Spring is my favourite time of the year! Everything feels fresh and new, the days are longer and brighter and there is a great sense of looking forward to summer and being outdoors more.
Importantly too, spring brings some great foods, and they are some of my favourites.
Let me share these delicious spring foods with you as well as the nutritional and health benefits they provide.
Whilst we tend to associate strawberries with the summer and Wimbledon, they actually start coming into season during springtime. Not only do they taste delicious, especially if you buy them freshly picked from a farmer’s market, they have some amazing health benefits too.
The rich dark pigments of strawberries signal that this fruit is loaded with protective antioxidants. Whilst they offer a wide range of benefits, they’re especially good for heart health. Additionally, they help regulate blood sugar balance so are great if you’re wanting to lose weight, and their polyphenol content helps prevent unwanted diseases.
I love them just as they are but they’re also great with a little natural yoghurt, making a perfect breakfast and start to the day.
For some reason, asparagus isn’t everyone’s favourite vegetable. Perhaps it’s because I know the wonderful health benefits of asparagus that makes me love it more! It’s high in antioxidants, immune boosting vitamin C and vitamin E, plus vitamin K which is needed for healthy bones and blood.
I often recommend including asparagus in your diet because of its prebiotic fibre, feeding all the good bacteria that works so hard in the gut to keep us healthy. However, I also love the taste of asparagus, but only when it’s in season, otherwise it can be tough and tasteless.
Asparagus is great barbecued with halloumi cheese, or simply steamed, drizzled with a little butter, and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Whilst I adore celeriac, I don’t eat it often enough because it’s not that easy to prepare! In fact, its often called ‘the ugly one’ because of its knobbly appearance. However, if you’ve got a sharp enough peeler, preparing celeriac is not difficult. It can then be boiled and mashed or blended into soups or casseroles. Whilst it’s closely related to celery, the taste of celeriac is much more palatable and nuttier.
Celeriac has an impressive nutrient profile, being low in fat, but high in immune-boosting vitamin C and vitamin B6, together with vitamin K and manganese for great bone health. What’s not to love!
Crab is, of course, a strong-flavoured fish but is very versatile, so can be used in many ways. Freshly caught and prepared, it is a real treat, especially if you eat it in places traditionally known for their crab. Cromer crab is a certainly one of my favourites!
Whilst it’s fairly low in fat, crab does contain good amounts of the super-healthy omega-3 fats which are essential for the heart, joints, heart, eyes, hormones, and skin. Crab also contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and protein so it will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Whilst I don’t eat much red meat, lamb is certainly top of my list and the taste of spring lamb is especially delicious. As with all red meat, lamb is a great source of iron, so really helps my energy levels. Plus, it’s high in B-vitamins, again great for energy, but also immunity and is a fantastic source of protein.
Eating sufficient protein throughout the day, from a range of sources, is essential to keep blood sugar levels in balance. Protein becomes even more important as we get older to help keep bones strong and prevent muscle wastage. Losing muscle mass doesn’t need to be a ‘given’ as we age if we take good care of protein intake.
Easter is synonymous with lamb and is certainly a popular choice in many homes as a traditional roast on Easter Sunday. Cook with plenty of fresh rosemary which is loaded with protective antioxidants, and garlic which is great for digestion and the immune system too.
I really hope you’ll love these spring foods as much as I do!
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