Here in the US, with April comes the spring. The spring season is known for the welcome return of sunshine, warmer weather, and more colorful produce in your store or local farmers’ market. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the nutrition we can look forward to from the vegetables and fruits in season in April, and the benefits they bring. We have a (very seasonal) recipe for you at the bottom combining several of these springtime fruit and veggie stars!

While supplements do not negate a healthy diet, they can deliver more potent doses, and sometimes more absorbable forms of the nutrients you need or desire. So, in this article, we will also suggest some supplements that can boost the nutrition brought by spring’s bounty. 

1. Strawberries

April marks the beginning of strawberry season in many parts of the United States. These vibrant red berries aren’t just delicious; they’re also bursting with nutrients. Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, providing over 100% of the recommended daily intake in just one cup [1]. 

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and supports immune function, healing, and collagen synthesis for healthy, youthful skin, and comfortable joints [2]. 

Strawberries are also a good source of manganese, folate, potassium, and various antioxidants, including flavonoids and ellagic acid. Antioxidants fight toxic oxidative stress and signs of aging throughout the body [3].

If you’re interested in boosting your antioxidant intake, Deluxe Scavengers™ and Resveratrol with Piperine are two great choices. 

Deluxe Scavengers™ provides optimum doses of the essential antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, as well as CoQ10, a naturally occurring nutrient utilized by cells for protection and energy production. Plant extracts such as Pomella® Pomegranate fruit extract, lutein, and zeaxanthin provide extra free radical scavenging power and support both vision and cognitive health [3].

Resveratrol is a polyphenol with antioxidant properties found in the skin of some berries, but its health benefits are more pronounced when taken at supplemental doses [4]. Resveratrol can support healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health, as well as joint comfort, balanced blood glucose, and cognitive function [4].

2. Asparagus

Tender and flavorful, asparagus is another star of the spring season. This versatile vegetable is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as folate and fiber. Asparagus is particularly renowned for its high folate content, which is essential for the methylation cycle, cognitive function, a balanced mood, and sustainable energy levels.

Vitamins A, C, and E are all powerful antioxidants and vitamin K supports bone health by promoting the absorption of calcium. Insoluble fiber aids digestion and promotes bowel regularity. The types of fiber in asparagus are considered prebiotic. This means they feed the probiotic bacterial species needed to establish a healthy gut microbiome.

If you need more prebiotic fiber to nurture your gut health, Metabolic Maintenance offers a fantastic prebiotic supplement. BioMaintenance™ Prebiotic + Fiber is a low-calorie, flavorless drink powder that promotes beneficial forms of bacteria in the gut. The synergistic effects of prebiotics and fiber in this product offer support to weight management efforts with a greater sense of satiety and balanced glycemic response [5]. Gastrointestinal benefits may include increased bowel regularity, improved nutritional absorption, and gut cellular health support [5]. A healthful microbiome also assists in balancing immune function and healthy inflammation status. 

3. Spinach

Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse that thrives in the cool temperatures of spring. Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, magnesium, and potassium, spinach offers a myriad of health benefits. 

The high vitamin K content in spinach contributes to bone health [6], while the presence of iron supports energy production and red blood cell formation [7]. Spinach is a great non-animal source of iron. For those who avoid meat, it is extra-important to consciously add iron to the diet through greens like spinach or a supplement containing iron.

Moreover, spinach is rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health and may reduce the risk of age-related vision challenges [8].

People who avoid animal protein and those who menstruate monthly are the most likely candidates for supplemental iron. For these individuals, Metabolic Maintenance offers a couple of multivitamin formulas with added iron. Check out The Big One with Iron and FemOne. FemOne is a potent women’s multivitamin with iron that is formulated as a prenatal vitamin but suits most female bodies during the “reproductive” years of menstruation. 

Not only does it contain a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, FemOne also contains active forms of B vitamins, including methylfolate, which is arguably the most important nutrient for a mother to consume in early pregnancy [9]. It may also support fertility if you are hoping to become pregnant [9]. If you are not pregnant, nor plan to be, methylfolate supports numerous biochemical processes throughout the body and supports mood, cognition, and cardiovascular health.

4. Radishes

With their crisp texture and peppery flavor, radishes add a delightful crunch to spring salads. Despite their small size, radishes are packed with nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. They also contain compounds like sulforaphane, which have been studied for their potential benefits in preventing cellular mutation [10]. 

Additionally, radishes are low in calories, making them a great option for weight management.

If you are interested in nutritional supplements that may support weight management efforts, you may be interested in checking out Berberine + Chromium. Berberine and chromium both offer blood sugar-balancing benefits [11]. Berberine, specifically, supports a healthy microbiome and triggers AMPK, a systemic enzyme that influences how the body creates and uses cellular energy [12]. Its action has a cascading effect on a wide variety of metabolic processes, some of which may aid in your efforts to maintain a healthy body weight [12].

5. Peas

Sweet and tender peas are a staple of spring cuisine. These tiny green gems are rich in vitamins C, K, and B vitamins, as well as fiber and protein. 

Peas contain antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids, which help protect cells from damage and balance inflammation [13]. Like spinach, peas contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health and the longevity of vision.

Natural non-animal protein sources like peas also provide amino acid building blocks for enzymes and new cells. Both protein and a high fiber content may aid in weight management efforts by promoting feelings of fullness [14]. Fiber aids in digestive health, cardiovascular health, and bowel regularity [15].

If you are interested in a more potent dose of those vision-supportive antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, try Metabolic Maintenance’ VitalEyes™ Complete. Not only does VitalEyes™ Complete deliver these nutrients as OmniActive’s Lutemax® 2020, it also contains zinc and bilberry extract, in amounts relevant to recent research in visual function [8]. 

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Roasted Asparagus

Serves 4

  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups whole strawberries
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • Dressing:
    • ½ cup olive oil
    • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • salt and pepper to taste

Set the oven to 425 F. Wash and pat asparagus dry (to prevent steaming) before cutting off the bottom 1-2 inches of asparagus spears. Lay asparagus flat on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roll them back and forth to coat evenly. Roast for about 10 mins. They should start to brown but still retain their crisp middle.

While the asparagus are roasting, assemble the rest of the salad. Wash and dry greens, slice strawberries, crumble feta, and sprinkle slivered almonds.

Let the asparagus cool for a few minutes before cutting into thirds and tossing with the rest of the salad.

To make the dressing, scoop mustard and honey into a jar, sprinkle in salt and pepper, and add balsamic and olive oil. Cap the jar and shake until homogenous.

Dress the salad to your taste, toss, and serve!