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4 Foods to Eat This Spring

Updated: May 13, 2023

By: Delish Nutritionist, Christina Hansen

Spring is a great time to hit the reset button and reintroduce some fresh foods into your day after a long winter. Get into the swing of spring produce with these four seasonal favorites.

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One cup of cooked spinach is packed with vitamins A and K, which are essential for eye and bone health. This amount of spinach also delivers a high amount of folate and iron, which help prevent certain types of anemia. The magnesium and potassium in spinach are important for muscle development and growth, while its vitamin C supports immune function.

If you are on board with green things, serve spinach salads or try it sautéed with meat, fish and tofu. For those who don't like veggies, the mild flavor of spinach is easily masked. Just puree and mix it into sauces, smoothies, soups and meatballs.

Nutritionist recommendation: To increase the fiber and complex carbohydrates of a high protein meal, serve the protein component of the meal on a bed of lightly sautéed or blanched and wilted spinach. Herbs and spices will play a role in adding depth to the flavor profile of the spinach and adding a scant amount of sesame oil will help, without increasing the amount of fats in the meal too significantly.

A cup of beets is an excellent source of folate and dietary fiber (3.8 grams/cup) and potassium (518 mg). Did you know beet greens also are edible? A one-cup serving of cooked beet greens provides a terrific source of vitamins A and K, potassium and magnesium, and even a good source of calcium. Because beets are rich in B9, they provide prime fuel for athletes and people recovering from injury. People who are eating for the function of increased energy and healing, take note, B9 helps strengthen and increase the growth of healthy cells. Folate is a key player in protecting blood cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Fun Fact: Although beets are known to be of the most disliked vegetables, when prepared the right way, they can be quite delicious! Roast beets and serve hot or cold for a touch of sweetness and a pop of color. Blend cooked beets into soups and sauces or shred raw beets as a crunchy topping for salads, tacos and more. If you've ever had shredded beets grace your plate, you'll think of more ways to add this functional garnish to even more entrees you prepare. If you're creative, you can get a serving of beets into your cuisine and create a new fondness for these bright veggies. Maybe you'll make a beautiful dip your kids will love by pureeing cooked beets into hummus! Or prepare a sophisticated roasted beet compote to decorate an otherwise simple weekday dinner!

Another seasonal superstar are fresh strawberries. The last on the list speaks for themselves. Just one cup of sliced strawberries provides more than a day's worth of vitamin C, plus a hearty dose of manganese, which is important for bone and connective tissue development, blood clotting, and the formation of sex hormones. A cup of strawberries also packs three grams of dietary fiber.

Try them alone, in a fruit salad, in a green salad, over cereal, with yogurt or even blend frozen strawberries in a smoothie for a thicker consistency.

While you are staying hydrated this spring and summer, don't toss those strawberry tops that you washed and cut off! Add them to still or sparkling water for a refreshing, fruity infused beverage. a couple of slices of strawberry in a glass is always a welcome surprise too.

One cup of cooked asparagus is a strong source of bone-building vitamin K and folate. It also provides a balanced pairing of vitamin A and iron. Available in green, purple and white varieties, asparagus spears are fun to eat and go with all kinds of foods. It doesn't take much to make asparagus delicious as a side dish or a snack.

Asparagus is super tasty when roasted in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side with dinner, drizzled with a little balsamic and Parmesan, or cut into pieces to add to pasta, stir-fries, salads and more.

Note to parents: Remember to include kids in grocery shopping and food preparation. This helps them learn about a variety of foods and age-appropriate cooking tasks, which makes it more likely they will enjoy a variety of foods.

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