Seasonal Fruits and Veggies for Spring
By: Handstand Trainer, Brianna R.
Spring is such a beautiful season! It’s filled with blossoming flowers, warmer weather, and lots of bright colors. This is also the season where many of us are more health conscious. With that in mind, let’s set winter’s comfort foods aside, and jazz up our plates with colorful fruits and veggies.
Remember: the daily recommended intake for fruits and vegetables are 1.5-2 cups and 2-3 cups, respectively. Here are six nutritious and delicious foods to incorporate into your spring meals.
Choose: The slightly firm ones with a sweet aroma
Storage: Keep them room temperature for 1-2 days. Store sliced, peeled mangoes in the refrigerator.
Nutrients: Low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free. High in vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C.
Food Fact: Mangoes contain the antioxidant flavonoid, polyphenolic, which in studies is known to fight against colon and breast cancer.
Choose: The heavy ones with dark, green leaves. Avoid pineapples with dry leaves or dark, soft spots.
Storage: Place upside down in your refrigerator for one day. Eat immediately, and store cut pieces in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Nutrients: Fat and cholesterol-free. Low in sodium, and high in vitamin C.
Food Fact: Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which has shown to be effective in reducing swelling.
Choose: Heavy ones with firm, smooth skin.
Storage: Keep room temperature for 1-2 days. Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks.
Nutrients: Fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free; Orange are a great source of fiber and high in vitamin C
Food Fact: The rich amount of vitamin C in oranges help with the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. It is also an antioxidant, which helps fight against the free radicals that are often the causes to many diseases.
Choose: Odorless, dry tips. Avoid wilted or limp stalks.
Storage: Wrap ends of stalks with a wet paper towel. Place in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Nutrients: Fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free; Low in calories. Rich in vitamin C, A, K, and folate.
Food Tip: The contents of vitamin K in asparagus play a role in bone health. It declines the onset of neurological damage, which oftentimes can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Choose: Ones with green leaves that don’t wither, look yellow, or have blemishes. Make sure the stems aren’t brown, split, dry, or too thick.
Storage: Remove any yellow/withered leaves, bands, or ties from the bunch. Wrap in paper towels, loosely in a plastic bag. Store in the lower part of your refrigerator, preferably in a high-humidity bin. Keep moist and cool for up to five days.
Nutrients: Fat and cholesterol-free, and low in sodium. Mustard greens are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, K, folate, and manganese. It’s also high in fiber.
Food Facts: Mustard greens provide a rich amount of nutrients that benefit the human body, by detoxifying the liver, protecting the skin and eyes, lowering cholesterol, boosting the immune system, and building strong bones.
Choose: Odorless broccoli heads with blueish-green tips.
Storage: Refrigerate. Good for 3-5 days.
Nutrients: Low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. High in vitamin C, folate, dietary fiber, and potassium.
Food Tip: Broccoli contains the flavonoid called kaempferol, which is an anti-inflammatory that helps prevent cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
If you’re really craving a fruit or vegetable that’s not in season, you can always purchase those foods frozen, canned, dried or juiced. The best option is to buy them frozen, as it contains more of its original nutrient-dense content, and avoids additives such as salt and sugar. Spring into this season by eating the best fruits and vegetables for your health.
*Brianna trains in and around the Los Angeles area*