The arrival of spring always heralds a healthy new beginning, so there is no better time than now to start overhauling your diet and looking for delicious, nutritious and seasonal ingredients to add taste, nourishment and interest to your plate. The longer days and lighter nights are always a remedy for the depression left behind from the winter months, plus the gradually warming temperatures and greater appearance of sun are an excellent tonic for boosting your mood and wellbeing.
During the long, dark and dreary days of winter it is only natural that your body will be craving a diet higher in carbohydrates. And whilst the right sorts of unrefined carbohydrates are really important for fuelling your body with the vitamins, minerals and sustenance you need to function, there is nothing better than eating with the seasons – and that includes one of spring’s best bounties, the humble spring green.
Spring greens belong to the brassica family, which includes other relatives such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach and Brussels sprouts. So that alone is a sure fire indication as to its health-giving properties!
So with this in mind let’s take a closer look at why spring greens are a true spring super food:
1. One 80g portion of spring greens counts as one of your 5-a-day. With reports suggesting that many of us eat nowhere near enough fruits and vegetables every day, and also that we should now be aiming for 7-a-day instead, every portion helps! Furthermore, each portion of spring greens will deliver a whole arsenal of goodness, vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients and that all-important dietary fibre. From vitamin C, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K to iron, potassium, fibre and calcium, there is no denying that spring greens should feature on your weekly menu. Furthermore, spring greens also contain an impressive list of phytonutrients, which include beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as essential omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Research is proving that many vegetables offer protection against all manner of serious illnesses and diseases, which include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain forms of cancer. And when it comes to health-promoting benefits spring greens are amongst some of the best vegetables you can eat for optimum health. That is because there are a number of natural compounds which are proven to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Spring greens are incredibly low in calories, yet thanks to the high levels of dietary fibre your appetite will be satisfied and you will no longer feel peckish. Spring greens are also exceptionally versatile and can be served in many different ways. From raw in juices or salads, to steamed, stir fried or sautéed with a little garlic. And remember not to discard the stems as these are even sweeter and tastier than the leaves – plus they are full of all that goodness too!
4. As spring greens are in season, they are readily available to purchase from your local supermarket, farmers’ market or greengrocer and are reasonably priced too as there is an abundance in the fields right now. So if you are looking for a little healthy culinary inspiration, then choose spring greens for a tasty and nutritious treat.