Spring is the perfect time to visit your local farmer’s market and stock up on fresh, seasonable fruits and vegetables. Here are some selections that peak this time of year.
Low in calories and fat, this delicious vegetable is a wonderful source of fiber and anti-oxidants. Artichokes contain a compound called cynarin, a compound which has been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels. They are also rich in the prebiotic inulin, which promotes the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract. Easy to prepare, artichokes can be steamed or boiled. Add some lemon juice and salt and enjoy!
This sweet, juicy treat has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruit. Great for improving memory and regulating blood pressure, blueberries are a super-easy way to add vitamins and minerals to your diet. Toss a handful into your morning smoothie or cereal for a simple and tasty treat.
The vibrant green hue of this leafy vegetable is your first clue to the vitamins packed within it. Tender and crisp, this versatile power food is nutrient dense. 100 g of spinach provides you with 25% of your daily intake of iron. It is also filled with vitamins A, K and C. Very low in fat and calories, spinach adds a flavorful kick to salads, pasta, smoothies or sandwiches.
A delicacy of the ancient Greeks and Romans, these stem vegetables are an excellent source of many key nutrients. Fresh asparagus is filled with folate, a vitamin which helps synthesize dopamine and serotonin, all of which work to regulate our mood. Asparagus also contains vitamin K, which helps transport calcium to your bones.
Filled with protein and fiber, these dense legumes are a healthy alternative for vegetarians. While they are considered carbohydrates, beans rank very low on the glycemic index. This means that they do not cause a post-meal spike in blood sugar. Add black beans, kidney beans or fava beans to your favorite salad or dip.
The antioxidants contained in this spring fruit haven been proven to help your skin repair damage done by the sun and other environmental factors. Packed with vitamin C, this sweet and tangy treat is the perfect spring snack. Strawberries are a wonderful addition to salads, smoothies and oatmeal.
This root vegetable contains pigment antioxidants that have been shown to protect against coronary disease and stroke, as well as help lower cholesterol levels. Beets are very low in calories and are packed with minerals, vitamins and fiber. They can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, or sautéed and served warm.
High in magnesium, this flavorful leafy green vegetable is the perfect addition to any salad. An excellent source of vitamins and folates, arugula also tastes great when mixed into your favorite pesto. Throw a bunch into the blender to add a boost of nutrients to your next spring smoothie.
Close relatives to the onion, scallions add flavor and vitamins to the foods we eat. This vegetable contains quercitin, an antioxidant that acts as an antihistamine. That makes scallions a great food for any seasonal allergy sufferers. Diced scallions are delicious in an omelet or sautéed with other vegetables as a side dish.
This popular root vegetable is one of the most widely cultivated crops in the world. Radishes come in a variety of sizes and colors, but they all contain high amounts of antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. They can be eaten raw in salads or steamed and sautéed with other vegetables. It is also important to note that radish leaves contain more nutrients then radishes do. Add them to your recipes as well.
These spring superfoods are guaranteed to add flavor and vital nutrients to your diet. Take advantage of the bountiful produce that is available this time of year at your grocery store or farmers market.