In our days almost no foods are off limit. Even in the most bitter days of winter there’s an abundant choice of fruits and vegetables on the shelves of supermarkets. Aubergines and courgettes that don’t come in till late spring/ early summer are available all year round, just like strawberries, raspberries and nectarines, although firm and tasteless, appear on the shelves in January, overlooking the fact that they are not in season till summer months. It would be natural to think Wow! So great to have this choice we couldn’t even think of a couple of decades ago! But… If you think deeper, these foods really shouldn’t be on the market this time of the year. Then how do they get there? Fortunately (or unfortunately?) people have developed all sorts of strategies to produce and sell the foods that normally are not in season – they are grown in greenhouses, treated with crop boosting chemicals or, at best, imported from the far-away countries to please us, the consumers. Or maybe to make money? It really works both ways, but better for them and less so for us.

The problem with imported produce

It’s natural to think: what’s wrong with growing foods in greenhouses or importing to us from overseas? After all, a lot of goods are being delivered daily across the globe. But in reality, there is a lot wrong with it. The simple act of growing produce in greenhouses out of season, treated with crop enhancers or synthetic ethylene to stimulate the ripening process means that these foods lack the flavour and the nutrients they would have had if they had been grown in the right season, the right climate conditions and had the time to mature and ripen naturally. When the produce is imported from other countries, the nutritive quality of food also suffers because of the longer storage and transportation. The vitamin and mineral content of imported produce is simply not the same as of the foods produced locally. These foods are also frequently modified to prolong the shelf life of the produce – how else would it survive long transportations at irregular temperatures and conditions? But lacking the nutrients or flavour is the most benign of the issues that may arise with such produce.

Depending on the chemicals and pesticides used to treat the produce and coupled with the under-ripeness, these products become mildly toxic to our bodies. These chemicals may accumulate in the body overtime and cause an array of chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases and cancers, since many of these chemical compounds are neurotoxic and carcinogenic.

Finally, transporting foods across the globe carries a huge environmental footprint, as it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. In the world where the global warming is happening much faster than we would have liked, additional CO2 emissions are definitely of no help. The more miles foods have to travel from their original location to our plates, the more is the cost. So, essentially, we are paying a higher price for a food that is less nutritious, probably genetically modified and chemically treated, making us unhealthy and contributing to the global warming. And let’s not forget about plastic. Imported produce requires some kind of packaging in order to be transported – usually plastic, and plastic is one of the biggest pollutants, killing approx. 1.5 million marine animals each year. It is truly sad that we have to pay extra for all this mess.

Why we should buy locally produced seasonal foods

As we can already see, the benefits of buying local and seasonal produce are many: we know where the food comes from; we know that it has the best nutrients to offer; we know that it doesn’t contribute as much to the global warming and pollution and helps to avoid the use of unnecessary plastic – this is further boosted if we shop in environmentally friendly stores, using our own reusable bags, glass jars, lunch boxes and bottles. We know that the money we spend on such produce stay in the community and support local farmers and businesses.

It takes a bit of change to start shopping local and seasonal foods, but it is doable and the benefits are yours. Visit your local fruit and veg shop instead of buying your weekly groceries in a supermarket. Ask the local fruit and veg vendors about local farms and producers. Most often you can also buy local, organic produce directly from the farms and have it delivered to your home. Many farms run subscription box services.

Foods In Season This Spring

At a glance:

Already available:

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnips
  • Spinach

From March:

  • Aubergine
  • Rhubarb

From April:

  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Pak Choi
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Spring Onion (Scallions)

From May:

  • Broad Beans (Fava)
  • Broccoli
  • French Beans
  • New Potato
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes


In season from April

green vegetables on wooden board in kitchen

Asparagus is a nutrient-dense vegetable, meaning it provides more micronutrients in 100 g serving* than energy (calories). In fact, it only has 25 kcal and provide about 2 g of fibre, which is important for gut health, satiety and heart health. Asparagus is rich in some B-complex vitamins, namely B1, B2 and Folate. It is a good source of antioxidant vitamins A (equivalent), C and E, which help fight free radicals and improve your immune function. Asparagus is particularly rich in vitamin K, providing about 40% per serving. It is also a source of Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium and Zinc and provides 16% of daily intake of Iron.

