The vernal equinox came and went but if you live in the Northeast, it might feel as if spring weather will never arrive. Despite the unseasonable chill in the air, we can embrace the season with plates full of fresh fruits and vegetables that are at their tastiest this time of year. Read on to find out what to stock up on in the produce section.
Citrus: Vitamin deficiencies are not uncommon after a long, cold winter and nutrient-rich citrus fruits guard your immune system with more than 100% of your daily Vitamin C needs. Citrus also helps maintain eye health with lots of beta-carotene -- vital to anyone who spent the past few months hibernating in front of the television or computer screen.
Banana: Many people ramp up their activity levels in springtime and need additional calcium to prevent injuries. Bananas are a prebiotic that help your body absorb calcium and their high levels of potassium strengthen muscles -- including your heart.
Avocado: This fan favorite is in season almost all year in California but here on the East Coast, we can only enjoy the ripest selection for about three months. Rich in L-carnitine, this fruit (yup, they're fruit not veggies) helps metabolize fat cells before bikini season arrives.
Artichoke: Harvested in spring and fall, the spring crop is much sweeter and more tender. If you're trying to lose weight, the fiber (about 1/4 of what you need each day) in this vegetable will keep you fuller, longer. Full of peptides and antioxidants, artichokes also help to diminish pimples and wrinkles which also combat the free radicals that damage skin.
Asparagus: Available all year, the stalks are thinner, sweeter and more affordable this time of year. This vegetable is said to have been served at the Last Supper and has become a staple for Easter and Passover menus but can be incorporated into your regular diet to help rid your body of excess water and bloat.
Kale: Hearty kale leaves can stand up to winter weather and still produce tender leaves that can be cooked or eaten raw. The superfood removes toxins from your body and contains high amounts of antioxidants to fight off inflammatory diseases, such as obesity.
Radishes: Suffering from springtime allergies? The anti-congestive qualities of this root vegetable help clear out your respiratory system. Loaded with Vitamin C, radishes also protect your lungs from infection.