10 Spring Fruits and Veggies to Add to Your Diet

Mint

In many cultures, mint symbolized hospitality and was offered as a sign of welcome and friendship to guests as they arrived. Mint is rich in vitamins A and C and contains a small amount of B2. Mint also contains minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, potassium and calcium. Mint can be used medicinally to improve digestion, it also may inhibit the growth of many types of bacteria. To lengthen the life of your mint, store it in a container of water, stems down, with a plastic bag loosely covering the top, change the water every two days and it will stay fresh for up to a week. Add chopped mint to rice, chickpea, couscous or bean dishes.

Parsley

Parsley is a relative of celery and is the world's most popular herb. Parsley may enhance the body's absorption of the bone strengthening mineral manganese. Parsley contains certain oils which may help in neutralizing particular types of carcinogens. Parsley pairs well with meat, salad and soups.

Peas

Peas are a wonderful choice for those who follow a low glycemic index menu. They are a good source of vitamin C and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. They also are unique for their phytonutrients called saponins. Peas are a very environmentally friendly item to grow in your garden. With the help of bacteria in the soil, peas are able to take nitrogen gas from the air and convert it into a usable form. This process increases nitrogen available in the soil without the need for added fertilizer.

Radishes

Good things come in small packages. Radishes are nutritional powerhouses full of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Radishes are a root plant that have a pungent or sweet taste. They can be found white, red, purple or black in color. They also can be found long, cylindrical or round in shape. Radishes are known for their detoxification capabilities, constipation relieving abilities and anti-inflammatory capabilities.

Rhubarb

Rhubarb has a tart flavor and pairs well with strawberries, apples, cherries, and berries. It can be canned, frozen, baked in pies, cobblers and breads. When purchasing rhubarb, choose thick, firm stalks with no wrinkling or other signs of drying. If there are leaves on the stalks, they should be fresh and unwilted. Rhubarb is known for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Rhubarb contains about one-third of your daily calcium needs, as well as potassium, folate and iron. The red stalks of rhubarb are full of the immune-boosting photochemical, anthocyanin.

Morel Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been frequently studied because of their cardio protective levels. They are high in the minerals copper, vitamin E, and potassium. Morel mushrooms are also good for prostate cancer prevention because of their levels of selenium and niacin. Most importantly, mushrooms are known to boost the immune system, which can be beneficial in the damp spring season.

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