As the weather warms up there are so many foods that come into season, making it easy for those trying to lose weight to find fresh and healthy foods to eat. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to reduce your calorie count for weight loss. Fruits and vegetables are packed with 2 important nutrients for weight loss: fiber and water.
You can increase your water intake and get more fiber, which will fill you up longer so that you don’t turn to high sugar, high fat and high calorie foods between meals. Having a snack when you’re hungry is fine, as long as it’s healthy and low in calories.
Now that May is here, let’s take a look at some of the foods that should make their way onto your plate for the next few months.
Why In Season?
Eating foods when they are in season is a great way to ensure they taste as delicious as possible, which makes it easier to eat them regularly. If you think you don’t like a certain food, try it when it is at its peak season and see if your opinion doesn’t change.
Of course the seasonality of different foods depends a lot on where you are. Click on your state or region on this list, to see what foods are in season in your area any time of year.
If you’re sick of people telling you to eat berries because you don’t like blackberries or blueberries, then stop at a Farmer’s Market this May and try out some boysenberries. This hybrid berry (blackberry + raspberry + loganberry = boysenberry) may be just up your alley thanks to its unique flavor and bright color.
When you find boysenberries during peak season they will be tart, sweet and juicy and low in calories. Just one cup of boysenberries has 66 calories and nearly 30% of your recommended fiber allowance. These tangy berries are also rich in vitamin K, B6, E and C as well as manganese, potassium and iron. So you get great flavor and tons of health benefits from just 1 cup of these delicious berries…not to mention the obvious antioxidant benefits of this super berry!
TRY: Eat them as a snack, or put them in a pie or cobbler, or grab tons while they’re in season and make jam for your morning toast.
Next time your walk down your local produce aisle or Farmer’s market stand and you see those bright pink bubs with bright green tops you’ll know that radishes are now in season. Whether you chop them up and add them to your favorite salad or slice them into discs and use them to enjoy your favorite low calorie dip, radishes have a lot to offer in addition to their bold color and crunch.
There are other reasons to enjoy radishes this May is that 1 cup will give you just 19 calories and more than 17 grams of Vitamin C. You will also get significant amounts of iron, magnesium and phosphorous in just 1 cup of radishes.
TRY: Slice radishes thickly and grill several minutes and serve alongside hummus or baba ghanoush.
If you’re looking for a delicious way to get healthy fats into your diet this Spring, then look no further than the avocado. Sure avocado often gets a bad reputation because of its high calorie count (1 slice = 50 calories) but the truth is that when eaten in moderation you can get tons of health benefits.
Avocados are high in fiber so you can feel satisfied after you eat it, and for long after to help you eat fewer calories. But avocado also contains an important antioxidant called lutein that can help you maintain good eye health, as well as many other antioxidants. Finally, if you need to increase your good cholesterol (HDL), adding avocado to your diet can help you do just that!
TRY: Mash up avocado with lime juice and 1 tbsp. grated onion for a sandwich spread.
When it comes to certain greens you either love them or hate them, and warranted or not arugula is one of these foods. But the truth is this spicy green gives you much more than a unique flavor profile, it is a superstar among leafy greens. Arugula gives you far more nutrients—8 times the calcium, 5 times the vitamin A, C and K and 4 times the amount of iron—as you get other types of lighter, plainer greens such as iceberg lettuce.
Whether you consider yourself a Romaine person or you love your inexpensive iceberg, give arugula a try this May when it is sure to be delicious. And since you need more high fiber foods in your diet, this nutrient-rich green is a great place to start.
TRY: Chop up ½ cup of arugula and add it to your bruschetta instead of parsley, or mix it in with your favorite salad greens.
Losing weight is all about the leafy greens and if you’re not a fan of the dark leafy variety, give dandelion greens a try. This tangy green has plenty of health benefits and a unique flavor that you will appreciate. Although dandelion greens don’t particularly have a vibrant color, they are still rich in beta-carotene to help you ward off many types of cancer.
Dandelion greens are a great calorie saver too, with just 188 calories per ½ cup serving. But it isn’t just what these tasty greens will do for your weight loss that makes them so appealing; it is also the vitamins and minerals. You will get plenty of vitamins K, A and C as well as potassium, iron, manganese and calcium.
TRY: Chop them up and make a salad or enjoy them warm, sautéed with garlic, paprika and lemon juice.
When apricots start to hit the supermarket shelves around mid-May then it’s time for you to scoop them up. This succulent and sweet fruit is a great way to satisfy a craving for something sweet without reaching for your nearest candy bar or sugary pastry, and best of 1 fruit has just 19 calories!
Thanks to the vibrant color of the skin, apricots are helpful tools in the fight against cancer. Combine that with the high levels of vitamins A and C, and you can see why this is one of May’s super foods.
TRY: Grab a few to enjoy throughout the day or chop them up and add them to your favorite cobbler, pie or smoothie recipe.
Getting Super Foods
The more you know about what foods are in season the more prepared you will be to eat for weight loss. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry some of these foods, Farmer’s Markets or local farms are a great place to look. And you city dwellers like me, can stop worrying; many farms are more than happy to sell you farm fresh food!
You don’t necessarily have to go to an expensive health food store to find these May super foods, although they will certainly be there. Small local farms are a cost effective way to not only get these foods, but to support local businesses in the process!
Happy eating this May!