It seems that Spring is well and truly with us – the nights are lighter, the weather is warming and the spring plants are flowering. We’re taking a look at seasonal produce that is not only great for you, but means less food miles from field to plate.
Asparagus is a great source of folate, a B vitamin involved in the production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinithrine – all involved in raising mood.
Garlic has many health benefits, including having anti-microbial properties and blood cleansing effects. It also contains allicin – the compound which gives garlic its characteristic smell – which stimulates satiety, telling your brain you are full. Spring garlic has a milder, sweeter taste than the dried bulbs you buy later in the season.
Spinach is a great source of iron, very important in the production of new red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Compounds in spinach also increase the efficiency of mitochondria, which are the cell components that manufacture energy.
Artichokes are loaded with magnesium, and important chemical in more than 300 reactions in the body, including energy generation. Other excellent sources include legumes, nuts and whole grains.
Salmon is rich in an omega-3 fatty acid called EPA. EPA helps block the release of UV-induced enzymes that breakdown collagen and hence help cause wrinkles.
Strawberries are packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C. These compounds help to repair damaged skin caused by environmental factors and UV rays.
Eating blueberries regularly has been found to have a beneficial affect on memory. They contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin – this has been shown to increase signals among brain cells and improve their resilience, thus enhancing learning and memory. A great tip for exam time!
RGU is holding an event on 18 May called The Power of Plants – watch this space for more information!