Delicious and Nutritious Plants for Your Spring Vegetable Garden

Spring has officially sprung, and it’s time to start planting your spring garden, packed with delicious and nutritious veggies. Yum!

If you’ve never planted a vegetable garden before, or are looking for some new ideas for your existing garden, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to share some of our favorite veggies that thrive in gardens during the cooler spring months.

Even better, we’re going to share some delicious recipes you can use once your veggies are mature and ready to harvest.

Keep reading to discover the best types of veggies to plant this time of year and a variety of different recipes you can use to make these nutritious veggies taste great!


From iceberg to romaine, spring is the prime season for growing lettuce. In fact, it’s the best time you should have this leafy vegetable in your garden.

That’s because as soon as the weather gets hot, lettuce wilts and dies. So, start planting now!

We recommend growing romaine lettuce in your garden. The darker-colored lettuce varieties tend to have more vitamins and nutrients, like manganese, potassium, biotin, vitamin B1, copper, iron, and vitamin C, and are a very good source of dietary fiber.

Once you’ve harvested your lettuce, try out this delicious lettuce wrap recipe!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup julienned green onions
  • 12 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted


#1. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken in 1 tablespoon oil for 3 minutes; drain. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts and ginger; cook 4-6 minutes longer or until chicken is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

#2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and remaining oil. Stir in the carrots, onions and chicken mixture.

#3. Spoon onto lettuce leaves; sprinkle with almonds. If desired, fold sides of lettuce over filling and roll up. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe source: 


Broccoli is another hardy cool weather veggie, which makes it perfect for springtime planting.

The best part—it’s a very low maintenance plant to grow. As long as you plant it in an area with full access to sunlight and water it every day, you’ll have beautiful broccoli stalks shooting up in your garden before you know it.

Tip: Broccoli does not like hot weather. For this reason, we advise you to pick up partially grown stalks from your local plant nursery so it has time to mature before summer hits.

Once harvested, each stalk is packed with dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin A, potassium, and copper. All of these nutrients are vital for a healthy body.

When your broccoli is ready to eat, we recommend trying out this broccoli salad recipe.

Broccoli Salad


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1 pound of florets)
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed (or fresh peas if you can get them)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey


#1. Bring a large pot of water, salted with a teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli. 1 minute will turn the broccoli bright green, and leave it still pretty crunchy. 2 minutes will cook the broccoli through, but still firm.

#2. Drain the broccoli and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. After the broccoli cools, drain it well before dressing it in the next step.

#3. Combine broccoli florets, almonds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar and honey.

#4. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Recipe Source:


Asparagus is a delicious and hardy spring vegetable. The only downside—this type of produce tends to be expensive when you buy it from a grocery store.

The solution: Grow your own at home and save big!

Because asparagus is typically grown from asparagus crowns that you buy at your local garden store, this veggie is pretty easy to grow. It’s also low maintenance, which makes it the perfect vegetable for those who are new to gardening.

On top of being easy to grow, it’s also very nutritious. It’s a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K. It also contains chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.

Pretty neat!

Personally, my favorite way to consume asparagus is by cooking it on the grill.

Simply coat the asparagus stalks in a little bit of olive oil, then lightly salt and pepper.

Throw the stacks directly on the grill, or use a grill pan, and cook for about 10-15 minutes. The longer you cook the stalks, the softer they will become.

Super easy and delicious!

Tip: You can add whatever seasoning you like to asparagus. Experiment with different seasoning combinations until you find the flavoring you like best!

Do you have a favorite spring vegetable?

Let us know in the comments below!

Nutritional Supplements at Every Age

supplementsAlthough we all strive to eat a healthy, wholesome diet, we may not always take in all the nutrients we need on a consistent basis. Supplementing our diets with necessary fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals is okay, and we encourage it. Dietary needs change as we age, so we’ve included recommendations for supplementation for all ages.

