Spring is here! With the arrival of spring comes a whole new bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Ripe avocados, lush strawberries, and leafy spinach are here to give you a refreshing break. Take advantage this spring and indulge in some superfoods that work hard to detox your body from a long winter of rich food and inactivity. Ripe for the picking, these eight superfoods are just waiting to go from the garden to your table.
Do you remember the first time you had an artichoke? (Hopefully you had someone teach you how to get the good stuff out of each leaf!) A study done by the American Journal Council shows artichokes rank at the top of the list when it comes to antioxidants per serving. Eating artichokes aids the body in many ways, which include improving digestion, increasing cognitive function, and protecting the liver.
Grilling asparagus on a warm, spring afternoon is a guilty pleasure that's hard to pass up. Squeezing a hint of lemon on top of the crisp stalks is a meal in itself. If you're an asparagus lover, you'll be happy to know it's back in season.
Beyond being delicious, asparagus contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, and fiber. Eating asparagus can help keep your brain sharp, thanks to its cognitive-boosting capabilities. It is rich in glutathione, which breaks down carcinogens and other cancer-causing compounds. The ability to attack free radicals is one of the reasons we love asparagus even more.
If you're from California, avocados probably hold a special place in your heart – and rightfully so. Beyond being deliciously creamy, avocados are full of good mono-saturated fats. They contain lutein, potassium, and folate, amongst many other nutrients. Their vitamin B content can help fight infection while the fiber content makes you feel fuller longer.
When picking out avocados, they should be firm, yet slightly soft when squeezing. Avoid avocados with clear soft spots.
Broccoli is high in vitamin C and folate, is saturated fat-free, and is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Part of the cruciferous family, broccoli can improve digestion, as well as aid in preventing cancer. It also contains beta-carotene and Omega-3 fatty acids that are important in preventing heart disease.
When picking out broccoli, be sure it doesn't have a strong smell. When storing, keep it in the refrigerator and use within 3-5 days for optimal taste and nutrition.
5. Morel Mushrooms
Spring is the time to forage for morel mushrooms. Rather peculiar looking, morels are a springtime prize for mushroom hunters that look similar to a truffle. Their nutrient content is prized as well. Vitamin B, vitamin D, antioxidants, and iron can all be enjoyed when savoring a morsel of morel.
If you decide to go foraging for morels this spring, be sure to have a guide. One type of mushroom can easily be mistaken for another, which can result in a deadly consequence.
Raw or cooked, spinach is good and good for you. Spinach's nutritional content consists of iron, calcium, iodine, protein, Omega-3, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B. All those nutrients - and low calories - are reason enough to eat spinach like Popeye. It keeps your energy levels up and aids in cognitive function. It also gives the immune system a boost while keeping the digestive system happy.
It's an easy vegetable to incorporate into the daily diet. It can be added to your morning eggs, make the base for a salad, and be tossed into just about anything you're cooking for dinner.
7. Spring Onion
Spring onions are no stranger when it comes to healthy spring foods. The heart, bones, eyes, and immune system all benefit from the nutritional content of spring greens. Containing vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, and important phytochemicals, spring onions are worth indulging in this season.
It's tempting to eat an entire basket of strawberries in one sitting. Unlike many other foods, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. The lushness of a ripe strawberry is bursting with the best of spring flavors. They are naturally sweet, which makes them an excellent replacement for sugary, processed desserts.
An excellent source of antioxidants, strawberries contain vitamin C as well as K, folate, potassium, phytonutrients, flavonoids, and fiber. Their powerful nutrient content can ease gout, fight cancer, boost the immune system, and boost memory. Of all the foods to enjoy this spring, be sure to indulge in some ripe strawberries.
What's your favorite spring produce? Let us know!