It might seem like the beginning of the growing season, but there are already some fruits and veggies reaching their peak picking time. Some of these may surprise you and some you may not have tried, yet. You've probably seen them at the store before, not knowing what they are. Provided next to the names are brief descriptions of their appearance to give you a better idea of what to look for. Go through this list and see what you can throw into your next snack or meal! With all the major health benefits, you'll be glad you did.
Eat your greens. Dark and leafy greens are the green flag in the state of health. They’re rich in fiber, which means you’ll feel fuller longer and it helps lower your cholesterol. Even when you’re eating them, you’re getting water, too. Water paired with the vitamins and minerals within these greens lead to healthy skin and hair. Other hardy green veggies, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, provide the body with cancer-preventing compounds. Throw them into a smoothie or a stir fry. Click here to try the Skinny Potato Sausage Casserole with Greens!
- Broccoli: We've all seen broccoli, or baby trees as your kiddo might say
- Fennel: A white ribbed bulb with green stalks attached, sometimes with parsley-looking leaves
- Kale: So many variations, always a dark green, sometimes a deep purple with thick stems and broad leaves that fold inward and curl up at the edges
- Leeks: A thick and simple green with a white tip at the bottom, like a bigger version of a green onion or scallion
- Brussels sprouts: Gorgeous green bulbs with layers of outer leaves and an off-white bottom, sometimes several are still attached to the branch, like ornaments on a tree
>> Read more: 11 Ways to Eat Kale
Get to the root. Root veggies are usually an element of fall — throwing them into slow-cookers, roasting them for a side dish — but they are ready to go right now. And yes, you’re literally eating the root of the plant. The green leafy or blooming stems above ground don’t hold as much nutritional value. Most of them contain a surplus of beta-carotene from vitamin A, which contributes to the health of skin, bones, teeth and soft tissue. Vitamin A is also known as retinol, related to the retina of the eye. So, there is truth to carrots improving your eyes in both function and sight. Try them as a side dish by chopping, adding oil and salt, then roasting at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or puree for a soup. Click here to get inspired with some soup and stew recipes aimed for detox.
- Celery Root: An off-white and yellow, lumpy ball that might resemble a super tiny version of the moon
- Turnip: A beautiful blend of purple and white blend around the bulb, and the green stalk is usually still attached
- Rutabaga: Very similar to a turnip in appearance, but usually with a deeper purple and tougher skin
- Sunchoke: Looks a lot like ginger root with a light brown peel over a knotty branch-like root
- Salsify: Like thin fuzzy brown carrots, resembles parsnips when peeled, revealing their white centers
>> Read more: Glossary of Supplements: Beta-Carotene
Selective citrus. Bright, colorful and often delicious when chilled, these juicy citrus fruits are stacking up at the grocery store. They’re packed with vitamin C, but even cooler are all the flavonoids inside that are free-radical neutralizers and cancer-fighting machines. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association stated women who eat citrus have a lower risk of strokes by nearly 20 percent compared to those who don’t eat them. Click here if you're craving fruit, but not the sugar!
- Grapefruit: Pale orange peel, larger than oranges
- Kiwi: Small brown fuzzy egg-shaped fruits that can fit in the palm of your hand
- Oranges, Blood Oranges: Oranges are oranges, but a blood orange will have a reddish pigment to the peel
- Pineapple: If you can't find the precut stuff, pick up a slightly prickly melon-sized version
- Ugli Fruit: Lumpy and misshapen, often with a greenish yellow skin with the texture of an orange (very sweet, though!)
>> Read more: How to Make a Great Green Smoothie