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Now that spring's here, it's time to take a break from winter vegetables and pre-packaged food and start enjoying the bounty of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies. For a special treat, sink your teeth into these nutrient-packed superfoods that will help keep your body—and eyes—healthy.
These thorny vegetables may look intimidating to prepare, but at 25 calories each, they're worth the effort. And they're the perfect complement to any meal. When buying, choose uniformly colored, firm artichokes with closed petals. Artichokes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six days. To prepare them, rinse under cold water, chop about an inch off the top, and trim the stem to about a half-inch long. Make sure to watch out for the thorns!
Whether you steam, bake, boil, or grill artichokes, you'll be eating a delicious, fat and cholesterol free side dish packed with fiber and vitamin C.
What's inside: 25 calories each, no fat or cholesterol Try this: Chop off top inch, trim stem, and rinse thoroughly. Steam, bake, boil, or grill.
This popular vegetable is especially tasty in the spring. It's low in fat and high in folate and vitamin A—nutrients necessary for healthy eyes. Since five spears weigh in at only 20 calories, you can enjoy a large serving, guilt-free.
Choose spears with closed tips and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. To prepare, wash thoroughly and snap off the bottom, bitter ends of the stalks. For a savory, heart-healthy side dish, steam, bake, roast, or grill asparagus and season with your favorite spices and a little olive oil.
What's inside: 20 calories for 5 spears, high in vitamin A and folate Try this: Snap off bottom ends and rinse thoroughly. Steam, bake, roast, or grill.
This versatile vegetable is packed with fiber, vitamin A, iron, folate, magnesium, and other vitamins to keep your eyes healthy. With only 40 calories in 1½ cups, spinach is the perfect addition to any meal. Enjoy it raw in salad, tossed in soup, or simply steamed with fresh lemon drizzled over the top. Use fresh, crisp leaves that have little or no bruising. Spinach will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
What's inside: 40 calories for 1½ cups; high in fiber, iron, and vitamin A Try this: Rinse thoroughly, eat raw in salad, or steam it.
You know spring's in the air when strawberries start showing up at your local farmer's market and grocery store. Be sure to grab a box of these juicy, sweet beauties when you're shopping. With only 50 calories in eight strawberries, you'll get a nutritious blast of vitamin C and folate. Grab some fresh strawberries for an on-the-go treat, add them to desserts, or toss them into a salad—the options are endless.
Select firm, shiny berries with a bright red color. They'll keep in your refrigerator for up to three days, but don't wash them until you're ready to eat them.
What's inside: 50 calories for 8 berries, high in vitamin C and folate Try this: Rinse thoroughly just before eating.