Everyone should be taking a high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement and fish or krill oil (Omega-3 fatty acids) at minimum.

Young adulthood: Your 20s and 30s

You absorb nutrients easily from the diet, so merely eating a healthy diet will go a long way toward keeping you healthy. Females need more iron (30 mg daily) in the diet during the childbearing years, and most multivitamin and mineral supplements will provide that.

Be sure to get plenty of calcium (at least 1,000 mg), magnesium, and potassium to prevent issues later in life. Take calcium and vitamin D supplements if you don’t eat or drink at least 24 ounces of low-fat milk or yogurt every day or don’t get the recommended calcium and vitamin D from other foods besides dairy.

Folic acid is an important B vitamin for women who are or plan to become pregnant. Get an extra 400 mg a day.

Middle adulthood: Your 40s and 50s

In your 40s, your ability to absorb nutrients begins to go down, so stepping up your vitamin and mineral intake is a good idea. This can be accomplished by going up a level in strength in your supplements, taking a higher-quality supplement, or taking an extra dose occasionally (check with your doctor before you do any of these).

According to WebMD, “Nutrient needs change with advancing age for several reasons: the body absorbs less, it requires more, or it needs less of certain nutrients. For example, after menopause, women need less iron — 8 mg daily – compared to 18 mg daily during childbearing years — but they require more calcium.

As estrogen production decreases during menopause, more bone is broken down than constructed. In addition, the body absorbs less calcium than it did earlier in life.

After age 51, women should consume 1,200 mg of calcium daily (males need 1,000 mg). Vitamin D needs go up with age, too. After age 71, you should get 800 IU daily. Unless you drink 64 ounces of milk each day, you need a vitamin D supplement.

It’s harder to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12 after age 50 because your body is less able to grab the vitamin B12 from foods and absorb it. The body easily absorbs synthetic B12, however, which is why experts recommend it as the primary B12 source for people over 50. Foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as breakfast cereals and other grains, or a multivitamin can help you meet your vitamin B12 needs.”

Late adulthood: Your 60s and beyond

After age 60, your body continues to absorb fewer nutrients, and it’s important to work with a doctor or a nutritionist to ensure you’re getting everything you need. You may wish to supplement with dietary shakes, especially if you find yourself eating less. Continue taking all your current supplements and eating as healthy as you can.

For all ages, water is vital to good nutrient absorption and hydration. Drink at least eight glasses, or for a more accurate gauge of your needs, take your weight and divide in half to determine the number of ounces to drink each day.

Foods to Eat for Heavenly Hair

Heavenly HairDoes you hair need a little more oomph lately? You may find the “rinse, lather, repeat” system just isn’t enough when it comes to healthy, resilient hair—and the reason may seem obvious: your hair needs to be nurtured to look its best.

And the best way to indulge your locks is by fueling them from the inside out. Incorporate these hair-friendly foods into your daily diet, and watch your hair transform from dull and drab strands into glossy lively tresses in no time!

Fruits and dark green veggies. It’s true—healthy hair begins with a healthy body, so it’s no wonder these fortified foods would be at the top of our list. In terms of your hair, leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are an excellent source of vitamins and they provide you with iron and calcium—necessary nutrients for a full and thick head of hair. Fruits high in vitamin C and A help your body to produce sebum, which is an oily substance in your hair follicles that acts as a natural conditioner.

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Want to add a little vibrancy to your mane? Snack on flaxseeds and walnuts to add some serious shine to your hair. Fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring are a great source of omega as well.

Foods that produce beta-carotene. Carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, asparagus, and pumpkin are all foods that convert beta-carotene to vitamin A during digestion. Vitamin A not only nourishes your hair and skin, but it also prevents dandruff. Remember, a healthy scalp is the very foundation of soft and supple hair.

