Fresh foods to try this spring

Fruits and vegetables offer a 'taste' of warmer weather

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Spring is the perfect time to "freshen up" your diet and try new foods.

Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic who offered several suggestions to get a "taste" of warmer weather.  She said kohlrabi is a great springtime addition to any diet.

"Kohlrabi looks like a radish. A lot of people don't know what to do with it.  It's very high in vitamin C, as well as fiber, so it's a great vegetable," said Kirkpatrick.   

Kirkpatrick said kohlrabi can be steamed, roasted or sautéed.  It can also be cut it into slices and baked to make chips.

Fresh fruit is also an easy addition.  Kirkpatrick said chomping on cherries in the springtime will provide lots of vitamin C and beta carotene, while munching on mango boosts vitamin E.  Two studies have linked vitamin E to a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Kirkpatrick said asparagus is great this time of year and will help increase folate levels.

"Folate we know is important for women in their child-bearing years because that folate helps to prevent neural-tube defects," said Kirkpatrick.  "Asparagus provides us with a great source of that folate, also high in vitamin C and also high in potassium, as well."

Kirkpatrick also recommends cooking with fennel.  She said it has a delicate licorice flavor, can be used as an herb, and is loaded with vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

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