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Healthy food choices for spring

It’s that time of year again and yes Spring is here! The days are becoming longer, the air is getting fresher, and everybody seems to be in an exceedingly good mood. This changing of the seasons marks a time for all things to come back alive and experience renewal.  Nature is awesome!

In nature, this implies abundant growth within the variety of grasses, flowers, and delicious colorful produce. And for our bodies, it means discarding the heaviness of grounding foods and embracing all things light and fresh.

Of course, what’s in season for you may rely on where you reside, and you may have already had access to a number of these foods year-round because of importing from overseas, but nothing beats eating the local seasonal variety as all produce will taste better. Their level of freshness and bioactive compounds will benefit your body in an exceedingly deeper way.

All kinds of crisp, fresh lettuce are now available to make salads. Have you ever tried Arugula? It’s rich in vitamins K, and folate, plus chlorophyll, fiber, and even water. These leafy greens will help reduce inflammation while hydrating and detoxifying your body.

How about artichokes?  Artichokes are now available year-round.  In some states, you can find them locally during the spring and fall.   They are full of folic acid, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients help lower cholesterol, ensure healthy pregnancies in women, reduce free radicals, and ensure optimal metabolic cell function.

One of my favorite greens is asparagus. It’s more abundant in vitamin K (which you need for blood coagulation, heart and bone health, cancer prevention, and lots of other functions), in addition to copper, selenium, B vitamins and lots of other important nutrients. Asparagus can improve your overall health.

Who doesn’t love a crisp carrot? This classic vegetable when in season locally are delectable. Rich in vitamin A and other antioxidants, they’re great for maintaining healthy hair, skin, and nails, and are therefore considered an “anti-aging” food, plus they’re a robust cancer-fighter.

Fresh mint anyone? This powerful herb grows in clusters like a weed and sometimes doesn’t get enough credit for its powerful healing properties. Mint contains an antioxidant called rosmarinic acid, which may relieve seasonal allergy symptoms.  The menthol it contains is a natural decongestant, and it may also soothe indigestion.  I love a cup of hot fresh mint tea on rainy days.

How about some good ole peas? Peas typically have a really short season of just a few weeks which makes them even the more special. They contain a selection of vitamins and minerals including vitamins C and K, and a number of other B vitamins, plus manganese, phosphorus, and protein. This makes them another wonderful anti-inflammatory food that you can add to just about any dish.

We all like to add sliced spring onions to our dishes. Onions contain a high number of polyphenols, and particularly flavonoids, which are compounds that play a significant role in disease prevention and reducing the oxidative stress that wears our bodies down after a recent illness. They’re also natural antihistamines and have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Best of all, it’s strawberry time. Is there anything better than biting into a fresh, ripe, sweet strawberry? This decadent and sexy food may be a healthy indulgence because it’s among the highest five sources of antioxidant-rich fruit within the U.S. Despite being a fruit and containing fructose, strawberries can help balance glucose, and also the benefits from the polyphenols they provide.

Anything growing locally in your area is by far beneficial, it just depends on your location and also the climate and time of year. So, head over to your local farmer’s market within the coming weeks and enjoy all the goodness nature offers us. Support your local farmers!

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