Asparagus is a nutrient-dense vegetable, meaning it provides more micronutrients in 100 g serving* than energy (calories). In fact, it only has 25 kcal and provide about 2 g of fibre, which is important for gut health, satiety and heart health. Asparagus is rich in some B-complex vitamins, namely B1, B2 and Folate. It is a good source of antioxidant vitamins A (equivalent), C and E, which help fight free radicals and improve your immune function. Asparagus is particularly rich in vitamin K, providing about 40% per serving. It is also a source of Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium and Zinc and provides 16% of daily intake of Iron.

Low in calories and carbohydrates and rich in micronutrients, asparagus makes a great addition to the menu for anyone, but especially those watching their carbohydrate and energy intake. Asparagus may help boost your immune function and prevent some health issues, such as kidney stones, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

However, caution must be taken by those who take blood thinners. Since asparagus is very rich in Vitamin K, which is responsible for blood clotting, please consult with your healthcare provider whether consumption of asparagus is safe for you.

Cooking Ideas:

Use grilled or roasted, in risottos, vegetable salads, with Hollandaise sauce, or make an Asparagus and White Bean Soup.

*All values below are provided per 100 g serving


In season from March

two eggplants on a white plate

Aubergine is another beautiful vegetable that is coming into season in March. Like asparagus, it is low in calories, only 25 kcal, and low in carbohydrates, while providing 3 g of fibre. It contains vitamins A, C and B-complex, as well as some of the essential minerals, especially manganese. Manganese plays an important role in bone health and collagen production, making it a beauty food as well as health food. Antioxidants in aubergines may help protect and repair the DNA cells from free radical damage, thus preventing many chronic diseases, and the electrolyte minerals will keep your electrolyte balance, as well as nerve and muscle function in a healthy state.

And just like with asparagus, it’s a great addition to a low-carbohydrate or lower energy diet (not that I am suggesting you should follow one – this is another topic for another day).

Cooking Ideas:

Try aubergines in curries, pasta arrabiata or primavera, grilled or roasted, or in this Griddled Aubergine with Smashed Avocado recipe.

Broad Beans

In season from May

close up shot of broad beans

Broad beans, also called Fava beans, are an excellent source of plant-based protein, providing over 40% of its calories from protein. Unlike animal protein sources, broad beans are very low in calories (48 kcal) but are high in fibre (a whooping 5.4 g) – all the better for those watching their energy intake. This gut and heart healthy legume is also high in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) which contributes to mental performance, folate (B9) which contributes to healthy nerve and muscle function, cell division and DNA production, and Manganese, which is important for bone health and collagen production. It is also a source of magnesium, which plays a role in muscle relaxation and good night sleep. Broad beans are an excellent way to boost your immune system, too.

Cooking Ideas:

Try tossing cooked broad beans with couscous and diced tomatoes, adding a squeeze of lemon juice, plain plant-based or natural yogurt, some chilli and fresh herbs like mint and dill (ideally from your window sill for extra freshness). If looking to try something new, check out this Spanish stew recipe Cazuela de Habas.


In season from May

a person holding a green broccoli vegetable

Broccoli is a superb vegetable that has a very low caloric count, but is bursting with nutrition and (surprise!) protein! In fact, 51% of calories in broccoli come from protein. Who would have thought that? Just a 100g serving of broccoli has enough of vitamin C to cover for your recommended daily intake. Together with high folate (B9) content, broccoli can boost your immune function as well as prevent fatigue and contribute to normal bone health and nerve function. It is a source of potassium which is responsible for keeping your blood pressure in check.

Broccoli can also boast a very high antioxidant content. Indole-3-carbinol (IC3), a powerful antioxidant in broccoli,is being researched as a possible anti-cancer compound as it seems to arrest the growth factor (G1) production, thus inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells. More research is needed in order to make a definitive statement whether it actually fights cancer cells, but consumption of this compound through foods is thought to have a preventative effect.

Cooking Ideas: 

Steamed, stir-fried or roasted, broccoli can make a good addition to any meal. Try it in soups, salads, creamy pasta dishes, Asian stir-fries with soy sauce and sesame seeds. How about this easy Vegan Broccoli and Roasted Cashew Stir Fry for dinner?

