6 Spring Superfoods

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No matter how much it feels like this winter will never, ever end, March 20 marked the official first day of spring. (We know, we can’t believe it either.)

Across the country, most of us are still just dreaming of warmer temps, but just seeing the word “spring” on the pages of our calendars is enough to start out mouths watering for our favorite seasonal produce. Even when certain fruits or veggies are available year-round, there’s no denying fresher is better.

So we asked some of our favorite nutrition experts to share with us which piece of spring produce (it’s SO hard to pick just one!) they’re most excited to dig their teeth into. Check out their responses — as well as their favorite ways to prepare their picks — below.

Asparagus

“Like daffodils, the reemergence of asparagus at the local farmer’s market announces to me that spring is on its way.

I like to prepare it very simply: I chop off or break off the woody parts of the stems, steam for a brief time until vibrantly deep green in appearance (being careful not to overcook, or they become limp and mushy), and then I place them on a platter and drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil or macadamia nut oil, pink himalayan or celtic sea salt and perhaps a sprinkle of a few pine nuts or hemp seeds.”

–Rochelle Sirota, MS, RD, CDN

Key nutrition facts: Half a cup contains 20 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams protein of protein and is a very good source of vitamins A, C, E, K and potassium.

Arugula

“I love using arugula tossed with chopped tomatoes and a fresh lemon-olive oil dressing. I also enjoy topping my homemade vegetarian pizza with arugula and artichoke hearts.” –Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Key nutrition facts: Two cups contain just 10 calories, and arugula is also a very good source of vitamins A, C and K, calcium, potassium and iron.

Artichokes

“While I can usually find artichokes year round (I live in Napa), there’s something special about the sweet and tender baby artichokes that show up in the spring. They’re absolutely scrumptious in their simplicity — just steam them!” –Cheryl Forberg, RD, chef and nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, James Beard award-winning chef, NYT bestselling author

Key nutrition facts: One medium artichoke contains 64 calories, 10 grams of fiber and three grams of protein. Artichoke is also a very good source of vitamins C and K and folate.

Fennel

“Although I’m always excited about fresh seasonal produce, I think this year, I’m most looking forward to fennel! I love its crisp texture and unique licorice flavor — it smells like spring! Plus, you can use the whole thing: The bulb is perfect sliced into a salad (I usually toss it with shaved asparagus, parmesan and fresh lemon juice) or roasted in the oven with balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil. And the green feathery fronds make a beautiful garnish, just like other green herbs. –Joy Bauer, MS, RD, nutrition and health expert for NBC’s “Today Show” and New York Times bestselling author

Key nutrition facts: Just an ounce of the bulb in your salads adds a gram of fiber for only nine calories. Fennel bulb is also a very good source of vitamin C, folate and potassium.

Strawberries

“I love them pureed and drizzled over plain 2 percent Greek yogurt, oatmeal or used as a healthy pancake topper. I also love strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate — fondue fabulous!” –Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD, LDN

Key nutrition facts: One serving contains 47 calories and three grams of fiber and seven grams of sugar. Strawberries are also a very good source of a very good source of vitamin C and manganese.

Leeks

“I love leeks, which I chop and saute in olive oil with garlic.” –Elizabeth M. Ward, RD, author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better

Key nutrition facts: A relative of onions and garlic, leeks contain just 38 calories. They are also a very good source of vitamins A, C and K.

By: Sarah Klein
Source: www.mindbodygreen.com

2014-03-24T11:45:46+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I'm doing the Full Body Cleanse and I have a few questions about it: I get tired of drinking just the distilled water and I'd like to drink the herbal teas, but I don't like it by itself. Would it mess things up to add a pack or two of Splenda to my tea or maybe honey? I can't stand the salads with the olive oil or apple cider vinegar or the lemon juice as dressing and it makes me gag. I have To have some sort of salad dressing. What kind would be suitable? Do I look for sugar-free? Or organic and natural? I found one that is organic and natural, but it has 3 grams of sugar in it. Without eating all my whole grained breads and other fiber, I haven't had much of a bowel movement in 3 days, should I wait a while yet? (I had surgery on my bowels and always had to take fiber tablets and eat lots of grains to get my bowels to move.) I haven't done the enemas yet, (low on money) should I try that? Or should I resume my fiber tablets I normally take? Any type of fiber I could add to my fruit smoothies in the morning? I want to also do the female cleanse. Is it ok to do that immediately after I finish the full body cleanse or should I wait for a little while? Thank you for all your help, I feel much better than I did before and I just started this detox a week ago, lost 10 pounds, too, woohoooooo! Thank you

    A:

    1. Instead of splenda, use agave, stevia, or grade b maple syrup as a sweetener.

    2. In re Salad Dressing, an organic and natural one is great. You can also check our website for salad dressing recipes.

    3. The fiber pills are not part of the cleanse, so we wouldn't advise those. Fruit is you best choice of fiber so look into eating more papaya, mango, figs, etc. And yes, colonics (and enemas) would greatly help you - undoubtedly!

    4. You can do the Female Cleanse right after you finish detoxing. There's no need to wait!

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    Q: I started the full body detox today, and found that I DO NOT like the salad dressing I made with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I found I could not tolerate it on my salad. What can I do instead? Another question is... I noticed lentils on the food combining chart. Those have to be cooked. Are those actually allowed to be consumed warm? I love the raw fruits and vegetables. I don?t have a problem, cause I love salads. I just need help on what I can have on it.

    A:

    Check out our website for raw salad dressing recipes. You are bound to find one you like.

    As for lentils, you are NOT allowed to have them while on the cleanse.

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    Q: Dear herbalist, I would like to know if it's alright for me to alternate cod liver oil pill (omega 3) in between taking the blood and lymph cleanse. I use to have beautiful skin until spring of this year. Also I want to know if taking teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil is good for healing me of what I believe may be vitiligo, tenea vesicle or eczema (dermatitis). PLEASE HELP.

    A:

    Cod liver oil is crap! Olive oil is healthy and good for you. To repair the skin, focus on cleansing your blood (FULL BODY DETOX, vegetable juice, etc.). Check out our new article "SKIN DISORDER = BLOOD DISORDER".

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    Q: Yes coconut oil maybe natural but I go thru 3-4 jars per week, 1-1/2 a jar a day, not only is it making me broke out I do not think all that saturated fat is good for me. I know I lack a lot of protein and other vitamins in my diet. Could this lack of essential nutrition cause this weird craving? I don't know if it is the massive loss of blood due to the fibroids.

    A:

    I think you know the answer for yourself. Therefore, stop eating the coconut oil. Take some vitamins and minerals and see if this helps. Sounds like PICA, a nutritional deficiency which causes cravings. Blood loss most certainly will cause loss of nutrients.

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    Q: Hello, this is my 2nd time doing the full body cleanse. I did it last year so now I'm doing it again. I started on Monday 3/9 and since have lost 5 lbs. Is that normal? Also why do you recommend Distilled water and not Spring and/or filtered (Brita). I have always drank a lot of water but roughly how many times a day should I urinate and how many times a day should I make a BM? When I did it the first time last year it was late Spring early Summer and incorporated a lot of walking which helped out a lot. This time not so much due to the horrible NY weather. I would appreciate you answering my questions and getting back to me at your earliest convenience. Thanks

    A: Everyone's body is different and responds to the regimen differently. Losing 5 pounds in days is okay. Distilled water is the best type of water that helps to detox the body. You should be drinking half your body weight in water. Anything you put into your body you can expect it to come out. Bowel movements and urination is directly related to the foods and beverages you're consuming. Be sure that you're consuming three regular meals a day; eating fruits and vegetables with fiber.

