When you’re planning out your garden this year, you may want to consider 9 superfoods. These foods are easy to grow, are packed with vitamins and minerals and are at the top of the list for superfoods.
Fresh asparagus can’t be compared to the asparagus purchased in the market. The veggie is ready to eat between February and June. One cup of asparagus contains 70 percent of the daily amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps supply calcium to the bones. Vitamin A is another strong force in asparagus, which assists the immune system. For those who suffer allergies during the spring or who catch colds and flu easily, this is the veggie you need on your plate! Twenty percent of vitamin A for the day comes to you in just one cup of this veggie. Protein and folate are other great reasons to eat this vegetable. Eating asparagus before you drink any alcohol is known to keep hangovers away – for those of you heading to a party at night, eat plenty of this vitamin rich plant during the day!
Fava beans are staples in most every international country, however, in the United States, they are passed over for the other beans on the market. Rich in fiber and iron, fava beans are little protein powerhouses, with 13 grams per cup of cooked beans. Fava’s are also known to lower your cholesterol naturally and even stimulate sexual desire.
Who doesn’t love a good salad? The leafy greens taste much better when grown locally and especially in your own backyard. A large majority of the leafy greens are grown in California. The lettuce fields are irrigated with water from the Colorado River. According to the EPA, the Colorado River water is filled with low levels of perchlorate. Perchlorate is…are you ready?…rocket fuel that is known to harm thyroid function and who knows what else? Anyone who ingests rocket fuel is bound to have a problem down the road. The perchlorate is sucked up into the lettuce and we ingest it as we eat. All lettuce except for iceberg is pumped full of antioxidants. Grown plenty of your own lettuce this year to avoid rocket fuel! If you purchase lettuce, locate someone in the farmer’s market who can tell you where the water comes from that grows the plants. Learn about the contamination sources that may apply.
Being a younger version of a green onion, the scallion houses plenty of health-promoting qualities, as do the other versions of onion. They are all rich in quercitin, an antioxidant that acts like an antihistamine. Quercitin also lowers blood pressure and defends the heart against disease.
Fresh spinach is a great source of vitamin C and folate which are two nutrients that help your immune system and helps in the fight against allergies. Spinach also contains betaine which helps boost exercise performance. Carrots have nothing on spinach for helping the eyesight – with lutein and zeaxanthin, the eyes are kept in great health! These two photochemicals help prevent age-related macular degeneration which is one of the leading causes of blindness.
Don’t ignore the fancy-schmancy red garnish on the side of your salad plate! The radish gives you nearly one third of your daily amount of vitamin C. A great cancer fighting tip is to combine radishes and broccoli. Radishes house an enzyme called myrosinase, which will boost your body’s absorption of the cancer fighting compounds that are found in broccoli. Eat the leaves with your radishes as well as the red! The leaves have more vitamin C, calcium and protein than the radish does! Be sure to toss the leaves into your salads, pesto, stir-fry, or a smoothie.
The pepper flavor of arugula added to salads will add a burst of flavor. It also provides your body with lots of magnesium to keep your bones strong, your immune system ready to fight off illness and your muscles strong. Arugula taste good in early spring pestos, which normally use herbs that aren’t in season until the later months.
Are you depressed from all of the stormy weather through the long winter? Well, eat your peas! Peas are known to ward off depression and boost your mood. One cup provides you with loads of vitamin C, thiamin or vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 helps maintain a good healthy mood.
Delicious when eaten alone or eaten with other dishes, artichokes provide us with a compound called cynarin. Cynarin stimulates the taste bud receptors which will make any bland food on your plate taste better! They are also a complementary medicine that will aid digestion. Rich in inulin, the prebiotic that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in your stomach and digestive tract, artichokes are worth eating!