What’s in Season: Springtime in Florida
by Linda Baldwin.
March 25, 2013
The first new buds of Spring are finally ripening here in Florida. According to the harvest calendar, it’s time for asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, avocado, peas and strawberries to hit the Farmers Markets.
While you’ll notice that in-season asparagus is more crisp and tender, and Spring strawberries picked at their ripest red are sweeter, you might be thinking, “but I can get broccoli and cabbage at the grocery store any time!” Here’s why eating even these easy-to-find-year-round veggies seasonally is great for you:
- Studies show that fruits and vegetables grown and harvested in season have up to 3 times more nutrients than those grown out of season or shipped in.
- Eating seasonally is easier on your wallet – the food doesn’t have to arrive via plane, train and automobile, which means you’re not paying for its gas! There are also specials on seasonal produce since it’s abundant and needs to be eaten.
- Out-of-season produce is more likely to undergo chemical washes and wax coatings to protect them on the long trek to your table. We don’t like wax and chemicals around here!
- They just taste better.
Let’s look at what Spring’s harvest can do for you health-wise:
- Avocado is packed with fiber and vitamins and aids in detoxing the liver.
- Peas are high in protein and fiber, promote colon health and strengthen blood vessels.
- Asparagus contains folate and zinc, is anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants – which make it one of the best natural artery-cleansing foods.
- Broccoli and Cabbage are actually in the same family, and both contain powerful anti-carcinogens that fight cancer.
- Strawberries are low in calorie and delicious, and they also contain lots of dietary fiber (lowers blood pressure, keeps digestion regular) and antioxidants. The combination of anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants is a one-two cancer-fighting punch.