March is National Nutrition Month! You’re probably seeing lots more tweets about ways to boost your vitamin and mineral intake and a whirlwind of Facebook posts about the latest fad diets and weight loss trends. What you might NOT being seeing quite as much of, is a focus on what we know to be the most overwhelmingly potent, natural source(s) of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in our world– fruits and vegetables!
To celebrate National Nutrition Month and the nutrition found naturally in fruits and vegetables, we’ve put together a list of vegetable and fruit facts, specifically related to the fruits and veggies that are in-season in March!
Fruit Fact: Citrus Fruits (in peak season in March)
We all know that citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines and kumquats are high in Vitamin C. Many citrus fruits are in the peak of their season during March, and they’re one source of MANY impressive nutritional benefits. Citrus fruits contain limonins, a compound which is shown to have preventive effects against certain cancer types. Heavy hitters in the potassium, folate, calcium, niacin, phosphorous, and Vitamin B categories, citrus fruits pack nutritional punch that shouldn’t be overlooked this month.
Vegetable Fact: Artichokes (in peak season in March)
A study conducted by the USDA back in 2004 found that artichokes rank 7th on their list of fruits, vegetables and nuts with the highest antioxidant content, and placed as the vegetable with the highest disease fighting antioxidant levels out there. Artichokes also contain substantial levels of calcium, potassium, iron and are rich in Vitamin B. Artichoke, anyone?
Fruit Fact: Berries (peak season winds down in March)
The antioxidants in berries have been shown to have anti-aging, memory, and urinary tract health benefits. Berries are also high in fiber, which means that despite their sugar content, they can safely be counted as a serving of fruit for people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), berries are actually a diabetes superfood because of their low-carb count and their high antioxidant, vitamin and fiber content.
Vegetable Fact: Broccoli (in peak season in March)
Broccoli is high in fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, Vitamin A, and many other vitamins and minerals. Studies have found that the nutritional content of broccoli can help prevent colon cancer, and even lower risk for cataracts! Pound for pound, it contains more calcium than a glass of milk and more Vitamin C than oranges. When you’re shopping for fresh produce this month, make sure you have broccoli on your list.
These are just a few fruit and veggie facts that relate to closely to the produce you can find in-season this month, but we encourage you to seek opportunities to try new fresh fruits and vegetables every month! It’s a fact that fruits and veggies purchased while fresh and in-season come with more flavor and boosts in nutrients; oftentimes, you can find fresh fruit at an even lower cost!
We’d love to hear what your favorite fruits and veggies are! Let us know in the comments section below! And let us know if you give any of the above fruits and veggies a try!