Spring is here, so snap out of your winter mindset and get ready to shed some layers with us and our SIX favorite seasonal foods that all happened to be green (this nutritionists favorite color of course!). Here at Real Nutrition we are always incorporating greens into our diets, so hopefully this list will inspire you to add a little green to yours!
Matcha – Yes this is the new Kale why? Because matcha isn’t just another tea. Instead of infusing hot water with tea leaves that you eventually throw away, matcha is a powder of finely ground tea leaves that is whisked into hot water and consumed as is (tea leaves and all). This makes matcha more potent than regular green tea and therefore more nutrient dense. Matcha is particularly rich in phytochemicals, which may help protect against heart disease and cancer, as well as provide anti-aging qualities and boost your metabolism (hello bikini season!).
Asparagus – a seasonal veggie usually available locally from only March to April means now is the time to stock up! Asparagus are fibrous veggies that are rich in potassium, which is a mineral our body depends on to carry out just about any function. It is also a natural diuretic so eat up to slim down! Asparagus can be enjoyed roasted, steamed, baked, broiled, and even raw. Try packing raw asparagus this week to dip in hummus for an easy afternoon snack!
Arugula – with kale notoriously in the spotlight, it’s easy to forget about other important bitter, cruciferous greens like arugula. With just 10 calories for two cups (versus 60 for kale), arugula is rich in nitrates, which have been shown to lower blood pressure. In addition, arugula provides ample vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate and calcium among numerous phytonutrients. Arugula goes well with just about anything from eggs, to roasted veggies, meat, fish, pasta, etc. We suggest trying arugula as the base or on top of your next meal!
Pistachios – not only are pistachios delicious (and green!), but they are the best bang for your buck when it comes to eating nuts. You can eat twice as many pistachios as almonds for the same amount of calories, and they take more time to eat, thanks to their shell. For these reasons, we like to recommend pistachios as a snack when you need something to munch on but don’t want to go calorie crazy. Pistachios go great with a variety of dishes as well, so consider incorporating pistachios instead of other nuts into your meals for a less dense, and more colorful dish.
Avocado – the ever popular avocado will always be high on our list of favorite foods here at Real Nutrition. As a rich source of monounsaturated fats, fiber, and phytonutrients, avocados are an essential part of a healthy diet. Not to mention what they do for your skin (that summer glow isn’t all sun ya know). Avocados are versatile, and work well as a healthy butter, cheese or mayo replacement, or even in desserts! Avocado chocolate mousse anyone?!
Kiwi – Although it may be hard to find kiwis this time of year on the east coast (or at least ripe ones), these sweet little fruits are packed with vitamin C (112% DV), vitamin K and vitamin E. We love kiwis for their sweetness, and ability to brighten up any snack or meal. Did you know that even the skin is edible? Pop a whole kiwi in your next smoothie for a burst of essential vitamins and extra fiber!