Not only does spring signal the beginning of longer days, rising temperatures and the long-awaited winter thaw, but the changing season also brings a wealth of new vegetables ready for the harvesting. Welcome these additions into your diet, that you vowed to begin at the start of the year.
Although different regions experience the start of spring at slightly different times, you can guarantee that even if you have to wait a little longer to see the emergence of leafier, more versatile vegetables, they are on their way. Spring vegetables can add pep and variety to your diet and offer a range of health benefits, not to mention, they are a nice change from root vegetables you’ve been eating throughout winter.
Asparagus can emerge as early as February and is all-round, one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Not only is asparagus rich in protein and low in calories, but it contains high levels of dietary fiber and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Asparagus can be easily incorporated into your diet, as it is quick and easy to prepare; simply grill or steam for a matter of minutes for a healthy side dish.
Artichokes are another fine source of dietary fiber and contain many essential nutrients and minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and even vitamins A and C and folic acid. Artichokes promote liver health and help lower cholesterol, as well as aid in the reduction of symptoms of dyspepsia and other digestive ailments. A fun and versatile spring vegetables, artichokes can be fried, boiled, baked and even stuffed!
Spinach is a spring vegetable that can be added easily to your diet in a variety of ways. Eating more spinach can give you a number of health advantages, as it is one of the most famous superfoods! Containing high levels of vitamins C and K, folic acid, magnesium and iron, spinach is a nutrient-rich vegetable. It is also a good source of vitamin B6 and flavonoids, which have been proven to lower the risk of cancer. Spinach also aids in the prevention of cataracts and heart disease and can be steamed, boiled or washed and eaten raw in salads!
Radishes and their greens are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium and folic acid. By simply finely slicing and adding radishes to your salads, you can enjoy the health benefits that this little vegetable affords, such as increased blood and kidney health, lower risk of cancer, improved digestion and the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant advantages each radish holds.
Along with other members of the cabbage family, watercress is a spring vegetables bursting with essential nutrients and minerals such as vitamins A, B6, C, E and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and the potent flavonoid, quercetin, which serves as a natural anti-inflammatory. Watercress can be used in sandwiches and salads, so it is an easy addition to your diet.
Onions may not be the most obvious of healthy spring vegetables, but they certainly are worth a closer look. Onion varieties such as Spring onions (scallions) or Vidalia onions are available in abundance at this time of year and can be used in salads, soups and a number of dishes. Low in calories and high in potassium, phosphorus and calcium, onions are a natural diuretic and help to treat asthma as well as lower cholesterol.