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    Q: I recently completed the Full Body Detox, which I loved. Now, 2 months later, I am very interested in the weight release program. Last year, I lost 40 lbs in 8 months, in the most healthy way (good nutrition and exercise). This year, I slowly started gaining weight back, and 1 year later, I continue to gain weight much more quickly. I am still working out regularly, and eating well. Would you recommend the Weight Release Kit? I am looking to take off 20 lbs at the most. Is that realistic for this formula? However, I want to build muscle and strength as well. Can I maintain the results of the program with the directed nutrition plan, and add white meat for protein (chicken, turkey, tuna). I am also wondering if the formulas simply release excess weight, or can I expect to lose inches and lower my body fat percentage? Thanks for your time and dedication to natural health!

    A:

    Glad to hear about your success with the Full Body Detox!

    I would highly recommend the Weight Release Kit and Regimen. NO MEAT though! Try vegan alternatives if you must have something - but no meats!

    You will release weight (waste)! Your weight is nothing but waste!

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: Happy New Year to You and yours!!! My son is three years old; he was born December 12, 2004, this was a Sunday. Ever since he started talking he's had a fascination with the light and light bulbs. He looks up and says "mom look, the light is beautiful" or "mom see the beautiful light bulb". I look at it and I usually say yes it is beautiful Jordan. However, I do not see what he sees nor do I understand the attraction. When he was two weeks old I took him with me to Olive May and the old wise woman there saw him and asked me to bring him to her. When she looked at him she said "he is indigo--he is like sunshine when he enters a room and people will be drawn to him." So far the part about people being drawn to him has manifest true. What do you think of the attraction/fascination to the lights? Also, I read that awesome article on birthmarks!! I don't have one, however, my son has one on his buttock; I don't remember which one at the moment. His primary pediatrician called it a mongolian spot..what do you say?? Does it mean he will fall and hurt himself or has fallen?? Looking forward to seeing you in March. Love, Peace and Blessings.

    A:

    You son is most definitely an INDIGO CHILD (specifically a CRYSTAL or RAINBOW CHILD manifesting all 7 spectrums of color of the Rainbow). His preoccupation with lights could denote many things. For one, he is Light himself (light-worker). It could be that he still remembers the Light before re-incarnating this time around. We all eventually move into the Light in order to move on. Mongolian spot? A very negative term! Buttocks denote an injury that occured on that area in a past life. Birthmarks don't mean something adverse will happen to you in this lifetime where your birthmark is. It doesn't mean this at all. Just be open to experience and learn from and with your child. Live in the moment and just be open!

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    Q: I am currently serving in Iraq. I started your 20-day Full Body Cleanse and I have a question about diet. The food that is served to Soldiers is terrible here! The fruits and vegetables are laced with pesticides. So there really isn?t a good source of nutrition here. My question is should I continue with my detox even though I'm fighting a losing battle? I can feel the difference in my health after one week so far! Also, do you have any advice or a product that will get rid of excessive body moles? I notice that with aging, my body moles have shown up in the weirdest places and are very visual on my face, neck and upper chest.

    A:

    Don't stop detoxing due to circumstances. The herbs are fighting the pesticides. Keep doing what you're doing and you will still see the beneficial results of the cleanse.

     

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    Q: I am 22 weeks pregnant and in the hospital on bed rest with Preeclampsia. Today I was told that the protein in my urine was up to 9 grams from 2.1 and my platelet count has dropped from 180 to 130. The doctors want to start discussing delivery, which for me would mean the lost of a 4th child. I have been on a regimen vitamin c, primrose oil, hawthorn berries, calcium, omega fish oil, magnesium and potassium and that seemed to work for about 4 weeks. Now things have just gone bad. Is there a hope for saving my child, as things have gotten crucial?

    A:

    2nd RESPONSE: The following products are toxic to you: Vitamin C Calcium Fish Oil Magnesium Potassium Toxic products can cause pre-eclampsia! Make sure you read our article â€ECLAMPSIAâ€. Start getting your products from Dherbs because we are all natural (herbal-based) and you can trust our integrity.

