Skip to content

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Experts Say It's Better to Eat by the Season

Eating seasonally means better-tasting and more nutritious fruits and vegetables

WebMD Feature

Mark Salter, executive chef at the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Md., looks forward to spring and summer when he can visit the local farmers markets on Maryland's Eastern Shore and buy fresh produce such as locally grown asparagus, wild watercress, mixed salad leaves, sweet white corn, vine-ripened tomatoes, and ripe peaches.

"When you can buy produce that has just been picked, it tastes so much better," says Salter, who changes his menu seasonally to take advantage of the freshest ingredients. "That's one reason so many chefs like to have their own garden ... you get to use the produce at its best."

Salter also likes buying at farmers markets because he knows that the produce is grown "as naturally" as possible. "There's someone there to vouch for the quality," he says.

Seasonal Produce Available to All

You don't have to be a professional chef, however, to enjoy the fruits -- literally and figuratively -- of the season. And if there are no farmers markets near you, not to worry, says Claudia Gonzalez, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "Most of the produce we get in the United States is good," she says. "Of course, the fresher the better, but if you have to go to the grocery store and not a produce stand or farmers market, that's not a problem."

What's in season varies with location and weather, but in general, the following fruits and vegetables are at their peak during the spring and summer.



  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Fiddleheads
  • Garlic greens
  • Greens
  • Arugula
  • Beet
  • Bok choy
  • Chard
  • Collards
  • Cress
  • Dandelion
  • Kale
  • Mizuna
  • Mustard greens
  • Sorrel
  • Tat soi
  • Turnip
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnips
  • Peas -- snap and snow
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach
  • Sprouts


  • Apples
  • Strawberries


  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme



  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Onions -- red and yellow
  • Peppers -- hot and sweet
  • Potatoes -- new
  • Radicchio
  • Scallions
  • Sprouts
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes


  • Apricots
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Elderberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Melons
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

roasted chicken
grilled steak

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
vegan soup
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow