Although you can get almost any food year-round, there is a benefit to eating foods during their natural season. Eating what’s in season allows you to enjoy produce at peak flavor, nutrition, and lower prices due to abundance. So, what’s in season for May?
Asparagus spears can grown an unbelievable 6-10 inches a day in the spring. Just 1/2 cup serving of this stalky green delivers 1/3 of the folate you need each day. A key nutrient for women of childbearing age, folate is essential for cell growth and development. Each serving is also a great source of potassium and vitamins A and C. Eat it raw in a salad or try it as a steamed side with herbs and a fresh squeezed lemon wedge.
Fresh cherry season can run from May to August. Cherries are a great source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Beyond the nutrients, the benefits of cherries are worthy of superfood status. They have been shown to fight inflammation in conditions like arthritis. Sour cherries, specifically, may boost heart health and help with sleep and post-exercise recovery. Top grilled chicken or fish with Cherry Salsa or add this superfruit to a smoothie.
You may not think fish has a season, but salmon does. Wild salmon season starts on the Pacific coast in May. Not only is it a quality rich protein source, consuming salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to help protect the heart and also positively impact the brain when it comes to depression and dementia. Please note that the amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in wild versus farm-raised can vary widely. Check your seafood counter for fresh wild-caught king salmon this month. Buy it while it’s in season (and on sale) and freeze some for later. Salmon is great on the grill, poached, in parchment packets or even formed into a burger.
The sweet scent of ripe strawberries can be found by walking through any farmers market or produce section. Strawberries are bursting with vitamin C and folate. New research suggest that snacking on strawberries may help cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Enjoy them on their own or in a fresh salad!