Spring Superfoods You Need To Eat

Spring is in the air, and it is time to go green — literally!

Take a walk through the produce section, and you’ll see green everywhere. Seasonal eats available in spring go a long way to helping you detox from the cold winter months, provide you with many a nutritional boost, and lean you down in no time. Here are three greens to pile on your plate this spring.

Spring-Superfoods| www.thewellnessscientist.com

 

Asparagus

asparagus| thewellnessscientist.com

You can find asparagus almost all year-round thanks to the lengths grocers go to in order to keep these greens in stock, but nothing beats the flavor-rich freshness of locally-grown asparagus during the spring. A cup of asparagus boasts a healthy dose of vitamin K (essential for your bones to absorb calcium) and immune-boosting vitamin A.

Asparagus is also know to de-bloat your tummy, so eat up before you hit the beach for a lean & defined physique!

Artichokes

Artichoke | thewellnessscientist.com

Artichokes contain a compound called cynarin, which are not to stimulate your taste buds & make bland food taste better. They are also rich in inulin, which promotes growth of good bacteria in your gut.

Also a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and folate, these tasty veggies are a nutritional powerhouse that are hard to beat!

Ramps

Wild-Leeks

Ramps, also known as wild leeks are a spring delicacy available only for a few weeks in spring, beginning mid-April. If you haven’t tried ramps, hit the supermarket or farmer’s market for this delightful veg you can use in any recipe that calls for leeks.

In addition to vitamins A and C, you’ll get a dose of iron as well as immune-boosting selenium.

 

 

 

Five Foods You Need to Try This February

Five-Foods-You-Need-To-Try

If you are interested in getting the most nutritional bang for your buck, look no further than superfoods. What’s so super about them, you ask? Basicially, superfoods are simply those that are plentiful in multiple nutrients and have been shown through scientific research to offer health benefits.

You are no doubt already eating a superfood-rich diet — broccoli and blueberries to name a couple — but there are lots that you probably aren’t eating. Here are 5 healthy superfoods to get your hands on this February.

Chicory

Types of Lettuce | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of keithcr

I grew up in Louisiana, and I was a huge fan of the local Community brand coffee with chicory. I couldn’t imagine that the same chicory I used to drink in my coffee was the same chicory I now see offered as a seasonal green in fancy restaurant salads — but it was (one was the root and the other was the leafy greens, but still the same plant!)

Chicory root is known to detoxify the liver, as well as to aid digestion — both of which would come in handy after a weekend in the Big Easy 🙂 

The greens, on the other hand, pack a punch of vitamin A, vitamin K, and choline to name a few.  Cruise by your favorite farmer’s markets in February and pick up a head of chicory to serve up in your salads or to saute and serve under your favorite protein.

Kumquats

Kumquats | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of jeltovsk

This was not intended to be a post about Louisiana, but again I am struck by a memory of numerous kumquat trees that lined the neighboring fence of my elementary school’s playground. We had no idea what these little orange globes were until a teacher told us, but burned countless hours picking these sweet little beauties as kids.

The peak of the growing season is in the winter lasting until about March, so now is an ideal time to try this citrus fruit that is high in potassium, as well as vitamins C and A.

To eat, rinse & toss the whole thing in your mouth – be careful with the seeds!

Maca

Superfood Smoothie | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of Alvimann

Maca is a root originating in South America which has been shown in clinical studies to boost libido. Maca is also known to improve stamina in athletes, regulate hormonal imbalances, and even help with fatigue.

Maca is available in powder form, which is great for adding to smoothies and protein shakes. Don’t go overboard, though … the powder can be quite bitter in large doses.

There are a variety of teas, energy bars, and even chocolates that contain maca — a super convenient way to taste test this superfood.

Parsnips

Parsnips | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of MaxStraeten

I love parsnips and include them in one of my favorite winter comfort dishes, Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie, a recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine. 

Parsnips are high in fiber, which we need to aid in the prevention of heart disease, and some types of cancer. They also contain a healthy dose of folate, a nutrient necessary in energy metabolism and essential for women planning to become pregnant.

When you go on a hunt for parsnips, they look like a big white carrot. They’ll probably be hiding next to the radishes and other root veggies in almost any produce section of a any supermarket during the winter months.

Passion fruit

Passion Fruit | thewellnessscientist.com

Last but not least … passion fruit … you can’t leave this seasonal fruit off the list in February because of its name alone!

Passion fruit is a great source of vitamins A and C, and don’t be afraid to eat the seeds for an extra dose of fiber.

These exotic beauties are also a good source of plant-based iron, a perfect healthy snack for vegetarians who may need an iron boost.

5 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Eat More to Lose More!

Dieters will like the sound of that! Instead of starving yourself to lose weight, science shows you need to EAT MORE … of the right foods.

5 Superfoods For Weight Loss | thewellnessscientist.com

These 5 superfoods will up your calorie-burn and help you lose weight!

Quinoa

Instead of rice, try quinoa!

quinoa-porridge

Quinoa has 8g of protein and 5g of fiber per serving, which will keep you feeling fuller longer.Check out my blog post, Quinoa Two Ways for both a dinner & a breakfast idea (hint: quinoa is a great substitute for your morning oatmeal, too!)

Avocado

Somewhere along the way, we were convinced that a low-fat or NO fat diet was the only way to lose weight.

Boy, was that wrong! The secret is choosing right kinds of fats, like nutrient-rich avocado. Avocados are rich in oleic acid, which may trigger your body to keep hunger pangs at bay. Stick to half of an avocado per serving.

Try this amazing Easy Guacamole Recipe

Photo courtesy of Real Simple realsimple.com

Photo courtesy of Real Simple
realsimple.com

Avocados are creamy enough on their own, so no sour cream required!

Kale

Kale has two of the most powerful antioxidants: carotenoinds and flavonoids. These help expel free radicals and protect against cancer. One raw cup contains 34 calories and about 1.3g of fiber. Not a huge fan? Try throwing raw kale into soups like this Creamy Mushroom Soup with Greens and Ginger

Goji berries

Goji berries are becoming more well-known here in the US, but this popular Asian superfood has been around for much longer.

Photo courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com

Photo courtesy of 52kitchenadventures.com

 

These tart berries are a protein source, with 18 amino acids. How many fruits can say that?

Chili peppers

Spicy foods crank up your metabolism, so it’s no surprise that chili peppers can help you lose weight. In a study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that consuming a combination of capsaicin and green tea led subjects to feel less hungry and eat fewer calories. Throw a little diced chili pepper into homemade marinara sauce for an extra kick!