Thursday, February 6, 2014

spring time superfoods

I know people have been dropping like flies around my office lately. There is this nasty cold going around, and it kills you for about three weeks. The rain has finally graced Northern California with it's presence. Which means it's time to increase that Vitamin C and boost those immune systems. Here are some local fruits that are in {{ or, coming into}} season that are sure to help your health. Even if you aren't the one to purchase organic fruits and vegetables. Just remember, ALWAYS but these organic. 



Asparagus
 A cup of asparagus contains 70 percent of your daily-recommended amount of vitamin K, which helps transport calcium to your bones, and 20 percent of your vitamin A, which helps your immune system. It's also a great source of protein and folate. Another reason to love asparagus? Eating it before your drink alcohol is known to ward off hangovers. {{bonus!!}}

Kale
My friend Amanda prompted this edit- I forgot to include purple kale! Which is her new found love. This tasty treat can be served up multiple ways. Each power packed bite offers cholestorol lowering fiber and antioxidant and anti inflamatory benefits.  It has also been linked to lowering your risk of ;bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate.

Fava beans
Quite possibly one of the oldest cultivated plants around, fava beans are staples in nearly every international cuisine, while in the U.S., they're often passed over for other domestic bean varieties. High in fiber and iron, fava beans are protein powerhouses, with 13 grams per cup of cooked beans. 

Spinach
Spring is the best time of year to eat spinach, a crop that loves warm days and cold, nearly frosty nights, which bring out its natural sugars. In addition to being a great source of vitamin C and folate, two nutrients that strengthen your immune system and ward off allergies, spinach is also rich in a compound called betaine, which has been found to boost exercise performance.  Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that may help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Arugula
Tossing peppery arugula into your salads will keep them from getting too boring, and it provides you with a huge boost of magnesium, a mineral important for keeping your bones strong, your immune system healthy, and your muscles strong.

Carrots
High levels of Vitamin A in these guys, will help keep your eye site in tip top shape and it will aid in the cleansing of your liver too.  Plus the amount of  Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts.

Artichokes
 They contain a compound called cynarin, which stimulates taste bud receptors and has been found to make bland food more palatable. Artichokes are also used in complementary medicine to aid digestion. They're rich in inulin, a prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut.
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