Brussels Sprouts

In season until late spring/early summer

close up of brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts may sound like Christmas, but they can be enjoyed more often than that. In fact, I can gobble down the entire tray of roasted sprouts any time of year, just give me a chance! But just like their cousin Broccoli, Brussel sprouts are little powerhouses of nutrients. As a member of Brassicae family, they boast the same antioxidants as broccoli, including the very potent IC3. They are also pretty high in protein for their low calorie content, and are naturally high in fibre. They are a source of vitamins B5 and B6, which contribute to mental performance and reduction/prevention of tiredness and fatigue.

They are high in folate (B9), important for your nerves and DNA, as well as immune system, and vitamin C, which also strengthens your immune system as well as helps maintain youthful skin.

Cooking Ideas:

Try roasting or sautéing brussels sprouts with some maple syrup and soy sauce, maybe add some roasted nuts for extra crunchiness. You can also add them to a creamy pasta recipe or make a roasted vegetable salad. Love Chinese cuisine? Try this Kung Pao recipe with brussels sprouts!


In season year-round

close up of violet cabbage pile

Like all Brassicae family, cabbage is full of B-complex vitamins, in particular B1 (thiamine) which plays a role in the heart function, and vitamin C which supports the immune system and youthful skin. It is also a source of folate (B9), which is extremely important during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but is also important at any stage of human life as it plays a vital role in nerve cell function, DNA formation and energy production. Cabbage is low in calories, with over 35% of calories coming from protein. It is also high in fibre. Cabbage is good news for anyone watching their energy intake or sticking to a low-carbohydrate diet. 

Cooking Ideas:

Cabbage may not be on your table often, but there is no reason it shouldn’t be. You can add cabbage to stir-fries, salads, curries, or fritters. Roast it, make a cabbage and white bean soup. Pickle or marinate it for some extra fermented goodness (fermented foods feed the good gut bacteria which is the centre of everything in the human body, really). Looking for something new? Try Cabbage Steaks!


In season until late spring

a person holding fresh carrots

Carrots are a rich source of plant-based equivalent of vitamin A, making it a very important food for overall health, but in particular eye health and skin health. Unlike the previous vegetables, carrots are higher in carbohydrates and naturally occurring sugars, and low in protein, but they still make a very nutritious, low calorie addition to your diet that is also a great source of gut and heart healthy fibre. 

Cooking Ideas:

Carrots can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed or roasted. You glaze them with miso or soy sauce, add them to soups and stews, make them into a sauce, or even blend one into a smoothie (smoothies are always better than juicing as they preserve the fibrous pulp). While it’s still cold out, try this Carrot and Ginger Soup.


In season until late spring

sliced cauliflower

Another member of Brassicae family, cauliflower shares some of the same traits. For one, it is high in vitamin C, and provides some folate (B9). It is also a good source of vitamin K, as well as some other B-complex vitamins and trace minerals. In terms of macronutrients, cauliflower is low in calories and carbohydrates, so much so that it is often used as a replacement for rice or mashed potato in low and very low carbohydrate diets. Due to its antioxidant content, cauliflower may have a protective effect against certain cancers. Two antioxidants in particular, lucosinolates and isothiocyanates, may be effective in slowing down the growth of cancer cells, but more research is needed to say for sure.

Cooking Ideas:

Cauliflower can be steamed, boiled, roasted, riced (grated to resemble grains of rice) and creamed (cooked and mashed/puréed). Cauliflower is very versatile and easily absorbs flavours. It makes an excellent ingredient for curries, tomato-based sauces, it can sub for chicken wings (just batter it!) and even be made into Cauliflower Steaks


In season from April

green cucumber on white surface

Cucumbers are one of the vegetables with the most water content. For this reason they quench the thirst like nothing else! They are extremely low in calories while providing a decent amount of fibre – good for satiety. They are a rich source of antioxidants that help fight the oxidative stress and promote cell repair, thus protecting us from various diseases, including certain cancers. Cucumbers are high in vitamin K, which is important for formation of red blood cells and blood clotting, however, caution must be exercised by those with blood clotting issues or on blood thinners.

Cooking Ideas:

Cucumbers can be eaten raw for thirst and hunger quenching. Pickled or marinated cucumbers go well with mashed potato dishes and support a healthy gut microbiota. They can also be used in salads and sandwiches and as a crunchy side to almost any dish. A Thai food restaurant beside me adds cucumbers sliced lengthways to curries and stir-fries. But if you are looking for a more unique use of cucumbers, be sure to try the Basil and Cucumber Gazpacho – a twist on a traditional Spanish cold soup.

