by Jon E. Dougherty
When most people think of the term “superfood,” they think of exotic fruits or imported vegetables from places with foreign names and distant locales. In reality, many of the foods you likely eat and even grow in your own garden are superfoods.
The common definition of a superfood is any food (fruit, vegetable, etc.) that you can consume that has a high concentration of nutrients and anti-oxidants. Many of these are probably foods that your mother told you that you had to eat if you wanted to leave the dinner table or to grow up to be big and strong.
Here is a list of superfoods that will grow in just about any location in the northern hemisphere with a growing season of 3 months or more. If you start from seeds, you will likely need to start them indoors before the spring thaw to maximize your growing time outdoors.
Broccoli – is probably the best-known and most often cited superfood that is commonly grown in home garden plots. Broccoli has several benefits including being a great source of antioxidants.
1. Carrots – are likely the other most well-known of superfoods that are commonly grown and eaten in the U.S. Carrots are thick with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and nearly every vitamin you can name.
2. Garlic – a favorite spice for cooking, this stuff is loaded with nearly everything good for you that you can imagine. It’s a known cardiovascular booster, an anti-microbial, and more.
3. Green Beans – have to be one of the easiest things to grow and are grown both in garden plots and potted indoors to vine up walls or along racks. Beans are good for kidney stones, arthritis, and are packed with minerals.
4. Spinach – isn’t just for Popeye, Olive. It’s a very easy plant to grow, gives edible leaves throughout the season, and has some of the highest concentrations of vitamins A and C and folic acid you can get.
5. Squash – of nearly any type is great for you. Acorn, Butternut, Pumpkins, and many others are packed with fiber, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and much more.
6. Tomatoes – are everyone’s favorite garden vegetable (fruit, actually) to grow and the subject of intense scrutiny and competition. Tomatoes are also full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and light acids that aid digestion.
7. These are just a few of the many superfoods you can grow in your own garden this year to promote better health. Gardening can not only be a fun, healthy way to spend your spare time this summer, but it can also lower your food bills, raise your health and nutritional levels, and bring your family closer together!
Start gardening and grow your own superfoods this spring!