Spring is here, which means warmer weather and a burning desire to get outside. It’s time to put away the winter clothes, break out the warm weather ones and enjoy all of the wonderful spring foods the season has to offer.
We know that science confirms the nutritional and beautifying health benefits of a whole foods diet for our bodies, and that includes partaking in the tasty greens of spring! It is estimated that more than 5,000 phytochemicals have been identified, with more and more convincing evidence that suggests the benefits of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables may be even greater than currently understood.
To prevent oxidative stress induced by free radicals, sufficient amounts of antioxidants need to be consumed. Fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of antioxidant compounds (phytochemicals), such as phenolics and carotenoids, that may help protect cellular systems from oxidative damage and enhance our skin.
Ramp it up
Ramps are a wonderful spring green native to North America and are considered by many to be one of the prized plants of the spring season. The bulb resembles that of a scallion, but with a beautiful flat leaf that tastes and smells similar to a combination of onions and garlic. They are good for healthy skin: Ramps are an excellent source of vitamin A and contain 20 percent of RDA for vitamin C to help make collagen, folate to help create new cells, and selenium to help repair damaged cells. Ramps pair well with asparagus, another prized vegetable that is rich in potassium, vitamins A and K, folate and glutathione. Combine these two nutrient-rich vegetables with a healthy amount of avocado and fresh spring spinach for a fabulous raw soup that not only tastes great but is also great for your looks!
Chilled Avocado, Asparagus, Ramp & Spinach Soup Recipe
Makes 5 Servings–Serving Size: 1 cup
2 avocados, peeled and pitted (about 12 ounces)
2 cups water
2 cups asparagus, chopped, woody bottoms removed
2 tablespoons celery, peeled, chopped
4 teaspoons lite soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup fresh spring ramp leaves, cleaned, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 ½ teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped, stems removed
1 ½ cups fresh spinach, packed
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a tall pot or deep mixing bowl. Puree with a vertical stick blender until smooth, or place all ingredients in a blender and blend until a smooth puree.
Enjoy the bounty of spring and give this fabulous soup a try—your skin will be glad you did!
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