Many area farmers markets are in full swing, offering healthy seasonal foods that are locally and regionally grown. Right now is the best time to get these in-season selections:
- Asparagus — at its peak from March through June — contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, a natural diuretic. Increased urination releases fluid and helps rid the body of excess salts, which benefits those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases. It is also low in fat, high in fiber and a good source of iron, B vitamins and vitamin C. Roast them on the grill or sauté in olive oil for a delicious, healthy addition to your meal.
- Strawberry season runs from April through June. One cup offers 3.5 grams of fiber and meets 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. Buy strawberries grown close to home for the best flavor, choosing the ones that are plump, firm and uniform in color.
- Sweet cherries are in season from late spring through early summer. They’re high in fiber and potassium and low in calories: one cup of cherries is about 100 calories. Cherries are full of anthocyanins, a type of phytochemical believed to be high in antioxidant activity.