Winter was brutal this year, making it a tough season for fitness and healthy eating. Cold, dark, and dreary weather lends itself to a decrease in physical activity and an impulse towards comfort food. Now that spring is here, it’s time to celebrate the end of winter and cold weather and say goodbye to winter blues. There’s no better time than spring to recharge our system, improving our mood, energy, and overall health. Nowadays virtually any food is available at the supermarket, but foods that are in season are healthier, more flavorful, cheaper, and better for the environment. Freshly harvested spring produce in particular is some of the most nutrient-dense food available and are some of the best detoxifiers to rid our bodies of the unhealthy toxins that built up during the long winter months. These five spring superfoods are at their nutritional peak and are among the best to nourish and detoxify.
Dandelion Greens. Many regard dandelion as a pesky weed in their yard, but in reality dandelion greens are a nutritional powerhouse. This superfood is packed with antioxidants such as vitamin A, is rich in minerals, and is one of the top sources of vitamin K that supports blood clotting, strengthens bones, and prevents heart disease. Dandelion acts as a diuretic, detoxifying the liver and gallbladder, contains anti-inflammatory properties, and is a prebiotic supporting digestion by feeding our healthy gut microbes.
Beets. In temperate climates, beets can still be enjoyed as their harvest extends into spring. Beets contain a variety of health-boosting nutrients and are particularly high in folate, a vitamin necessary for maintenance and production of new cells, such as in pregnancy. The powerful phytonutrients that give beets their deep red color contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. They also are what detoxifies and protects the liver.
Lemons. Lemons are at their juiciest during spring months. The unique smell and taste of freshly squeezed lemon uplifts our senses and mood. While most of us just use lemons to flavor foods, they are considered powerhouses on their own. Lemons are an excellent source of the antioxidant, vitamin C, and have unique citrus phytonutrients that give them both anti-cancer and antibiotic properties.
Artichokes. Personally I don’t eat artichokes enough, but this spring I will. This superfood is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and is loaded with minerals. Artichokes have one of the highest antioxidant activities of other vegetables and fruits, boost liver function and bile production, detoxify, and contain anti-cancer, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Artichokes also have a unique ability to soothe digestive issues such as nausea, pain, and bloating.
Asparagus. A classic spring food, asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin A, C and K, folate, copper, manganese, and iron. Asparagus contains glutathione, a potent antioxidant well known for its detoxifying properties, and several anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Like dandelion, asparagus acts as a diuretic and is also a prebiotic that helps support the beneficial bacteria in our gut.
Nutrient Data of Food
Fresh Spring Fruit and Vegetables
Dandelion: Medicinal Uses and Indications
Nutritional and Functional Potential of Beets
Antimicrobial Activity of Lemon
Health Promoting Properties of Artichoke