Photos courtesy of Emma Easley Darden of RLP Studios
Eating Spring’s Superfoods by Brenna Burke
As I sit here looking out the window at the snow on the ground, it serves me well to remember that spring really is on its way. We will still have our share of gloomy days, but with the spring rains we may feel that hint of warmth, with bright spots of color as everything begins to grow and bloom. One of the best parts of spring is the shift from winter’s harvest to spring’s emergence of locally grown produce available at markets, farms, and planted in our own gardens. Eating locally grown produce has so many advantages to our environment, community, and health, they often taste better, too. The family farms in the Northwest work hard to deliver the highest quality, in-season, and nutrient rich superfoods to our tables. Superfoods are simply delicious and nutritious whole foods that benefit our bodies now and into the future. How wonderful to be able to support our local farms and our families’ health in one fell swoop. Asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse. It has the highest amount of glutathione of all foods and is significantly rich in vitamins A, C, and selenium, all of which help prevent cancer. Collard Greens are calcium superstars, a good source of vitamins K, A, C, and E, betacarotene, zinc and manganese, and have four
anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting substances. These mild greens also can lower cholesterol. Garlic is probably one of the best additions to any diet you could make. Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral (wow!), garlic has some serious cancer and heart disease fighting power. An amino acid called allicin is responsible for much of garlic’s benefits, but phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, polyphenols, zinc, selenium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C are all health boosters. Mushrooms are the newest darlings of the superfoods. They are low in calories, yet pack in vitamins B6, B12, C and D, as well as niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and a lot of antioxidants. New research is showing that these little fungi can fight flu and reduce risk of cancer and heart disease. Rhubarb is well-known for its use in pies, but this bright vegetable is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Just be sure to eat only the stems as the leaves are toxic. Spinach is chock-full of the essential B vitamin folate, chlorophyll, phytonutrients, and enzymes. Spinach also reduces the risk of colon cancer, birth defects, heart disease, dementia, and even macular degeneration with only one to two servings a week.
Brenna Burke is a mama of three trying to live a green life, pursue greater health and wellbeing for her family and the planet, and teach her children well, all while always seeking the best tips, insight, and fun for those wanting to go a little greener. Brenna blogs at almostallthetruth.com 8 | NW Kids Magazine
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