Warmer weather inspires lighter eating — especially since swimsuit season is on the horizon. Look no further than Mother Nature’s pantry to give you some healthy inspiration in the kitchen. It’s always best to eat in-season vegetables as you’ll get the fullest amount of flavor and quality. Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds or simply want to eat a more clean diet, the following spring veggies have several health benefits that will help you look and feel your best this season — and beyond.
These green stalks are rich in vitamin K, which is vital for heat and bone health, cancer prevention, and blood clotting. They’re also high in vitamins A and C and chock full of folate and fiber. Eating asparagus has been linked to improved digestion and lower blood pressure, too. The key to tasty asparagus is to not overcook it! Only about ten minutes should do as you want to preserve the shape and color. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil or make a cold asparagus salad with cherry tomatoes, sliced almonds, a small amount of grated parmesan cheese, and a lemony vinaigrette.
It’s hard to believe this small root vegetable has so many amazing benefits, to include fighting cancer, hydrating your skin, removing waste and toxins from the liver and stomach, reducing fevers, and treating urinary and kidney conditions. While radishes are a great staple on any veggie platter, they are also delicious when thinly sliced and added to a salad, or as a topper to avocado toast.
Talk about magic mushrooms – morels give you 23 percent of your daily intake of vitamin D in just one cup! D is important for bone health, regulating your immune system, and aiding chronic inflammation. Since these ‘shrooms are hearty and have a nutty, smoky flavor, they are delicious in risotto preparations or simply sauteed with olive oil and your favorite spices.
Onions have amazing antibacterial and antifungal properties and are natural antihistamines. They are also prized for having a high amount of polyphenols, which help reduce oxidative stress from poor diet, lack of exercise, drinking, smoking, and the environment.
Need to boost your fiber intake? One medicum artichoke has a little over 10 grams! It also contains cynarine, a compound that works as a natural diuretic to reduce bloating while promoting fat digestion. While it’s often served with buttery breadcrumbs or in a creamy dip, go for a healthier preparation to keep calories and fat in check. After being properly cut and trimmed, roast or grill your choke with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, a touch of garlic, and sea salt.
Small yet mighty, peas are packed with vitamins and minerals such as C, K, and vital B’s plus protein, phosphorus, and manganese. These lean green machines are also anti-inflammatory. A versatile vegetable, you can eat them cold as a snack with dip (think sugar snap peas), toss them in a salad, add them to a soup — anything goes.