Five Healthy Spring Foods to Look Forward To
By By Mark Leberfinger, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
March 31, 2014, 1:52:52 AM EDT
Despite roller-coaster temperatures and some fits of snow, the United States is breaking out of the harsh winter conditions of 2013-14 and moving forward with spring.
Springtime brings not only a variety of flowers in bloom, but it also features a variety of foods to enjoy through the season.
Heather Nicholds, a holistic nutritionist, said that these foods have many healthy benefits.
Parsley features vitamins A, C and K, folate and iron.
Folate is most notably important for pregnant women, and also for everyone else to have healthy blood and support your brain function; one cup of parsley contributes a whopping 23 percent of your daily intake, Nicholds said.
Vitamin C is famous for boosting the immune system, it's also a key nutrient for the adrenal glands and helps the body absorb iron; parsley has 106 percent of the recommended daily intake in a cup.
Asparagus is high in iron and B vitamins, which help energy levels, Nicholds said. It is also high in vitamins A, C, E and K and selenium, all of which help support healthy immune systems - good for spring as weather is changing and can challenge immune systems.
It is loaded with antioxidants, particularly the powerful glutathione, that help prevent cancer, aging and other degenerative diseases, she said.
Lettuce has a triple benefit, Nicholds said.
It cleanses the colon with roughage and bulk. It is high in vitamin A for healthy eyes, and it is high in vitamin K for healthy bones and teeth.
4. Garlic scapes
Garlic scapes are also loaded with antioxidants and have the same sulphur compounds as in the bulbs, which have been researched and show promise of having anti-cancer effects, Nicholds said.
Garlic is antibacterial and antifungal, which can help kick any springtime bugs.
Mizuna, also known as Japanese mustard greens, are bitter and pungent, but they help cleanse the liver from any accumulated toxins or indulgences over the holidays, Nicholds said.
The greens are also high in folate and iron, both of which boost energy levels, and vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron.
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