As the weather warms up, an abundance of produce springs up in grocery stores and markets. These seasonal delights add flavor and color to your plate and provide your body with vital nutrients that help build and repair muscle, keep you hydrated, and balance your energy for warm-weather outings. Here are some of the season’s offerings and their nutritional highlights, as chronicled by Time:
- Asparagus. Prized by chefs and foodies, these tender stalks contain a unique blend of nutrients, including vitamin K, an essential vitamin that supports bone and heart health and is needed for normal blood clotting. Asparagus is also rich in dietary fibers such as inulins, which are known for strengthening colonies of beneficial gut bacteria and may improve markers of metabolic and heart health.
- Avocados. These trendy fruits are an excellent source of beneficial fats, potassium, vitamins C and A, and folic acid. In one study, people who reported eating avocados regularly were found to have a lower body weight, BMI, and waist circumference than those who ate no avocados.
- Blueberries. These little berries pack a hearty antioxidant and vitamin C punch. Studies using concentrated, freeze-dried blueberry powder found it benefited the cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as the brain.
- Strawberries. These sweet red fruits have been linked to improved markers of heart health. In addition, strawberries are your ticket to vitamin C, which is needed for a strong immune system, wound healing, and skin protection.