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7 Must-Eat Fruits and Veggies for the Spring Season

    With spring here and summer right around the corner, I wanted to share a few very healthy examples of things you can be enjoying with a leaner and healthier you in mind. Enjoy!

1. Strawberries                                    

The Stats: A cup of whole strawberries has 45 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 140 percent of the daily value for Vitamin C.
Health Benefits: Strawberries are naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free, and they're an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese, dietary fiber, iodine and potassium. Strawberries contain an array of beneficial phytonutrients including flavonoids, and may also protect against macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis. 

2. Beets                                                
                                                     
The Stats: A ½ cup of boiled and sliced beets contains 35 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 6 percent of the daily value for vitamin C.
Health Benefits: Beets are an excellent source of folate, which promotes healthy tissue growth.  These colorful root vegetables also contain powerful nutrients to help prevent heart disease, birth defects and some cancers, and they may also help to increase good cholesterol levels. 

3. Limes
                                                     
The Stats: The juice of one lime has 10 calories and 10 percent of the daily value for Vitamin C.
Health Benefits: The Vitamin C in limes helps the body neutralize free radicals, thereby helping maintain a healthy immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. 

4. Tangerines
                 
The Stats: A small tangerine contains 35 calories, 1 gram of fiber and 10 percent of the daily value for Vitamin A and 30 percent for Vitamin C.
Health Benefits: Like most citrus fruits, tangerines are a great source of Vitamin C, which aids the body’s healing process by helping the formation of collagen.  They’re also rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, and orange-red carotenoid that may significantly lower a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

5. Mushrooms

The Stats: A ½ cup of mushroom has 10 calories, zero fat and 2 percent of the daily value for Vitamin C.
Health Benefits: Mushrooms are an excellent source of minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. They’re also associated with the decreased risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia, an increase in size of the prostate which can lead to urinary problems. 

6. Avocados

The Stats: 1 serving (a ¼ of an avocado) has 50 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of fiber and 152mg of potassium.
Health Benefits: Avocados contain olecic acid, a monosaturated fat that may help lower cholesterol.  They’re also a good source of potassium, which regulates blood pressure and may guard against circulatory diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. 

7. Spinach

The Stats: Two cups of raw spinach leaves have 10 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 30 percent of the daily value for Vitamin C, 8 percent for iron and 400 percent for Vitamin K.
Health Benefits: At least 13 different types of flavonoids, which function as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents, have been found in spinach.  Spinach also contains lutein, a carotenoid that helps protect against eye diseases and is a good source of bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium. 


REFERENCES
  • Core Performance Nutrition - Megan Mangano, May 2009

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