Apr. 11—With the warm weather and the longer days, plants are growing again, and flowers are blossoming. The energy level is going up, and people are starting to enjoy more outdoor activities like hiking, attending spring festivals, and barbecuing.
WHAT IS IN SEASON THIS SPRING?
>> Strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry
>> Sweet potatoes
>> Green beans
>> And many more!
Fruits provide nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of your body. Most fruit options are low in fat, sodium, and calories and have no cholesterol. Fiber is yet again another main function of produce, on top of having a slew of different micronutrients like folate, vitamin c, and potassium. Fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, keeps you feeling fuller longer, lowers the risk of heart disease, important for proper bowel function. Try and make as many of your sources whole sources.
All vegetables count here whether they are freeze-dried, frozen, canned, fresh, dried, and so on. Fiber yet again takes center stage as to why it's so important to consume them. The amount of vegetables you need varies, but the general rule of thumb for an adult is 5-9 servings. A serving is 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked. Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and include a wide range of nutrients like vitamin a, vitamin k, polyphenols, antioxidants, and much more. It's important to note that eating a wide variety is key.
Think color to get you started! Each color helps different parts of our body be healthy. Because there are so many different colors, we have a lot to choose from. If we don't eat some options from every color, we may miss out on some of the good things they do for us! Fruits and vegetables from different colors also taste unique, bringing more flavors to your spring dishes. It's important to make your plate colorful like a rainbow.
BLUE & PURPLE
The compound that causes some fruits and vegetables to be purple or blue is called anthocyanin. Anthocyanins have many health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-cancer benefits. Anthocyanins also appear to improve heart health by improving cholesterol levels, blood sugar metabolism, and high blood pressure. Blue and purple fruits and vegetables help with brain functions. When you think about brain function, what comes to your mind? For us, it's memory and focus. Examples of blue and purple produce include blackberries, blueberries, eggplants, plums, grapes, and raisins.
RED & PINK
Red fruits and vegetables help your heart and memory. Anthocyanins or carotenoids, a different plant chemical, can cause products to be red or pink. Carotenoids also have antioxidant properties and can help protect against chronic conditions. Beta carotene, the inactive form of vitamin A, is considered a carotenoid along with lutein and lycopene. Carotenoids can improve your eye and cardiovascular health, as well as it can protect you from cancer. Examples of red and pink produce include watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cherries, red apples, red peppers, and red potatoes.
ORANGE & YELLOW
Carotenoids also give an orange and yellow color to produce. Yellow fruits and vegetables help the gut and immune system. Orange fruits and vegetables help you to see and help you not get sick. Examples of orange and yellow produce include carrots, cantaloupe, lemons, mangoes, yams, yellow pepper, orange peppers, sweet potatoes, and tangerines.
The chemical that makes plants green is called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Green fruits and vegetables help you to have strong bones and teeth. Examples of green produce include limes, kiwis, spinach, asparagus, green apples, green grapes, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, celery, and broccoli.
The compound that makes some produce white is called anthoxanthins. Anthoxanthins are in the same family as anthocyanins, so they have the same benefit for the human body, like improving heart health, reducing inflammation, and risks of cancers. Examples of white produce include potatoes, cauliflower, artichokes, onions, and garlic.
Spring is around the corner, and Market Street's produce department is overflowing with the freshest fruits and veggies. Eating fruit and vegetables provides several different health benefits. People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. We want to eat all the colors to help our whole body.
Veggie Filled Cheesesteak
What You Need
1, 12oz pkg Frozen Quick Steak
1 pkg Signature Kitchen Frozen Peppers and onions, thawed
3, 8oz pkgs, Signature Kitchen Mushrooms
4 oz, Cheese of Choice (american cheese, goat cheese, brie, etc — something creamy or melty)
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 Tbsp. Pepper
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
4 Bakery Hoagie Rolls
How It's Made
1. In a medium pan, sweat out the peppers and onions.
2. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
3. Add them to the pan and sweat down.
4. Create a clear space in the middle of the pan and cook steak according to the package directions.
5. Mix ingredients all together and enjoy.