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Springtime Veggies

Spring is in full swing and your trip to the grocery may feel less familiar than it usually does seeing that certain vegetables are either plentiful or non-existent. To ensure you eat the best of the best, we want to remind you which spring veggies should be enjoyed this season and what benefits they reap.

The Radish

Unassuming, this member of the mustard family can be found as red, purple or black. Red-skinned radishes are the most popular (and our favorite), but you can also find daikon radishes, which have a milder flavor than the red-skinned. Just 20 calories, one cup of radishes will do the trick for a light snack and will serve an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also brimming with calcium and potassium.

The Beet

These red gems contain betaine, the same substance that is used in certain treatments of depression while also containing trytophan, which creates a sense of well-being, which relaxes the mind–similar to chocolate. In addition, beets serve as a tonic for the liver, which purifies the blood. AND on top of it all, tastes delicious.

The Carrot

A common ingredient with your hummus, carrots will start appearing in early May and is an excellent source of beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant that helps maintain eyesight and protect against heart disease and certain forms of cancer). Carrots are also chock-full of potassium, fiber and vitamins K and C. And although you are used to the orange ones, we suggest trying the puple, yellow and white ones to mix it up. Benefits are the same, taste slightly different!

The Spinach 

With so many greens to choose from, we hope you go for the spinach this season. Spring and fall are the peak seasons for this popular leafy green. Just one cup of this magic is twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. It’s also packed with vitamin A and provides plenty of vitamin C, folate and manganese as well.

 

photo cred: Pinterest

 

Benefits of the Sea

Algae and seaweed have more concentrated nutrition than any vegetables grown on land and thus have benefits ranging from possessing power to preventing disease to imparting beauty and health.  Mainly used in diets from Asian culture, edible seaweed comes in about over 20 types and within those types some are found to have more calcium than cheese, more iron than beef, and more protein than eggs. With a usual rich source of micronutrients, seaweed traditionally holds healing properties that are said to include everything from lowering cholesterol, detoxifying heavy metals, reducing water retention, and aiding in weight loss. To make the most of what seaweed can offer, here are three good reasons why and how to eat your sea veggies!

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1. Wakame: Beat Bloating

Most known as the goods floating in miso soup, wakame looks like slippery spinach. As a diuretic (helps reduce the amount of water in the body) wakame prevents bloating and is packed with osteoporosis-preventing calcium and magnesium. The wakame benefits don’t end here – this seaweed is also high in important trace minerals and is one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin B12.

How to Indulge: Try it in miso soup. Or soak the wakame for a few minutes to reconstitute, then chop, and turn into a salad. I recommend pairing it with cucumbers and rice vinegar.

2. Nori: Super Skin

Best known as the outer wrap of sushi rolls, nori is a great snack for skin health. Just one sheet of nori has the same amount of omega-3s as two whole avocados. The omega-3s help create a natural oil barrier on your skin, which helps to reduce acne and dry skin, particularly helpful during the dry, heated winter months.

How to indulge: Make your own simple sushi by covering an open sheet of nori with brown or white rice. Then add shredded veggies, thinly sliced avocado, and any other raw vegetable that strikes your palette. Roll it all up and dip in sesame oil and ginger sauce.

3. Kombu: Mega Metabolism

Kombu is valuable for its high content of iodine, which is needed to produce two important thyroid hormones that control the metabolism. Many people are thyroid deficient and the iodine in kombu can help such scarcity. In addition, there is a pigment in kombu called fucoxanthin, which may boost production of a protein involved in fat metabolism.

How to Indulge: Try simmering chopped kombu in your soups until soft – or use it to make a Japanese version of chicken broth called dashi. To make this, cook 4 cups of water over low heat, and then add 8 inches of kombu that has been cut in half. Simmer over low heat and then strain the stock. Add dried shiitake mushrooms for an extra boost of flavor!

 

 

Photo cred: therecipeclub.net