April Seasonality Update!
Of course we get excited about each and every seasonality update but if we had to pick favourites – April would probably be one of them. This fresh and spring-y month (can we please have some warmer weather now?) just sees such an abundance of produce come into season it’s hard not to get excited.
Mushrooms, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce and rhubarb at their seasonal best. For a short time there is a more scarce availability when it comes to brussels sprouts, leeks, kale, carrots, swedes, parsnips and purple sprouting broccoli as they go out of season. However the likes of onions, beetroot, apples and potatoes will still be good form storage.
So as you may already know well, each month we focus on all the glorious nutritional benefits of one fruit or vegetable. This month we just can’t chose cause we are so excited to see so many goodies come into season. Instead of focusing on one item this April we are going to fire off some of the greatest qualities of several different veggie stars. Here we go!
- Digestion Joy! Asparagus contains good levels of fibre and protein. Furthermore it also contains a substance called inulin. Inulin does not get broken down until it reaches the large intestine. Due to this special quality it can assist in increasing the absorption of nutrients in this later stage of the digestive process.
- Antioxidants. This is music to our ears! We do love our antioxidants. They help eliminate free radicals and can help one age gracefully. Asparagus possesses a special antioxidant known as glutathione which has been speculated as beneficial to the breaking down of some carcinogens and pollutants.
- Folate. These stalky wonders contain this lovely nutrient which among other powers also has the ability to promote brain health when combined with a good source of Vitamin B12. Asparagus has an extensive nutrient profile of its own, including notable amounts of zinc, B2, Vitamin, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese and Vitamin E.
- Anti-inflammatory. Yep, Asparagus is ticking all the boxes! This veg has anti-inflammatory properties which have been linked to the prevention of type 2 diabetes and the promotion of cardiac health.
- Oh yeah and apparently when growing in ideal conditions asparagus can grow up to 10 inches in a 24 hour period of time. Is anyone else getting excited at the notion of an asparagus race or are we just nuts?
- Low calories! We are not overly concerned with calorie-control diets. However aubergines may be useful dietary inclusion for anyone who feels the need to shift a few pounds since the combination of high fibre and low calories mean they can help you feel satiated for longer.
- Bye Bye Bad Cholesterol! It’s important to have an intake of good HDL cholesterol in your diet, aubergines have been linked to the lowering of LDL or “bad” cholesterol due to their nice fibre content.
- Antioxidants. We have discussed the importance and wonders of antioxidants numerous times. We are happy to know that aubergines also possess these powers due to the presence of manganese and Vitamin C in their profile of nutrients.
- Iron and folates and potassium oh my! These are just some more of the nutrients present in the aubergine. They also contain Vitamins B6 and K as well as magnesium and folic acid. The only reason we’re not going into detail for every benefit of each of these veggies is that we would literally end up writing a thesis. Food really can be a powerful thing.
- Mind over matter. The skin of the aubergine is actually really tasty. Not only that but it also contains a nice little antioxidant called nasunin which may have a positive effect on both mental and cognitive health
- Just out of curiosity do you call it an aubergine or an eggplant?
- Practically the whole package! Cucumbers are known to have anti-inflammatory and ant-oxidant properties as well as a good dose of fibre. Because of these superpowers, cucumbers have been noted as having an extensive range of health benefits such as impacting the prevention of cancers, promoting heart health.
- Water water everywhere. Cucumbers are thought to be made up of roughly 95 percent water. Don’t worry, this does not make their nutrient content any less amazing. It does however mean that cucumbers can play a great part in keeping hydrated. Another fun fact is that they have also been associated with the prevention of bad breath since the combination of water and fibre means saliva production is increased. With this comes the removal of bad breath causing bacteria!
- Super skin. Yes, a slice of cucumber on the eyes really can help reduce puffiness. Cucumbers, with their impressive list of nutrients can also play a role in maintaining a healthy complexion.
- Bone health. Vitamin K is present in the wholesome cucumber and Vitamin K can help protect your bones as well as assist the absorption of calcium.
- No surprise here! Tomatoes have anti-oxidant benefits. How could they not with all of that fantastic Vitamin C and Vitamin A? There’s another antioxidant in these juicy wonders too. It’s name is lycopene and it has been associated with the prevention of some cancers like cervical, prostate and stomach. Lycopene can also do something positive in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. And just a note on Vitamin A – it has a part to play in the prevention of macular degeneration. So maybe we’ll be seeing in the dark in no time!
- High water content. There is a lot of water to be found in this sunny fruit. This can help stimulate urination. Anyone who has ever had or who has a recurring issue with urinary tract infections will know that they are no fun at all at all. So we were thrilled to hear that tomatoes just might play a little role in the prevention of the dreaded UTI.
- Smoke free? Here’s an interesting one for anyone who’s given up the smokes and found themselves eating a few more tomatoes. The chlorogenic and coumaric acids in tomatoes have been speculated to be helpful in the reduction of harm done by the harmful carcinogens in cigarette smoke. This is good news for anyone who finds themselves exposed to second hand smoke also.
- Immune system goodness. We already mentioned the presence of Vitamin C in the tomato. This can greatly help in maintaining a powerful immune system.
- The wonders of Vitamin C. Peppers weren’t excluded when the veggie god decided to dish out the Vitamin C. So hip hip hurray for younger and healthier skin, strengthened immune systems and free radical elimination. Vitamin E has some similar effects as Vitamin C and that is present in the crunchy pepper too.
- B6. You may have heard about the benefits of B vitamins. B6 is a great one for increasing cell renewal and promoting nervous system health.
- Like carrots! Spring onions can play a part on eye health due to their carotenoid and Vitamin A content.
- Fibre galore. We love our fibre! Spring onions contain a good amount so as well as all the other delightful benefits of fibre they can also help to relieve certain stomach and digestive complaints.
- Antibacterial & Antifungal powers! These properties contribute to the charge the spring onion has on respirator health.
So there it is. Our first ever Veggies (plural) of The Month highlight! Do you have a favourite one? Maybe you have a recipe or two combining some of our powerfully potent produce? Please do share in the comments below or on our Facebook Page
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