Time to finally bid goodbye to cold, dark winter and welcome sunny spring as it inches itself into our midst. The bluer skies, fresh green grass, chirping birds and the smell of rain are indeed a treat for the senses, but the pièce de résistance is the edible part of the season! Spring brings with it bountiful vegetables and fruits that make for delicious pairings with eggs.
Spring produce is abundant in nutrients like vitamins C & A and iron; vitamin C is particularly important for growth and repair of tissues, while vitamin A plays a role in vision, and iron helps our muscles store and use oxygen. When consumed with eggs, the vitamins and minerals in the seasonal fruits and veggies can complement the array of nutrients found in the eggs. Furthermore, eggs provide the perfect high-quality protein, which helps build muscles1 and allows people to feel full longer and stay energized, which can help maintain a healthy weight.2,3,4
Here are a few ways to make the most of the season’s offerings:
Asparagus is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw, or served grilled, stir fried, baked or simply boiled and seasoned. Providing iron, B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium and fiber, these seasonal spears can make a nutritious addition to an egg-based dish like a frittata. For that added zing and a boost of lycopene and vitamin A, asparagus can be combined with tomatoes, in this tasty Spring Garden Vegetable Quiche.
Tomatoes can also be a great addition to salads made with other spring vegetables like lettuces andspinach which contain iron, folate and beta-carotene. To add flair (and more vitamin C) to your salad, throw in some radish greens for a peppery taste, or green peas for that dash of sweetness (as well as B vitamins and zinc). Crowning your salad with a hard-boiled egg can make it a protein-rich, satisfying meal.
And, for that perfect ending to a spring meal, this is the time of year to make the most of fruits that contain whopping amounts of antioxidants. A fresh bowl of citrus fruits, strawberries, cherries and other fruits that scream spring will never cease to please.
So what are you waiting for? Spring clean the winter out of your diet and indulge in nutritious seasonal fare!
- DK Layman and NR Rodriguez (2009). Egg protein as a source of power, strength, and energy. Nutrition Today, 44(1), pp 43-48.
- HJ Leidy, RJ Lepping, CR Savage and CT Harris, C. T. (2011). Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity, 19, pp 2019–2025.
- HJ Leidy, MJ Bossingham, RD Mattes and WW Campbell (2009). Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition, 101, pp 798-803.
- JS Vander Wal, A Gupta, P Khosla and N V Dhurandhar (2008). Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. International Journal of Obesity, 32, pp 1545–1551.