Top 10 Favorite Spring Superfoods
Artichokes? Really? That’s a superfood? Typically the term “superfoods” causes images of berries and nuts to appear in my head, but according to a quick google search, a superfood is any nutrient rich food with health benefits, so to kick off this list of our top favorite spring superfoods, I proudly present the artichoke. According to an article in the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, the artichoke has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any vegetable, however, contrary to what you might think, those antioxidants are primarily in the leaves, not the heart. Not a fan of eating artichoke leaves? Hey that’s fine! Go ahead and pour yourself a nice cup of artichoke tea! That’s right, you can drink this vegetable in it’s herbal tea form, but hey, this is EAT smarter, so if you’re looking for some healthy ideas for artichoke recipes check out Braised Artichokes or if you’re a little more adventurous in mixing your foods, go ahead and stuff that already healthy veggie with some of your other favorite greens, grains, or proteins, then go ahead and check out this stuffed artichoke recipe.
You didn’t think this list was going to let you get to the bottom without seeing spinach on it, did you? There’s a reason Popeye always chugged a can of this cancer fighting superfood when he was in trouble. High in vitamins, iron, calcium and other much more scientific terms that are beneficial for you, this refreshingly crisp superfood not only super healthy, it’s also super versatile. It can be made into a variety of recipes. Try juicing it, you can mix it with a variety of fruits or vegetables, but consider giving this grapefruit spinach juice a try, it only takes a few minutes to make Fresh Spinach Juice. Looking for something a little bit more substantial? Perhaps you’re trying new dishes to keep the whole family healthy, well we’ve got you covered. Try making these delicious baked spinach rolls, the family will love them!
Radishes are another one of those foods you should definitely consider adding to your spring meal plan! Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals but low-calorie, high-fiber food. Radishes are extremely high in vitamin-C. In fact 100g of radishes gives you approximately 25% of your recommended daily vitamin-C intake. Additionally, radishes are a good source of potassium. Potassium has been linked to many health benefits including reducing your blood pressure. On top of potassium and vitamin-C radishes are contain calcium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. If you want to lose weight radishes are also a great option since they are low in calories but keep you feeling satisfied for a long time in part due to their high fiber content. The fiber in radishes has also been linked with reducing constipation and irregular bowel movements.
If you want to find easy ways to include radishes in your diet, check out our many great radish recipes in our EatSmarter radish cookbook which includes lots of great recipes such as this delicious salad and this refreshing smoothie
A superfood in every sense of the term, strawberries wouldn’t let me leave them off this list. Anti-inflammatory, anti cancer, with lower risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, strawberries should be in everyone's diet. These delicious superfoods shouldn’t be overlooked when planning out your meals. Great as a snack, salad topping, or a dessert, we have all your strawberry needs here on EatSmarter, check out our strawberry cookbook page here for some great ideas on meals or desserts, and if you want to get some additional information check out our strawberry special here you’ll learn a little more about health benefits of strawberries!
Arugula is another green that should most definitely be on this list. It is packed full of vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin K. It also has an abundance of beta-carotene, folate, magnesium and fiber. Similar to spinach, arugula is very high in calcium. This leafy green also has high nitrate levels which have been linked to lower blood pressure. The high nitrate levels could even make you a better athlete since some studies has indicated that they could be linked to enhanced athletic performance.
If you would like to add more of these leafy greens into your diet, check out our arugula cookbook
Does anyone else smell that? Oh it’s just asparagus! Lean, green, and only mean when you're peeing, these slender stems earn their superfood status for their contribution to healthy digestion. Sure it’s easy to praise other foods for their cardiovascular disease and cancer cell reduction, but let’s give credit to asparagus for its contribution to everyday body function. Credit where credit is due you slim stalk! Check out our cookbook with enough recipes to keep you eating asparagus all spring! And if you want to learn more about the health benefits of asparagus, check out our asparagus special page here!
While it may look like the stubby step-sibling to asparagus, this spring superfood boasts a bold abundance of vitamin B, C, and K. In addition to a high nutrient content, broccoli also can lessen allergic reactions. This can range anywhere from itchy nose and eyes to a reaction so severe that it causes the throat to swell and shut. I don’t know about you, but when the winds pick up and I start getting sniffly, you better believe I’m going to be keeping some spare stalks of broccoli in the fridge to keep any sneezing fits to a minimum. Check out our broccoli cookbook for some ideas you can use to keep any allergies in check here. Check out our broccoli special here if you haven’t had enough yet. Everything from health benefits, nutritional value, and even a brief history!
My personal favorite on this list, Avocado! This delicious California native is not only packed with more potassium than bananas, but contain heart-healthy fatty acids and can reduce the risk of macular degeneration, for anyone else without a degree in a health-related field, that means vision loss. The creamy texture is also a great healthy alternative for other creamy paraphernalia, such as butter, mayo, or even oils. If you’re interested in getting some more avocado based recipe ideas, check out these cookbooks here, and if you want to become an avocado expert, consider making our avocado special your first stop by clicking here.
Pineapple isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind with spring. Personally, I think of hula girls and tropical summer luaus, but as it turns out, pineapple makes the cut for spring superfoods! Not only does this tropical food taste great, but it’s great for you, with amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Pineapples contain the antioxidant bromelain, which has a laundry list of positive benefits from treating sinus infections to reducing tumor growth. While the nutritional value isn’t as high as some of the other mentioned foods, pineapples do boast a relatively high amount of manganese and vitamin C, both at nearly 50% of the daily value. That’s clearly a worthy candidate for the title of a super food! If you’re interested in putting together a meal with some pineapple in it, and I’m not just talking about dropping some pineapple toppings on a pizza here (although if that’s your thing, I certainly won’t blame you), then check out our pineapple cookbook for some ideas to get you started, and if you’d like to dive a little bit deeper into knowledge pool of all things pineapple, then please check out this special on pineapples!
Spring Peas are one of the ultimate spring superfoods not only because spring is actually in their name but also because they are high in vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin B1 as well as containing lots of fiber, manganese, phosphorous and folate. On top of that these little superfoods are packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium. Peas have also been proven to have high amount of anti-inflammatory properties, which have been linked to health benefits such as increased prevention of heart disease and various cancers. If you want to keep your bones healthy, peas can also help with that! Peas contain a significant amount of vitamin K, which helps to keep calcium bound inside your bones.