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    Q: I read your article on Dangerous Dairy, and I cannot find on the internet any back up on what is discussed about dairy. Example, fecal matter (like milk), if this is not real fecal matter. What are you talking about? It is also stated that no other animals will drink other animals milk. This is not so, there are reports of baby animals, that lose their mothers and another species steps in to save the baby animals life. A dog saving a baby tigers life. A squirrel saving a pigs life, etc. It is a known fact that we have been eating dairy products for over 8,0000 years. I know that times have changed, but where are your facts were are you getting these facts to report such cause and effect? I would like to see this facts or websites. Thank you.

    A:

    Your problem may be the Inter-net. You can't be an exclusive Inter-net armchair researcher and expect to find everything, such as the information in my article. We can't give up on BOOKS for a computer screen!

    Everything I cover in my article can be scientifically backed up.

    RECOMMENDED:
    BOOK: Don't Drink Your Milk by Frank A. Oski, M.D.
    BOOK: Milk: The Deadly Poison, by Robert Cohen
    VIDEO: Let's Eat To Live - Vol. 8 "Milk" (shows filter screen with cow feces on it)
    Like the Bible says: ask and it shall be given.

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    Q:

    A:

    Herbal supplements are not drugs. The Vegan Protein Powder Mix contains natural occurring protein, and will supplement your diet at a healthy level. We do not offer measurements in mg per capsule because there is no true way to measure how much protein is in an organic item. Many companies offer that measurement as a way to get you to buy more of their products, but it is typically just a guesstimate. For instance, we could say that there is "x" amount of protein inside of each capsule but some of the capsules may be denser than others etc. Hopefully this offers an honest explanation of why we do not do this. If you are using it to gain muscle mass while lifting weights, this product should suffice, and can be mixed in an Almond Shake or with other such ingredients that are high in organic protein to help you reach your goal.

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    Q: I was looking at your recipes for infant milk. I am breast feeding but need to wean. I was interested in giving him rice milk (Rice Dream enriched with vitamin a, c, and other vitamins). However, the website says not for use as infant formula. Why would this not be a good substitute? What would this be lacking? Why is your recipe a complete formula for proper infant nutrition? Please Help a concerned new mom!

    A:

    Rice Dream is fortified with SYNTHETIC nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and therefore it's not a good source of organic nutrition. If you use Rice Dream, please fortify it with organic nutrition like Dherbs.com Moringa Seed Extract, and Iodine Phosphate Extract (add 5 dropperfuls of each formula to infant milk).

    Product Links:
    Moringa Seed Extract
    Iodine Extract

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    Q: I was wondering if it is okay to mix Mrs. Dash season blend with Olive Oil as a dressing for my salad? It tastes real bad with just Olive Oil alone, and I don't like the bitterness taste of lemon juice, and apple vinegar cider. Plus, what would you recommend for toppings to make the salad more interesting? Can I put olives, and cucumbers, etc.?

    A:

    Do as you please as far as dressing goes! Just stay away from harmful ingredients! Mrs. Dash, seasonings, Olive Oil,

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    Q: I was wondering if using baking soda as a deodorant and to brush teeth with was ok? I also purchased your AFRICAN-CARRIBEAN SPRING CLEANSER TEA tea, is it also supposed to make you lose weight?

    A:

    Not nessarily, this tea is a potent blood purifier and helps to cleanse the major eliminative channels of the body. Use ALUMINUM FREE baking soda for these purposes!

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    Q: Lunch is organic salad dressing allowed or maybe fresh lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (cold pressed)

    A:

    Organic salad dressing is a healthy alternative, but because they're bottled they usually contain preservatives to sustain their condition on store shelves. We recommend sticking to raw and fresh ingredients like using extra virgin olive oil as a base for homemade dressings. Adding apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salts and other spices are common ingredients for homemade dressings.