French Beans

In season from May

fresh string beans in close up photography

French beans, also called String beans or Running beans, are low in calories and high in fibre. They are a rich source of vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting and healthy red blood cell formation (be sure to check with your doctor if you are on blood thinning medication). They are a good source of folate (B9) which is important for immune function and healthy nerve function and is required in prevention of neural tube defects during pregnancy. They also contain manganese, which supports bone health and collagen production.

Cooking Ideas:

Steamed or boiled, they can be added to salads, pastas, soups and pretty much anything else. Try Aloo Beans if you are looking for some inspiration.


In season until May

a bowl of kale

Kale has been popular since the ancient Greek and Roman times. It is very nutritious and extremely high in vitamins A, C and K (we’re talking 200% +). It is also rich in minerals, namely Copper and Manganese, and is a source of Iron and Calcium. It houses one of the most potent antioxidants – Indole-3-Carbinol, that may be protective from certain cancers, such as prostate and colon. Due to very high vitamin K content it may be beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease as it prevents neuronal damage in the brain. It offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis and Iron-deficiency anaemia. It also supports the eye health, bone health and overall immune function. But as with asparagus, please consult your doctor if you take blood thinners or have issues with blood clotting.

Cooking Ideas:

Kale can be added to salads, stews, curries and smoothies. It can be turned into kale crisps and even into this Walnut and Kale Pesto.


In season until May

close up of onion leeks

Another low calorie, high fibre vegetable that often gets forgotten unless it ends up in our potato soup for lunch, leek provides the good for your immune system vitamin C, A and folate (B9), also supporting vision, skin, nerve and bone health. It is also high in vitamin B6, which is involved in energy production and may help you combat tiredness and fatigue. It also provides some Iron, which is also important for delivering oxygen to the cells and producing energy. In addition to these vitamins and trace minerals, leeks are rich in flavonoids – antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory and may help prevent certain diseases by repairing the damaged cells (free radicals).

Cooking Ideas:

Leeks are super-versatile and can be used with anything, in any soups, salads, sautés and roasts. If you’d like to try something other than the infamous leek and potato soup, check out this simple Pea and Leek Pasta dish.


In season year-round

salad with summer greens and purple cabbage

A staple salad ingredient, lettuce needs no introduction. The reason it is so popular because it is virtually calorie-free for its weight, providing only 11 kcal. Almost half of its calories, like in many other vegetables, come from protein, but for obvious reasons, lettuce won’t be a reliable source of protein. But at the same time, one head of lettuce will provide you about 50% of recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is good news for your immune system, vision and skin health. It will also provide some Iron and vitamin C, making it not such a useless salad bowl filler after all. In addition, it has a 95% water content in its raw form, meaning that it contributes to your daily hydration status.

While a very safe vegetable to eat, however, lettuce often gets contaminated by E. coli from nearby animal farms, so watch out for recall notices and make sure that you thoroughly wash the leaves before consumption.

Cooking Ideas:

Because lettuce is so low in energy, to get the most out of lettuce, you would really need to eat it raw, and bucketfuls of it, which is not practical, so don’t push yourself to up your intake. Enjoy the leaves in salads, or change it up and serve a grain-free taco or wrap for a lighter meal, like this Cashew and Tofu Lettuce Wrap.


In season year-round

peeled potatoes in basket

Many people shy away from mushrooms, finding them suspicious being a member of fungi group and a vegetable. But mushrooms are very nutritious and safe to eat when you know which ones to look out for. Good news is that in Ireland, the prevailing variety of mushrooms are the white button mushrooms, which include cremini mushrooms, button mushrooms and portobello. These are impossible to mistake for poisonous mushrooms, so you are safe. Mushrooms are high fibre, high protein food while still low in calories. They are extremely low in carbohydrates, making them ideal for a low carb/keto diets.

They are a source of potassium that is required for healthy heart function and keeps blood pressure at the optimum range. Mushrooms are also a source of B-complex vitamins, such as B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), which are involved in energy production (i.e. turn fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy), promote cellular repair and contribute to healthy hair, nails and skin. B3 in particular helps regulate blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and reduces inflammation. They are also high in B5 (pantothenic acid), folate (B9) and Biotin – another compound important for strong and healthy nails and hair.