  • Beans. Snack on legumes like kidney beans and lentils for Rapunzel-like locks. These foods contain growth-boosting proteins that will increase the thickness and length of your hair. Additionally, beans also have iron, zinc, and biotin, which prevent hair breakage.
  • Cysteine-infused foods. The amino acid cysteine gives your body a healthy detox, all while promoting hair growth by actually increasing the thickness of each individual strand. This magical nutrient can be found in poultry, eggs, red peppers, garlic, onions, Brussels spouts, oatmeal, and broccoli.
  • Nuts. If you’ve been toiling with way to decrease hair shedding, look no further. Nuts—such as Brazil nuts, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds—are one of the best sources of selenium and have minerals that keep your scalp and hair healthy. Additionally, they all have zinc, which can help prevent hair shedding.
  • Whole grains. This healthy diet staple is good for both your hair and your overall health. Not to mention, whole grains are an ample source of zinc and iron. Whole wheat breads and fortified cereals also sources of B vitamins, which promote happy strands by boosting your red blood cell count. Red blood cells will carry oxygen to the living portion of hair strands and therefore increase your hair’s growth rate.
  • Silica-rich foods. For stronger, more durable hair, include foods rich in silica into your diet. Some healthy choices include bananas, oats, and raisins—and when you mix all these together, you have a nutritious, beauty-fortified breakfast!

Do you have more healthy hair tips you’d like to share? Tell us your best-kept beauty secrets in the comments section below!

Essential Vitamins for Your Health

vitaminsYou’ve heard about essential vitamins all your life, from health classes to discussions on news and talk shows. Depending on which stage of life you’re in, your vitamin needs may vary, and a deficiency in any single vitamin can cause health issues.

Vitamins are chemicals that aid specific functions in your body. They play a major role inside your cells, and to be healthy you need optimal levels of each vitamin. Except for Vitamin D, which your body can make from sunshine, you need food or supplements to provide the full range of vitamins. Check with your doctor before supplementing. Following is a list of vitamins and their functions in the body.

Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A and keeps eyes, bones, skin, and tissue healthy and strong. Green leafy vegetables and orange-colored foods such as carrots and cantaloupe are high in beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene is part of the antioxidant group, which helps protect cells from unstable molecules in the body called free radicals. Other antioxidants include lycopene, found in tomatoes, and vitamin C.

Vitamin B6 aids in brain function, memory, and metabolism, while vitamin B12 helps cells divide normally. Vegetarians commonly have low levels of B12, as it is found only in animal sources such as eggs, meat, and cheese. Good sources of B6 include bananas, seeds, and beans.

Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is especially important for women of childbearing age because it reduces the risk of birth defects. Food sources of folic acid include dark green vegetables, melons, beans, and eggs. If you smoke, drink significant amounts of alcohol, or use oral contraceptives, a folic acid supplement will help maintain optimal levels in your blood.

Vitamin C helps produce red blood cells and heal the body. Many fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C, but citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are especially high. If you tend to have high levels of stress, you’ll want to eat plenty of foods with vitamin C, or supplement it, because stress depletes vitamin C levels.

Vitamin D keeps bones strong by regulating calcium and phosphorus levels. Sunlight is the most effective way to help your body make vitamin D. Exposing as much skin as possible to the sun (without sunscreen) for 10–15 minutes several times a week will activate vitamin D production. During the winter, or any time you can’t get sunlight, taking cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin D. Carlson’s makes a pleasant tasting oil that can be found in health food stores or online.

Vitamin E maintains cell membranes and red blood cells. Nuts and seeds, cod-liver oil, and wheat germ are good sources of E.

Vitamin K promotes normal blood clotting and maintains strong bones in older people. Green leafy vegetables and fish oil are good sources.

Eating a variety of whole, fresh food is the best way to get the full spectrum of vitamins, but taking a supplement is a good nutrient insurance plan. Keep in mind that the more colorfully you eat, the more vitamins you’ll get. Eat at least five servings a day or orange, yellow, purple, green, and red fruits and vegetables. The nutrients give foods their colors.

What vitamins do you take and suggest for others?