

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

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

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Why You Should Always Say No to Diet Foods

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

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

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

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

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

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes