With the arrival of Spring comes warmer temperatures and more time outdoors. It’s also a great time to make healthy resolutions – especially if the ones you created in the winter season (New Year) didn’t take flight.
For many people, Spring feels like a fresh start, similar to the beginning of the year. You might eat better, become more active, and make new goals for the year.
If this sounds like you, and you want to improve your health and diet, superfoods are one great way to do that.
What are Superfoods?
These types of foods are higher in nutrients than the average type of food. They include a combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and even grains and meat. Each of the superfoods will have lots of vitamins and minerals you need to have a healthy, balanced diet.
The following superfoods are recommended in the springtime, not only because they are available this time of year but because it is easy to add them to foods you tend to enjoy when the weather is warmer. So keep reading to learn about the top 12 superfoods for Springtime: lettuce, walnuts, artichokes, salmon, asparagus, spinach, legumes, strawberries, blueberries, radishes, arugula, and oats.
Naturally, vegetables are going to be high on the list. There are a lot of superfood vegetables, based on the nutrients they contain per serving, and your leafy greens are always going to the top superfood lists. We will discuss the specific type of leafy greens later, but for now, try to get in more lettuce.
Choose any lettuce you like, as most have a good amount of vitamins and minerals, are easy to get, inexpensive, and simple to add to meals.
It is better to go with darker leafy greens like spinach and kale, but if you want some romaine, go for it!
Tip for Using Lettuce: If you want to add more lettuce to your diet, try to fit it into meals you already enjoy. Have a side salad with your spaghetti dinner, or sneak in some lettuce with your soup.
Nuts and seeds are also very good for you and are frequently at the top of healthy and superfood lists. You will be able to find them year-round, but during the spring, you often enjoy salads and lighter meals, which is when walnuts make the meals extra unique.
Walnuts contain many essential nutrients your body needs, especially fiber, protein, and amino acids. These amino acids can boost your mood, so if you are looking to de-stress and be happier, in general, this Spring, add some walnuts to your diet.
Top Food with Walnuts: The great thing about walnuts is that they are simple to add to meals and snacks. Here are some ways to have more walnuts:
- Top your salad with walnuts
- Crush them and coat salmon or chicken
- Have walnuts with cheese or fruit as a snack
- Give your oatmeal or cereal an extra crunch
Another vegetable that is not only low in fat and good for you but is also a superfood is artichokes. This is perfect for spring when many places have it fresh in the produce section. It is always good to get food in season to help save money and have the best flavor with your produce.
Why Artichokes? – This fun little green vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals, which makes it a great superfood. It has a lot of magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium. It doesn’t have any fat and is extremely low in calories. It is also loaded with antioxidants.
Moving on from fruits and vegetables is salmon. If you have ever read about foods that are good for you, then this should be no surprise.
Salmon is one of the healthiest types of fish you can eat, being rich in omega-3 fatty acids and providing excellent protein and other nutrients to boot.
Salmon can help lower your cholesterol, improve your skin, keep you full between meals, and even help reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke. It is also great for reducing inflammation in your body.
Unique Benefit of Salmon: Another great reason to choose salmon? It is easy to cook! You can grill it, cook it on the stove, or put it in the oven in just a few minutes. It goes with just about any vegetable you can think of.
Back to the vegetables, and it is time to talk about asparagus. While this vegetable has many essential nutrients, making it a good superfood for the spring, it is the folate that puts it at the top of the list.
Folate is a type of B vitamin that is wonderful for your brain health. It can affect your energy level, help improve your mood, and get you out of a mental or emotional funk.
If you want to try asparagus, aim for about a cup of it per serving. It is super low in fat and calories, so worrying about that is unnecessary. It will fill you up, which is perfect for a diet.
A cup of asparagus contains about 268 micrograms of folate.
As mentioned in the first section, lettuce and all leafy greens are essential superfoods to have year-round, but spinach is so healthy and good for you it deserves its own honorable mention.
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense leafy greens you can eat. It is loaded with vitamins and minerals, particularly folate (as we mentioned, is a B vitamin) and vitamin C. Spinach is an excellent alternative if you don’t get much vitamin C because you don’t like citrus fruits.
Spinach also contains other nutrients your body needs, including betaine, lutein, and phytochemicals. It is one of the best superfoods you can eat in the spring.
Adding More Spinach to Your Diet
- This happens to be the perfect time of year to eat more spinach. Here are some ways to add more of it to your diet:
- Make a fruit smoothie and add spinach to it.
- Have a large spinach salad for lunch or dinner.
- Put your protein, like fish or chicken, on a bed of sautéed spinach.
Legumes are a fantastic source if you want a bit more protein in your diet. These are also on the list of the best superfoods for Spring. Legumes have fiber, protein, and other nutrients that will improve digestion and help you lose weight.
Benefits of Eating More Legumes
- You can have them on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
- They are easy to add to soup, chili, and other hot foods.
- You can eat them in cold or hot salads.
- They provide a high amount of fiber for better digestion.
Regarding fruits, strawberries are among the best fruits to consume. They have a lot of antioxidants, similar to other berries, and are also loaded with vitamin C. Together, these nutrients are excellent for your skin, helping protect it from environmental factors, reducing the signs of aging, and improving your complexion naturally.
Low-Carb Bonus: If you are on a low-carb diet, such as Atkins or Keto, you can still have strawberries! They are one of the only fruits you can have that is low in sugar and carbs, so here is another great bonus for these delicious berries.
There is another berry that provides many of the same nutrients, which is blueberries. These are even higher than strawberries and most other superfoods with antioxidants. Blueberries are delicious, low in fat, and easy to find in the spring and summer.
With blueberries, you get antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium. This superfood can help reduce your cancer risk, is suitable for heart health, and provides nutrients important for general health and wellness.
Adding More Blueberries to Your Diet
- Make a smoothie with blueberries, other fruits, and spinach.
- Make infused water with blueberries and mint.
- Try blueberries on your spring or summer salads.
- Enjoy blueberries on oatmeal, cereal, or frozen yogurt.
If you want a little different vegetable, you can try radishes. Radishes are a fun vegetable that not many people think to try.
These are absolutely amazing for your digestive system, offering you vitamin C, calcium, protein, and fiber. If you have digestive distress, try switching out your potatoes and complex or starchy carbs with radishes, and you will enjoy the difference.
Raw or Cooked? – The good news is that, unlike other vegetables, you can enjoy radishes raw. Slicing them super thin makes it easy to top salads or soup with radishes. Of course, you can cook them up “fried” and enjoy them in many other ways.
Are you looking for something new to try? If so, why not arugula? This superfood is available in spring and will add essential vitamins and minerals to your meals.
Not only is it loaded with nutrients like magnesium, but it also has a peppery taste that can spice up your foods.
You can make a mixed green salad with arugula and spinach or have a pesto that uses arugula with herbs in your spring garden.
The latest superfood on the list is oats. While much fresh produce is excellent for your diet, sometimes you want something warm and hearty.
A bowl of oatmeal is nutritious and often considered a comfort food, so it is good during the spring and year-round. In the spring, it tastes fantastic with fresh fruits on top.
Oats are suitable for your brain thanks to the nutrients that help produce serotonin. It is also high in soluble fibers like beta-glucan.
Spring is the perfect time to switch things up in your diet, ensure adequate nutrition, and try some of these superfoods.