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Gourmet Cooking with Spring Vegetables

Spring brings a lot of delicious and nutritious vegetables. I love fresh seasonal produce because it’s easy to add spring vegetables into complex creative gourmet dishes and they are simply great on its own as a snack or in a salad. My Top 5 favourite Nutritious Spring Vegetables.

Asparagus
Asparagus is a spring vegetable, derived from the lily family. It’s rich in folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin E, potassium, and vitamin K. Potassium boosts diuretic properties, which help to detox the body by reducing fat, improving the digestive system, and preventing kidney stones. In ancient Rome, philosopher and surgeon Galen explained asparagus’s effects as ‘cleansing and healing’. Potassium also helps to prevent the loss of calcium, which benefits the bones and muscles. Asparagus acts as a potent antioxidant and reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, reduces inflammation, and promotes youth across the body’s organs.

avocadoAvocado
Avocados contain more than twenty different vitamins and minerals. They are full of monounsaturated fat, potassium, B-complex vitamins, and contain vitamins A, C, E, and K. Avocado helps to absorb the nutrients and manage blood sugar. Folic acid and vitamin E protect the heart and prevent strokes; potassium is responsible for women’s thyroid health; vitamin B6 ensures the production of male hormones; and monounsaturated fat affects cholesterol levels.

Celery
Celery has a long list of vitamin content: A, B-complex, E, K, zinc, magnesium, and iron. Celery roots and seeds also have medicinal properties. In ancient China, they were used to treat impotence and as a stabiliser for blood pressure. Since celery root has a high amount of phosphorus and potassium, it aids the nervous and urinary systems. Celery is a great ingredient in a weight-loss program; it’s low in calories, rich with nutrients, and has diuretic and depurative properties.

Fennel
This aromatic herb is rich in vitamin C, fibre, potassium, iron, copper, and vitamin B complex. Fennel is famous for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Fibre helps the body to detoxify and reduce bad cholesterol levels. In olden times, fennel seeds were chewed during gatherings and were believed to have a powerful rejuvenating effect on man. This magic herb served as a mythical symbol in medieval times, and it was used as protection from evil.

Pile of baby spinachSpinach
Spinach is a flowering plant that is often called a ‘powerful’ food for its rich nutrient content. Spinach’s nutritional value comes from antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, and K, folic acid, iron, potassium, and calcium. It also contains trace minerals such as manganese, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and fatty acids. Folic acid helps to lower the blood levels of homocysteine, a protein that can cause damage to arteries. Another secret ingredient is lutein, an element that protects against eye-related disease and certain types of cancer. Spinach is a great food for a weight-loss diet, because it’s low in fat and high in fibre. Raw spinach contains a very rare enzyme called Q10, which has shown to improve sperm movement. High amounts of foliate help to boost fertility in men and women, while vitamin E ensures the production of necessary hormones responsible for sexual health.

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This article was written on 10 Apr 2014.

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