Seasonal Produce: In-Season Fruits and Vegetables By Month

Think of the experience of a perfectly ripe, juicy summer tomato—rich red color, perfect consistency, bursting with flavor. Buying vegetables and fruits in season makes them more enjoyable—and that's not the only benefit, according to NYC-based registered dietitian Lisa Hayim. When you purchase produce at peak season, you get more natural nutrients, she says. "Because seasonal fruits and vegetables don't undergo lengthy transit times to get from farm to your kitchen, these integral vitamins and minerals are more likely to be preserved by the time you're ready to eat your produce," she says. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic reports that spinach can provide up to three times more vitamin C when consumed in season—September through October.

You'll also save money: Shorter travel times for your produce means lower shipping costs, which lowers the grocer's price, and those savings get passed on to you at checkout. There's also the law of supply and demand, says Los Angeles-based registered dietitian Lindsey Pine. "When fruits and veggies are in season, the farmers will most likely have an abundance of the crop and prices will go down." For example, GAIAM reports that out-of-season basil runs $3 per half ounce; in season, it's just $1 to $2. This is just one of the secrets your farmer's market isn't telling you.

If you're looking for the freshest of the fresh, your local farmer's market is a great place to start. Before you go, check out the 6 giveaways the produce at the farmers market isn't fresh or local. If you're short on shopping time, join a CSA (community-supported agriculture association) for fresh, picked-that-morning produce sourced directly from a local farm. And when you're shopping at the grocery store, you can buy in-season vegetables and fruits with this guide to ensure you get the biggest nutritional bang for your buck.

Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

December: Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Grapefruit; Kale; Leeks; Mushrooms; Oranges; Papayas; Parsnips; Pears; Pomegranates; Rutabagas; Sweet potatoes; Tangelos; Tangerines; Turnips January: Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Grapefruit; Kale; Leeks; Lemons; Oranges; Parsnips; Rutabagas; Tangelos; Tangerines; Turnips February: Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Grapefruit; Kale; Leeks; Lemons; Oranges; Parsnips; Rutabagas; Tangelos; Tangerines; Turnips

Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

March: Artichokes; Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cauliflower; Leeks; Lettuce; Mushrooms; Parsnips; Pineapples; Radishes; Rutabagas; Turnips April: Artichokes; Asparagus; Broccoli; Cauliflower; Leeks; Lettuce; Mushrooms; Pineapples; Radishes; Rhubarb; Spring peas May: Apricots; Artichokes; Asparagus; Cherries; Lettuce; Mangoes; Okra; Pineapples; Radishes; Rhubarb; Spring peas; Strawberries; Swiss chard; Zucchini

Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

June: Apricots; Blueberries; Cantaloupe; Cherries; Corn; Kiwi; Lettuce; Mangoes; Peaches; Strawberries; Swiss chard; Watermelon; Zucchini July: Apricots; Blackberries; Blueberries; Cantaloupe; Corn; Cucumbers; Green beans; Kiwi; Kohlrabi; Lettuce; Mangoes; Okra; Peaches; Peppers; Plums; Raspberries; Strawberries; Summer squash; Swiss chard; Tomatoes; Watermelon; Zucchini August: Acorn squash; Apples; Apricots; Blueberries; Butternut squash; Cantaloupe; Corn; Cucumbers; Eggplant; Figs; Green beans; Kiwi; Kohlrabi; Lettuce; Mangoes; Okra; Peaches; Peppers; Plums; Raspberries; Strawberries; Summer squash; Swiss chard; Tomatoes; Watermelon; Winter squash; Zucchini

Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com
Tatiana Ayazo/Rd.com

September: Acorn squash; Apples; Beets; Butternut squash; Cantaloupe; Cauliflower; Eggplant; Figs; Grapes; Green beans; Lettuce; Mangoes; Mushrooms; Okra; Peppers; Persimmons; Pomegranates; Pumpkins; Spinach; Sweet potatoes; Swiss chard; Tomatoes October: Acorn squash; Apples; Beets; Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Butternut squash; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Cranberries; Grapes; Leeks; Lettuce; Mushrooms; Parsnips; Persimmons; Pomegranates; Pumpkins; Rutabagas; Spinach; Sweet potatoes; Swiss chard; Turnips; Winter squash November: Beets; Broccoli; Brussels sprouts; Cabbage; Cauliflower; Cranberries; Leeks; Mushrooms; Oranges; Parsnips; Pears; Persimmons; Pomegranates; Pumpkins; Rutabagas; Spinach; Sweet potatoes; Tangerines; Turnips; Winter squash