5 Healthy Food Options to Keep You Light and Tight

May 14, 2019 04:47 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter

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Spring is finally here, and it is a great opportunity to finally shed those pajamas and get out to be active once more. And as nature starts to turn green again, new superfoods are sprouting up.

You may be able to find some of these foods year-round thanks to modern agriculture. But as Lifehacker points out, buying local, seasonal food is tastier, supports local growers instead of massive agribusinesses, and is better for the environment. So go pick out some spring foods, and here are some of the healthiest choices along with advice for how to prepare them.

1.      Strawberries

Some health nuts worry about whether eating fruit is a good idea, especially since it contains sugar in the form of fructose. But Healthline states that "it's almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit," and fruit contains all sorts of nutritional benefits.

This especially applies to strawberries, some of the healthiest fruits of all. Strawberries may have sugar, but they have no fat, no cholesterol, little calories, and are full of antioxidants called polyphenols. And strawberries can be prepared in all sorts of ways. Eat them raw, make jam with strawberries using honey instead of sugar, or mix them up in a morning smoothie as part of your breakfast.

The key here is that you should not feel afraid to eat fruit, especially with so many delicious fruits sprouting in the spring. Apricots, oranges and mangos are other fruits you can eat now without feeling guilty.

2.      Asparagus

Asparagus is also filled with nutrients and low in calories. Asparagus contains potassium, selenium, folate, fiber, and Vitamins E and K among other things. It is a great vegetable which can thus help you lose weight, improve your blood pressure, and ease digestion.

Steamed asparagus is one of my favorite and easy to prepare vegetables, though I will lightly sauté it in a pan with butter and salt sometimes. But picking the right asparagus matters more than how you prepare it. Green asparagus has more nutrients than white asparagus, and in my opinion tastes better anyways. Only wash asparagus right before you cook it, and note that asparagus should be used within 2-4 days of purchase.

3.      Watercress

Watercress can be more difficult to obtain than other leafy greens like spinach (another solid spring food choice), but it is absolutely worth it. A peer-reviewed 2014 report studying powerhouse fruits and vegetables found watercress to be the single most nutrient-dense vegetable, trouncing better known vegetables like kale and broccoli. There is even some indication that it could help fight cancer as well.

Like most leafy greens, watercress loses nutrients if it is cooked and especially boiled, and so should be eaten raw as part of salads or sandwiches. Make sure to pick watercress which is bright green for the best nutritional value. These vegetables have known to have anti-aging effects and will prevent any need to use daily living aids that we associate with the elderly.

4.      Peas

Most grocery stores peas are sold frozen instead of fresh because green peas have a very short shelf life. In fact, medieval peasants would normally eat more mature brown peas, with the green pea being a later innovation.

Spring is thus the only time when you can get fresh local green peas. Green peas contain high levels of protein and fiber along with other nutrients which can keep blood pressure low such as magnesium and Vitamin K.

Peas in particular are a vegetable which should be eaten quickly, as the sugar will turn into starch and they become much less palatable. You can put them raw in salads, and I believe that peas are a highly underrated ingredient for potato salad. You can also sauté peas like you can asparagus, then combine it with onions and serve it with potatoes or pasta.

5.      Radishes

 I am a strong believer in the "color theory" which states that people should aim to eat as many differently-colored vegetables, and that we should all eat more root vegetables in particular. Radishes fulfill both requirements, and are great for your kidneys as they are a natural diuretic. They also burn fat and like the other vegetables here are an excellent low-calorie alternative.

You may see radishes in salads most of the time and it is best to eat them raw, but there are other things you can do. You can eat radishes raw as a snack like you can with strawberries, or put them in a sandwich. As radishes contain lots of fiber, they will quickly make you feel full and help you lose weight.

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