Cooking Ideas:

Another versatile product, mushrooms can be eaten with anything as long as they are cooked or properly marinated. They can be sauteed and served with breakfast, added to soups, stir-fries, mushroom stroganoff and bourguignon, stuffed with rice or vegetables or even made into steaks. If you can land your hands on a good mix of wild mushrooms, try this Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup.

New Potato

In season from May

photo of pile of potatoes

Potato needs no introduction either but it may require some clearance of its name, as it gets a lot of bad publicity, being a simple carbohydrate that is low in fibre. But simple carbohydrates can be helpful in certain cases – for example, before or after the workout, as your body needs a boost of quick-release glucose to fuel itself. Unless you add fat to it, the potatoes are naturally fat-free, which is another bonus when fuelling your body for a workout or re-feeding it after (carbs aid the digestion of protein and its use for muscle repair, while fats pre- or post-workout slow down the digestion, potentially depriving your body of the much needed protein).

Potatoes are also a rich source of potassium, an important electrolyte that is involved in delivering nerve signals, regulating the heart beat and blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium may lower your risks od stroke and heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis (it may help absorption of vitamin D and Calcium in the body – but more research is needed to confirm this). For maximum benefit, potatoes should be consumed together with the skin, which provides additional Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Zinc, as well as vitamin C.

Cooking Ideas:

Not sure if these are needed, as we are all very well familiar with potato. From baked to boiled, it can be used in soups, curries and salads. One word of advice – steer clear of fried potato. Try this Coconut Potato Curry recipe instead.

Pak Choi

In season from May

heap of fresh bok choy with green leaves

Pak Choi, also called Bok Choy, is a variety of Chinese cabbage that made it to the western world and grew in popularity – for a reason. Pak choi is very low in calories, so it is virtually one of those free foods. At only 14 kcal per 100 g, it provides 2 g of fibre and around 40% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. It also offers vitamins A and K, and folate. It contains a lot of the essential trace minerals, such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Selenium and Zinc, although not in large amounts.

Nevertheless, for something that is so low in calories, pak choi can add nutrition, texture and flavour to your bowl of stir-fry.

Cooking Ideas:

Stir-fries, soups, roasted, glazed: the ideas are many, it just depends on which way you like to eat it. This Bok Choy and Wild Mushroom Soba Noodle Bowl will make a nutritious meal that is not overwhelming.


In season until May

Free parsnips image

For many, parsnips associate with turnip and carrots, generously buttered and roasted as a side for a Christmas dinner. Parsnips are root vegetables and are best in season in winter, but up until May we can still enjoy them in their prime. Much like potato and other root vegetables, parsnips are rich in starchy carbohydrates, which makes them a comfort meal on a cold day. They are higher in calories than spring vegetables, but still keep under a 100 kcal. However, they provide a whooping almost 5 g of fibre, which your gut is going to love! Parsnips are a good source of vitamin C and folate, which are good for your immune system, healthy nerves, skin and bones, and for energy production.

They also contain vitamins K and E. Vitamin E, in particular, is considered a beauty vitamin since it is involved in production of collagen, which supports youthful skin, hair and nails. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps repair the damaged cells and prevent further damage. Vitamin E is also important for the immune system and for heart health. In addition to these vitamins, it contains Magnesium, which is required for healthy sleep and muscle relaxation. 

Cooking Ideas:

Traditionally, parsnips are served roasted or mashed. But if you find yourself craving some warmth and comfort on a cold spring day, try this Roasted Garlic, Parsnip and White Bean Soup.


In season from April

food healthy vegetables peppers

Peppers are people’s favourite and definitely need no introduction. Peppers are low in calories and consist mainly of water (about 92%) but are also high in micronutrients, specifically, vitamin C. 100 g of peppers provide over 120 mg vitamin C, with red peppers containing the most vitamin C, followed by yellow and green peppers. Despite some beliefs, green peppers are not a separate variety but are simply unripe peppers, hence the slight drop in nutrient content. Peppers are also high in folate and make an excellent addition to your diet if you get frequent colds and infections and feel tired and run down.

