Springtime is here! Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and gardens are bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables. There isn’t a better time to eat your greens. If you’re looking for a simple yet powerful way to improve your health, it doesn’t get much better than adding a heaping portion of spring vegetables to your daily diet.
What’s In Season
A wide variety of vegetables are in season during the spring months. These veggies include:
- Peas (Snow, snap, edamame)
- Salad greens (mustard greens, cress, arugula)
- Swiss chard
While most of these are available year-round at grocery stores, it’s in the spring when they are at their most nutritionally rich.
Seasonal Vegetables Are More Nutritious
One of the biggest benefits that comes from eating seasonal vegetables is that they’re often packed with more nutrients because they’re fresher and don’t have to be transported as far. Produce begins losing nutrients as soon as it’s harvested, so the less time between it leaving the earth and ending up on your plate the better. Studies have found that vegetables and fruits can lose up to 30% of their nutritional value three days after harvest.
Where To Find Them
The freshest vegetables aren’t necessarily at your local grocery store. Look for farmers markets near you for spring veggies. Another option (if available in your area) is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. These are a kind of club or membership where you pledge your support to a local farm operation (usually via a monthly subscription) and in exchange they'll deliver a regular supply of fresh produce. It’s a great way to support your local community and eat healthy food grown in local soil.
Another thing to consider is that getting your produce from farmers markets and CSAs tends to be more environmentally friendly because the food travels shorter distances to reach you and is often sprayed with fewer pesticides and other preserving chemicals.
Benefits Of Spring Vegetables
Many spring vegetables are rich in vitamin C (which boosts your immune system) and vitamin K (which builds bone strength). Spring greens are a powerful source of natural compounds like sulforaphane and indoles, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can also help improve heart health. Carrots are particularly high in vitamin A which plays a crucial role in maintaining eye health.
Vegetables tend to also be high in dietary fiber and low in calories, making them a flavorful yet low-fat cornerstone for your daily diet. Research has found that a diet rich in vegetables can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease, prevent some types of cancer, and help regulate blood sugar.
Article by Austin Brietta
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