by Andrea Kirkland
Boost your health and feel your best this season with one easy step! Just incorporate these top five superfoods into your meals this spring. Rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals, each are storehouses for disease-fighting nutrients. You’ll see many popping up on our meal plans (especially Clean Eating, Paleo, and Mediterranean!) as they appear in grocery stores.
As a good source of folate, this vegetable protects the heart by reducing the amount of homocysteine (an amino acid associated with cardiovascular disease) in the body. Another perk: It’s a good source of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium and selenium. It’s delicious grilled, roasted, steamed, and sautéed.
Try it in our Parmesan-Lemon Asparagus!
Once thought to be a villainous culprit for raising blood cholesterol, the American Dietary Guidelines for 2015 (released in January) gave Americans the all clear to put eggs back on the menu, stating dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern for overconsumption. Thanks to its Vitamin A, zeaxanthin, lutein and choline content, there are many reasons to redeem this versatile and excellent protein source. Studies have shown these nutrients may protect vision and improve brain health. Branch out beyond just eating eggs for breakfast, and enjoy them poached or pan-fried over roasted vegetables, salads, and pasta.
Try them in our Eggs in Smoky Tomato Sauce!
While you probably won’t choose to eat lemons as a stand-alone snack or side dish, you should consider adding their juice and zest to dishes and beverages. Refreshingly tart, lemons perk up the flavor of marinades, homemade vinaigrettes, cooked vegetables, and desserts, and eliminate the need to add more salt. Plus, they offer a dose of Vitamin C, which may reduce the risk some cancers.
Try them in our Grilled Salmon with Lemon Pesto!
Bite into a radish during its peak growing season, and you’ll be asking yourself why you don’t eat them more frequently. Served raw, roasted, or pickled, this cruciferous vegetable’s sweet and mildly peppery flavor will take on the starring role of any dish. What’s more? The humble radish is packed with cancer-fighting Vitamin C and isothiocyanates.
Try them in our Romaine Salad with Radish and Mint!
These vibrantly colored berries pack a nutritional punch: They’re high in fiber, Vitamins C and E, as well as potent flavonoids that may reduce inflammation and fight cancer. Beloved for their sweet flavor, these ruby red berries are perfect served alone or in sweet and savory dishes.
Try them in our Balsamic-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Strawberry Salsa!
Andrea Kirkland is a Registered Dietitian and culinary expert on a quest to teach people how to make good-for-you food taste amazing. Her passion for healthy cooking began early in life while helping loved ones who followed special diets find ways to make delicious and satisfying meals. She develops weight-management and specialty-diet recipes as part of the eMeals team.