They are also a source of B6 (pyridoxine), which is involved in hormone production and utilising proteins. The best in the peppers, however, is their amazing antioxidant profile, especially capsanthin in red peppers, violaxanthin in yellow peppers, lutein in green peppers, as well as quercetin and luteolin. Lutein is important for eye health, but can only be found in unripe (green) peppers. Quercetin and luteolin may have an array of health benefits, including prevention of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Cooking Ideas:

Again, there is really no need to throw many ideas out there because peppers can be eaten with anything, on top of anything, in any way. The best way to eat peppers for maximum health benefits is to eat them raw, but if you are not a fan of raw pepper taste, try these Mexican-style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers (sub for vegan cheese or omit altogether to make it vegan).


In season from April

fresh radishes in ceramic bowl placed on marble table

Radishes are not a very popular choice in Ireland, I noticed, but to me they provide the ultimate summer vibe – maybe because we used to grow them in our summer garden. Radishes have a mildly pungent taste and are very refreshing, with high water content. They are extremely low in calories (12 kcal), and naturally high in fibre, which supports a healthy gut. They are also a source of folate and vitamin C that boost your immune system and reduce the tiredness and fatigue. B6 (pyridoxine) in radishes helps support brain function, protein utilisation and hormone production, and is a natural anti-depressant. B6 during pregnancy may help with nausea.

A source of calcium, manganese and potassium, they will also help you keep electrolyte balance in check, as well as contribute to healthy bones and teeth, skin, nerves and heart function. Manganese is also involved in activation of the antioxidant system in the body, and may help reduce inflammation and cell damage, as well as contribute to DNA and RNA formation.

Cooking Ideas:

As with many other vegetables, the best way to eat radishes is raw: on the side, chopped into a salad, as a topping for a cold summer soup or even in a sandwich. Or a sushi! But if you are looking for a way to cook your radishes, be sure to check out this Roasted Radishes recipe!


In season from March

a rhubarb on a cutting board

In ancient China, rhubarb was used as a medicinal plant, but in modern Europe we know it as a ‘pie plant’. Rhubarb is a very good source of vitamin K, which helps prevent heart disease and postoperative bleeding, as well as promote bone health. It is also a source of calcium, which may further boost your bone and muscle health, improve your skin and promote nerve health. It also contains antioxidants which may improve your health overall.

Cooking Ideas:

Rhubarb can be eaten raw but its taste is very tart, hence it is usually made into pies and jams with heaps of sugar added to mask the sour taste. The stalks of rhubarb can be safely eaten raw but all the leaves have to be removed as they are toxic. The oxalates in rhubarb may inhibit some of the nutrients to be absorbed. To improve its digestibility and nutritional profile, cooking rhubarb may not be such a bad idea after all. So if you are looking for a healthier sweet rhubarb recipe, try this Oat Rhubarb Crumble.


In season year-round (best from April)

green leaves with water droplets in the strainer

Spinach is available all year round, but it actually only comes in season in spring. It is probably one of the most popular greens, and rightly so. It contains good amounts of many of the B-complex vitamins, which are required for metabolism and energy production. It is incredibly high in vitamins A and K and provides almost half of your daily requirements of Folic acid. It also contains vitamin E, which is important for many processes in the body. Being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E can balance cholesterol by fighting cholesterol oxidation.

It also may slow down the progression of atherosclerosis due to its cholesterol-lowering action. It may slow down ageing and prevent many diseases, including cancers, which are more likely occur due to DNA damage by oxidation. It helps repair skin, lock the moisture in and assist in treatment of sunburns. It balances hormones and helps manage PMS symptoms, lower risks of dementia and be of a benefit to people with Alzheimer’s disease. In those who exercise, it may help boost endurance and muscle strength by decreasing muscle fatigue. Maybe there’s a reason Popeye was eating so much spinach. Please ensure you check with your doctor if you take any blood thinning medication or have blood clotting issues.

Cooking Ideas: 

Spinach can be eaten raw (thoroughly washed) for maximum benefits. Add it to salads, sandwiches, smoothies or serve on the side. Cooked spinach will lose many of its micronutrients, so if you wish to add it to a cooked meal, stir it in at the very end of cooking and let it wilt ever so slightly. If you’re not a fan of the taste or texture of spinach, like me, then I highly recommend hiding it in a smoothie. Check out these recipes!

