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9 Spring Superfoods

Updated: May 29



You're probably tired of sweet potatoes and winter squash. The good news is that a new crop of spring superfoods has landed at farm stands and produce aisles, ready to rescue you from processed grub, junk food and boring meals.  Their peak flavors pack a punch in our fresh menu ideas below. Just remember that no one food will save humanity from disease. Various veggies and fruits join forces in the fight against free radicals and inflammatory agents. Welcome spring with these health food heroes. PEAS

* Source of its superpowers: Vitamins A, B1 and B6, and C. Plus, peas have more protein per 3/4 cupserving than a tablespoon of peanut butter.  * It's the nutritional nemesis of: Osteoporosis. Peas are loaded with vitamin K1, which helps maintain bone health. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Mashed potatoes with scallions, sandwiches (smashed as a hummus-like spread) and pastas.

ARTICHOKES

* Source of its superpowers:  Vitamins C and K, antioxidants, folate and fiber. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  Inflammation, constipation. *Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Artichoke and spinach gratin, salads, dips, pasta dishes. Enjoy whole artichokes steamed to get the most nutrients.

STRAWBERRIES

* Source of its superpowers:  They are polyphenol powerhouses, packed with this potent antioxidant. Also, you get fiber, potassium, manganese and more vitamin C per serving (8 berries) than in an orange. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  High blood pressure, thanks to another antioxidant, anthocyanin. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Fruit salads, Popsicles, pies, spinach salad, smoothies, overnight oats or other whole grain cereal.

ASPARAGUS

* Source of its superpowers:  Potassium, folate, thiamin, and fiber; plus, vitamins A, B6 and C. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  Cognitive decline, thanks to the folate, which works with B12 (you get it from fish, dairy, meat and poultry) to help keep you sharp. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in: Pastas, risotto, omelets, stir-fry. Try asparagus topped with a poached egg and as a side for salmon.

RADISHES

* Source of its superpowers:  Fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, copper and manganese. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  Allergies, since radishes have anticongestive properties. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Salads, sandwiches, grain bowls, crudités.

LEEKS

* Source of its superpowers:  Vitamin K, plus the flavonols kaempferol and quercetin. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  Vision problems. A 1-cup serving also provides 30 percent of your daily value of peeper-protecting vitamin A. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Soups, pasta, braises, stews, omelets, casseroles.

SCALLIONS

* Source of its superpowers:  Vitamins A, C, E and K; niacin; thiamine; riboflavin; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium; iron; phosphorus; sodium; zinc. * It's the nutritional nemesis of: Diabetes. Scallions contain sulfur-rich compounds called thiosulfinates, which help regulate blood glucose. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Tacos, veggie bowls, rice, soups, sauces, pizza, chopped salads, braises, garnishes for grilled meat.

FAVA BEANS

* Source of its superpowers: Vitamin B1, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, folate and manganese. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  Obesity. Favas' fiber fills you up, and their protein powers your day. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Salads, side dishes. If you're grilling, try cooking favas in their pods, then serving the cooled beans as finger food you can shuck, just as you would edamame.

ARUGULA

* Source of its superpowers:  Vitamins A, K and C; folate; calcium. * It's the nutritional nemesis of:  High blood pressure, since it's a good source of dietary nitrate. * Performs amazing feats of deliciousness in:  Salads, burgers, sandwiches, on pizza. Article Submitted by: Deborah Horn, Executive Director Meals on Wheels Kitsap 360-377-8511 www.mealsonwheelskitsap.org

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