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    Q: I have a question for you. I love reading your articles and I was reading about the importance of iodine in a vegan diet. I am vegan and I'm scared I'm getting iodine and you wrote that seaweed would fulfill that need. Did you mean Sushi seaweed, the roasted nori kind? Or fresh seaweed? I haven't been able to find fresh seaweed anywhere, except for already prepared seaweed salad. Also, how would you suggest I use the roasted nori seaweed? In smoothies? Because by itself it does not taste good.

    A:

    No! Not fresh water seaweed. But seaweed sold in a health food store. One in a bottle. Try Dulse, Kelp, Spiriulina, or even Dherbs Iodine Phosphate formula.

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    Q: I was looking at your recipies for infant milk. I am breastfeeding but need to wean. I was interested in giving him rice milk (Rice Dream enriched with vit a, c,and other vitamins). However, the website says not for use as infant formula. Why would this not be a good substitute? What would this be lacking? Why is your recipie a complete formula for proper infant nutrition? Please Help a concerned new mom!

    A:

    Rice Dream is fortified with SYNTHETIC nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and therefore it's not a good source of organic nutrition. If you use Rice Dream, please fortify it with organic nutrition like Dherbs.com Moringa Seed Extract and Iodine Phosphate Extract (add 5 dropperfuls of each formula to infant milk).

    Article:
    Alternative Infant Formula Milk

    Product Links:
    Moringa Seed Extract
    Iodine Extract

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    Q: Please reply to this (I will not buy from you unless you reply to my email; I want to check some things with you before I buy): 1- Please tell me if the following products in your website can be taken by pregnant women: folic acid, iron phosphate, bioflavonoid formula, iodine phosphate, multi vitamins and minerals, vitamin c formula, b-vitamin complex, iron phosphate tea? 2- I want to buy all the nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) that I need for my baby (I'm 3 months pregnant). If I buy the multi vitamins and minerals, do I need to supplement any additional products that I mentioned above (esp. folic acid, vitamin c, iron, b-vitamin complex)? 3- I also want to buy Eklampein formula, prenatal laxative, prenatal formula, healthy pregnancy, and prenatal tea. Since I can't buy all the products that I mentioned in this email; I need your help to buy less. Because the ones that I will buy; I will buy enough to last me about 5/6 months (so I will still be buying so many from you even if I buy 3 or 4 different products). I don't have enough money; please work with me and tell me which ones I need for complete prenatal care and since I will be buying too many; please give me discount (so I can afford it and take good care of myself and my baby in the same time).

    A:

    Folic acid, iron phosphate, bioflavonoid formula, iodine phosphate, multi vitamins and minerals, vitamin c formula, b-vitamin complex, iron phosphate tea can all be taken by a pregnant woman. You could delete bioflavonoid and B-vitamin complex though and still get necessary nutrition for your pregnancy. And yes, Dherbs.Com will give you a nice discount on a large order. Now here's what I would personally suggest for a great pre-natal regimen: PRE-NATAL FORMULA ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD VITAMIN C FORMULA IODINE PHOSPHATE FOLIC ACID IRON PHOSPHATE FORMULA PRE-NATAL TEA PRENATAL LAXATIVE (optional)

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    Q: I notice that my 5 year old son as a cavity, and also his teeth are of a grayish color. He does not eat a lot of sweets, and artificial foods. I try to eat food that is organic, lots of fruits and vegetables. My concern is that, he is not getting enough vitamins, protein, and calcium. Is there of particular diet that you would recommend for my child?

    A:

    To make sure your child is getting enough nutrients, give the child Dherbs.com Children's Nutritive Formula 9, Calcium Extract, and Moringa Seed Extract. (Read our article on Moringa in the articles section of our site).

    Article:
    Moringa

    Product Links:
    Children's Calcium Extract
    Children's Iodine Extract
    Moringa Seed Extract