The benefits of eating locally grown, seasonal food are many—it’s ultimately cheaper and better for small farmers and your community’s economy, and it’s a great way to keep in step with the natural world. Perhaps more compelling, though, eating seasonally is an especially excellent way to boost nutrition.
Every month fruits and vegetables reach their nutritional peak around the same time they ought to be harvested—which, conveniently, is also when they taste the best.
We know it’s difficult to eat locally and in season 100% of the time. If possible, grow it and pick it yourself – you’ll know exactly what went into growing those vegetables and you can enjoy them at their peak the day they are harvested. If gardening isn’t your thing, visit a local farmers’ market weekly or join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm (in Italy called G.A.S. Gruppi di acquisto solidale), some of whom even deliver the weekly harvest to convenient distribution locations.
MARCH SEASONAL PRODUCTS
Broccoli , Cauliflower, Kale, Chicory, Salads, Radishes, Arugula, Spinach and…
Cabbage in general—but also Savoy cabbage in particular—turns out to be an especially good source of sinigrin. Sinigrin is one of the cabbage glucosinolates that has received special attention in cancer prevention research. Cabbage can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw cabbage still has cholesterol-lowering ability, just not as much as steamed cabbage.
We have posted an article on a good an healthly savoy cabbage soup we have prepared two weeks ago, click here to read it.
Fresh artichoke is an excellent source of vitamin, folic acid, it is an also a good source of antioxidant compounds such as silymarin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid, which help the body protect from harmful free-radical agents.
Fresh globes also contain moderate amounts of anti-oxidant vitamin; vitamin-C (Provides about 20% of recommended levels per 100 g). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
Have you ever seen its flowers? MAGNIFIC!
As a very good source of fiber, fennel bulb may help to reduce elevated cholesterol levels. In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. At high levels, homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, is considered a significant risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attack. In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body.
The turnip root is low in calories, high in fiber and rich in Vitamin C and calcium. The roots are also high in anti-oxidants, which contribute to a healthy immune system. Turnip leaves are even more packed with nutrients. The leaves are rich in B vitamins as well as Vitamin A and K and various minerals. The leaves are related to the beneficial treatment of certain cancers such as lung and colon cancer. Being high in vitamins and minerals, the leaves also support health brain development.