This spring, the American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, urges you to choose seasonal fruits and vegetables for a healthier and more cost-effective diet. Spring means more than blooming flowers, cleansing rainfall and sunny afternoon’s, it also means the return of some of our favorite recipes containing fresh vegetables such as peas, asparagus, and artichokes.
Eating seasonally ensures that you are eating the food when it is freshest and tastes the best. Spring is also the season for asparagus, leeks, rhubarb and more. For a full list you can check out your local farmers market, food co-op or the American Heart Association at www.healthyforgood.heart.org.
Fruits, Vegetables and Healthy Arteries
Research shows that these foods contain different classes of phytonutrients, natural components in plants that may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, said Johnson, the Robert L. Bickford professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont. Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, she said, and ultimately can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances on inner walls of arteries.
The American Heart Association recommends at least -.5 cups per day of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle that can help you avoid risks for heart disease and stroke.
In addition, eating seasonally helps you naturally get a broader variety of food in your diet. By shopping seasonally you can discover new fresh foods and ingredients that you wouldn’t have found otherwise. This spring try some of The American Heart Association’s favorite recipes such as minted sugar snap peas or roasted red pepper and artichoke tapenade.
Seasonal eating is more than just a trendy food movement. It has many benefits for not only your health, but also your wallet. The economics behind seasonal eating is simple. When farmers are locally harvesting a food, it does not need to incur shipping or storage costs. Without these additives, you are paying for just the food, not the shipping.
For more delicious and healthy recipes with seasonal spring vegetables check out the American Heart Association at www.healthyforgood.heart.org.