Vegetables in Season: April Edition

Vegetables in Season: April Edition

April is all about yummy spring vegetables—artichokes and asparagus are at their peak, snap peas begin to make an arrival on dinner plates, as well as young carrots, and fava beans. There is also spring garlic, spring onions, leeks, fennel and the first spring radishes arrive. Winter citrus are disappearing, and the “fruit” of April isn’t really a fruit at all, but a vegetable that acts like fruit— rhubarb. Perfect for pies and cobblers.

Peas: are a good source of vitamins C and E, zinc, and other antioxidants that strengthen your immune system. Other nutrients, such as vitamins A and B and coumestrol, help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.

Carrots: The fiber in carrots can help keep blood sugar levels under control. And they’re loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, which there’s evidence to suggest can lower your diabetes risk. They can strengthen your bones. Carrots have calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health.

Rhubarb: Is rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins (which give it its red color) and proanthocyanidins. These antioxidants have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti cancer properties, which help protect you from many health-related issues such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Asparagus: April is peak asparagus season! It’s one of the top ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This may help slow the aging process and reduce inflammation.

Artichokes: Artichokes have calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. It’s packed with fiber and has between 6 and 7 grams of fiber. It has four grams of protein and they’re about 60 calories. That makes them a relatively low-calorie, high-fiber, low-carb, high-protein vegetable.

Fava beans: One cup of cooked fava beans contains almost a third of your daily protein needs. Protein is one of the most important nutrients in your diet. Eating high-protein foods can help you feel fuller for longer. Protein also helps grow and maintain your muscles.

Radishes: Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risks for heart disease. The radish is also a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow.

Leeks: Leeks are rich in flavonoids, especially one called kaempferol. Flavonoids are antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory,
anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties, as well as other health benefits.

Spring Garlic: Also called Green Garlic, it is packed with an antioxidant called Allicin. It works as an active ingredient in reducing cholesterol, reduces inflammation in the body, and prevents cold, cough and flu.

Spring Onions: Spring onions have carotenoids which helps to keep the vision healthy and intact. It is also rich in vitamin A which prevents loss of eye-sight.

Fennel: Varieties such as the Florence or Finocchio are treated as a vegetable, but you can also buy fennel as a herb with foliage resembling dill. Fennel contains beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body) and vitamin C, which is important for collagen production and tissue repair. Both these nutrients play an important role in maintaining the health of the skin, as well as the mucous membranes that protect organs like the respiratory tract.

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