Ev Thomas/Shutterstock While available in cans year-round, fresh artichokes are at their prime in the spring—and they’re packed with nutrients. Just one artichoke provides about 25 percent of your daily fiber needs alongside plenty of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Potassium and magnesium are both needed to build proteins, support energy production and metabolism, and maintain healthy nerve and heart function.
Artichokes are also rich in polyphenols, beneficial plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Research has found that the polyphenols in artichokes can help protect against breast cancer, while fiber and inulin in the thistle (yes, it’s in the thistle family) act as prebiotics—they feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Artichokes are part of these 18 vegan appetizers anyone can enjoy.
CHALITSA HONGTONG/Shutterstock Asparagus popping up in farmers markets and on grocery store shelves is a sure sign of spring. The popular spring veggie has just 20 calories per cup, but over half of your daily needs for folate and nearly double your daily needs of vitamin K. Your body needs the nutrient to clot blood; it also helps your bones get the calcium they need to stay strong and healthy. Folate contributes to a healthy metabolism and neural development, so it’s especially important for pregnant women to support a baby’s developing brain. Asparagus is also a great source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that can help protect against many types of cancer.
For the perfect fresh flavors of spring, try this Asparagus Penne with Fresh Walnut Pesto!