We are entering a new growing season which means that we’ll start seeing some more local varieties of fruits and vegetables. As I’ve mentioned before, there are many reasons to focus on eating food that is in season.
Seasonal Spring Fare
These will be the fruits and vegetables that are at their peak, both in ripeness and nutritional value. They will be available from local sources like farmers markets, farm stands, and your local grocer that supports growers in your area. When you buy your food locally you are not only supporting the economy in your area, but you are also not receiving produce that had to be picked far before it was ready in order to arrive here from around the world.
You and your family could have a seasonal garden. Growing food together is a great way to learn planning strategies, organization techniques, cooperation, facts about ecology, and how to connect with the earth. Best of all is the mind-blowing pride that comes from eating something you grew yourself!
This is a great time to start incorporating some more raw vegetables into your diet. I like to eat them as snacks: raw carrots, celery, broccoli, and radishes dipped in a little pesto, hummus (garbonzo bean puree), plain, organic yogurt with a little chopped fresh herbs, sea salt, and pepper added, or baba ganoush (an Arabic eggplant puree with spices). Be creative!
If you have trouble digesting raw vegetables, you might not be producing enough digestive enzymes to do the job. (Raw vegetables require a little more digestive work to break them down.) Give me a call or shoot me an email. There are many ways to improve your digestion so that you can fully enjoy all the benefits of raw vegetables.
As another side note, if you have an under-active thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) you will want to avoid certain raw vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. They are considered to be goitrogenic, meaning that in their raw state they can lessen our absorbtion of iodine. We need iodine to make our main thyroid hormones, T3 and T4. Cooking inactivates the goitrogens, so eating them cooked would be fine.
If these thyroid supportive tips intrigue you because you have been told that that you have an under-active thyroid, contact me. I have seen fantastic results when addressing it in a holistic way.
Here is a list of goitrogenic foods:
- Soybeans (and soybean products such as tofu, soybean oil, soy flour, soy lecithin)
- Pine nuts
- Bamboo shoots
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
- Choy sum
- Collard greens
- Kai-lan (Chinese broccoli)
- Mustard greens
- Rapeseed (yu choy)
Some of the exciting fresh spring options:
- early cherries
- bok choy
- dandelion greens
- fava beans
- green garlic
- mustard greens
- nettles, onions
*The list of seasonal foods came from “Edible Marin and Wine Country”: a great resource for local food.