Nettles—Most people are not aware that this common garden weed is a powerhouse of nutrition and an excellent addition to soups or stews. Nettles are proven to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms (check out my book Allergy-Proof for more information), and reduce water retention, while strengthening the liver, adrenal glands (the glands that deal with stress and boost energy), and kidneys. Wear thick gloves when picking them if you’re picking them yourself. The cooking process destroys the stinging portion of the plant, making them safe to eat. Also, make sure you find an experienced herbal guide if you are picking them yourself.
Peas—Packed with important nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B6, C, K, folate, and beta carotene, as well as the minerals iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, and it’s not hard to understand why peas make the Top 10 Spring Superfoods list. Add them to soups, stews, curries, or eat them fresh by snapping them out of their pods as a snack. Peas are excellent bone-builders, and their combination of nutrients helps reduce dangerous homocysteine levels that are linked to aging, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health conditions.
Rhubarb—One cup of cooked rhubarb contains 348 mg of calcium—that’s one of the best sources of calcium you can eat. That makes rhubarb an excellent choice for maintaining strong bones and teeth, and for preventing osteoporosis. It helps maintain healthy heart functioning and protects against some forms of cancer. While it is naturally tart, avoid using excessive amounts of sweeteners with this superfood. And, only eat the stems, not the leaves, since they are toxic. Stew rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces with a little water until soft, and sweeten with a bit of honey for a delicious, calcium-packed treat.
Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, PhD, RNCP, ROHP.