When it comes to blockbuster results, superfoods are the super star. That’s because the extensive group of whole, unprocessed foods are rich in nutrients and offer many health benefits. Boost your wellness with these super fresh spring superfoods.
Every year perennial herbs poke their tender leaves through the last of winter’s snow. In the garden, mint, thyme, sage, oregano and parsley are the first signs of spring. These herbs freshen meals and are potent antioxidants. Researchers found oregano’s antibacterial properties to be more effective against Giardia than the commonly used prescription drug. Historically, thyme has been used to treat chest and respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and congestion.
Tender and sweet asparagus is in peak season during spring. One cup contains 40 calories and nutrients high in daily values including vitamin K (101 percent) and folate (67 percent). The anti-inflammatory vegetable contains a wide variety of antioxidants including vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and the minerals zinc, manganese, and selenium. Benefits include digestive support, blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention and heart health.
Different varieties of avocados mature throughout the year and Hass are prolific in April. One cup of avocado contains 240 calories, and the glycemic index is rated very low. Due to five anti-inflammatory nutrients, avocados have proven to reduce inflammation and prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Avocados are rich in antioxidants, support cardiovascular health, promote blood sugar regulation and prevent cancer.
On the West Coast, artichokes are available year-round, but they peak from March to May and again in October. A study by the US Department of Agriculture found that artichokes ranked uncommonly high in total antioxidant levels. One medium artichoke contains 64 calories and is an excellent source of vitamin K and folate. They also contain polyphenols, which are disease-fighting compounds.
Choosing superfoods that are in season ensures you’ll get more nutritional benefits because they’re fresh and vibrant. For the most flavor and nutrition, select superfoods that are grown organically, farmed locally, and harvested just before consumption.
What’s your favorite superfood? Share and comment below.