5 Essential Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss

5 Essential Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss

Spring is in the air, and in the blink of an eye, it’ll be time for skin-baring clothes that are quite unforgiving of winter’s dietary indulgences. But that’s where spring superfoods come into play.

Start your pre-summer slimdown with these nutrient-packed superfoods that come into season in the spring, along with a few tried-and-true items available year-round. The benefits of stocking up on the fruits and veggies that are the first to arrive in your greenmarket are twofold: They’re sold at optimum freshness—having been grown locally rather than shipped from another hemisphere—which means that they’re also inexpensive due to lower shipping costs. It’s a win-win!

So stock up on our go-to picks from this list of foods below to tone up before swimsuit season. And to help you along your weight-loss journey, we have plenty of smoothie recipes ready to go that you can whip up with some of these spring superfoods.

1 Radishes
Their bright red hue surely adds aesthetic to a salad, but radishes’ color is responsible for more than just decorative flair. Radishes get their red hue due to anthocyanins, a phytochemical that has been shown to burn fat and reduce the risk of diabetes. They’ve also been shown to reduce cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation. According to a review in the journal Nutrients, radishes can help ward off diabetes due to their ability to reduce the accumulation of free radicals, promote glucose uptake and energy metabolism, and reduce glucose absorption in the intestine. Looking to add them to your springtime diet? Try slicing up the spheres and topping them with hummus or feta for an easy, high-fiber snack.

2 Asparagus
Asparagus Save
As one of the very first veggies to make it to the farmer’s market in April and May, asparagus is rich in calcium, copper, folate, and iron in addition to vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. A 2010 study by the Department of Pharmacology at Kasturba Medical College found that the diuretic quality in asparagus helps to purge toxins from your system. The spears also contain soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, slow-digesting nutrients that keep you feeling full after a meal. Sure, the sulfurous compound in asparagus, called mercaptan, makes your pee smell funny within 15 to 30 minutes of eating it, but that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. At only 27 calories per cup, and three grams of protein, it’s a food you can chow down on with zero guilt.

3 Apricots
In season from late April to mid-July, this stone fruit is the perfect replacement for other more sinful sweets. Loaded with potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A —which promotes good vision, a strong immune system, and robust reproductive health—apricots have 3 grams of fiber and only 79 calories per cup. “If your goal is to lose weight, you could eat two apricots for dessert, get a great taste of sweetness but really consume very few calories,” says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, author of The Small Change Diet. And if you are looking to improve your diet and shed weight, our advice is to take it slow so you actually keep it off with these 30 Ways To Lose Weight and Keep It Off.

4 Rhubarb
This plant might look like celery, but if you’ve ever been adventurous enough to cook with it, you know that this tart vegetable loves to partner with fruit to become a sweet treat. (Just don’t eat the leaves, because they’re poisonous). According to a study in the Journal of Toxicological Sciences, rhubarb is high in catechins, the same compound that gives green tea its belly-fat-fighting properties. Catechins blast adipose tissue by triggering the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly) and then speed up the liver’s capacity for turning that fat into energy.

5 Peas
Green peasSave
For far too long, the legume that’s packed with a surprising amount of protein—9 grams per cup—has gotten a bad rap. “People think peas are a starchier vegetable and not necessarily one that they should be eating, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Gans. These April arrivals to the greenmarket are loaded with a solid dose of fiber in addition to a nutritional goldmine of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B6, C and K, folate, riboflavin, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron.

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