Spring Onion

In season from April

knife beside onion leaks

These green stalks grown on onion bulbs will add colour and juicy goodness to your salads, soups and stir fries. They are rich in fibre and low in calories – a mix we all want to see when it comes to food. Dietary fibre, aside from being good for your gut and blood vessels, is also good for filling you up and preventing you from feeling hungry too soon. As a member of Allium family, green onions contain very powerful antioxidants, but their properties are best released when you crush or chop the vegetable and let it sit for a few minutes before consuming it raw. Spring onions are anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial, just like the regular onions, so they are great for those days when you feel under the weather. 

Allicin, another compound in spring onions is known to decrease the stiffness of the blood vessels, thus improving blood pressure. It may thin out the blood and prevent clot formation. All in all, spring onions are very heart-friendly. Now add to this package the aforementioned vitamins A, C, K and Folic acid along with Iron, Copper, Manganese and Calcium. Spring onions should totally be on your plate this spring season.

Cooking Ideas:

Raw! Chop it up and sprinkle on top of any salads, soups, pasta dishes, stir-fries – anything!


In season from May

ripe strawberries in white plate on table

Who doesn’t like a sweet, juicy strawberry in summer? Well, strawberries are going to come into season in May, and I, personally, can’t wait! Strawberries, like all berries, are low in calories, but are extremely nutritious. These berries in particular are a rich source of immunity-boosting and skin-friendly vitamin C, which is also a powerful antioxidant preventing disease, premature aging and other oxidative stress related conditions. It is also a source of folate (B9), which may further boost your immune system, as well as reduce fatigue and promote healthy brain and nerve function. Strawberries also contain manganese and potassium, which are important for bone and nerve health, insulin production and electrolyte balance.

While there are other vitamins and minerals in strawberries, these are more abundant and worth noting. A 100 g of strawberries will also provide 2 g of fibre, both soluble and insoluble, which is good news for your gut bacteria and will aid with satiety. Finally, as any berry, strawberries are full of antioxidants that support optimum health and may prevent many diseases, especially ellagitannins and ellagic acid. These antioxidants are extremely powerful and are thought to have the ability to slow down the aging process.

Cooking Ideas:

Who needs cooking ideas for strawberries? But in case you’re looking for a breakfast idea with a strawberry twist, here is a Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie Bowl recipe that you will love on a particularly warm and sunny morning. 


In season from May

fresh ripe tomatoes on cutting board

Tomatoes will be the final vegetable for today. These little fruits are powerhouses when it comes to nutrition. Standing at just under 20 kcal per serving, tomatoes are comprised of 95% water, and the rest is a rich concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. An average tomato has about 1.5 g of fibre, which is amazing, considering how little a tomato is (compare it to a slice of regular white bread – 70-100 kcal per slice with the same amount of fibre). The fibre in tomatoes is mostly insoluble, so it will take your gut to a happier place. A few noteworthy micronutrients in tomatoes include vitamin C, folate (B9) and K1, which are required for proper immune function and energy production, as well as formation of red blood cells and healthy bones. They also offer heart-healthy potassium that regulates blood pressure and keeps hydration level in check.

They are also rich in a few antioxidants, such as lycopene that gives tomatoes the red colour, beta-carotene – the plant-based precursor of vitamin A, very important for eye health, immune function and healthy, youthful skin; naringenin, which may help reduce inflammation, and chlorogenic acid that has been shown to lower blood pressure in people with elevated markers. Tomatoes are not only skin-healthy, slimming vegetables, they can also help prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Be sure to buy local tomatoes to avoid artificial ripening with ethylene gas, which drastically reduces the nutritional content and may also pose health risks.

Cooking Ideas:

Tomatoes are best consumed raw, in salads, on the side, on their own as a snack. But they also make an excellent base for many sauces and tomato-based curries. My favourite way to enjoy in-season tomatoes is by making a Spanish cold soup Gazpacho, especially on a warm, sunny day.

A Little Note:

Despite it being mid-April now, this guide is still timely because only a couple of crops came into season in March, with the rest coming in April and May and some available from the previous season until late spring or early summer. It is a common rule that to get the best out of any seasonal vegetable or fruit, we should wait a month or so after it comes into season – this is how we ensure that the produce has the most nutrients stored in its flesh. Getting the first of the season crops may still be slightly underripe or less nutritious than later in the season. So now is the best time to get the produce that came into season in March. As for the rest of produce, you can also get it now, but waiting until the end of April may allow for juicier, tastier foods.

I hope you found this (very long) guide helpful, and I will be back with another guide for the summer season.

Take care!

Lana x


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