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10 ‘In Season In Spring Foods' That You've Just Gotta Have

Now that spring is here, pick these up in your produce aisle.

Food & Drink

Something that I enjoy doing is going to my local farmers market. There are tons of reasons why (like it's good for the environment, a great way to support local farmers and the prices are unmatched), yet one of the main ones is because of how fresh the produce seems to be; especially during the spring and autumn seasons. Well, since spring is upon us (can you believe it?), I thought that now would be just a good of a time as any to share some of the fruits and veggies that are in season during this time of the year. Specific foods that you should definitely cop because they will be more delicious and filled with more nutrients than any other time which is why eating things when they are in season (whether they are in the store when they are out of season or not) really is the way to go. Are you ready to pull out your grocery list and jot a few of these down? Let's do it.

1. Cherries (May-August)

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Without a doubt, one of my favorite fruits is cherries. Well, cherries when they're in season because otherwise, they taste too watery or they feel too mushy. Anyway, as far as health benefits go, cherries are good for you because they contain a good amount of protein, fiber, Vitamin C and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants as well as having anti-inflammatory properties in them. Not only that, but if you're looking for a fruit that will keep your heart healthy, improve arthritis-related symptoms and fight free radicals that can lead to aging, cherries will have your back in this area too.

Something else that's cool about cherries is, since they have melatonin in them, they are a low-calorie snack that you can enjoy before turning in at night. Also, since they've got the plant compound phytoestrogens in them, cherries are great for menopausal women if you're looking for a natural way to heighten the estrogen levels in your system.

Try This: Northwest Cherry Salsa Recipe

2. Carrots (May-sometimes December)

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Whenever I know I'm low in fiber and I want something light to snack on, I'll get some bite-sized carrots. Fiber aside, carrots also have Vitamin B6 and K, potassium, biotin and beta-carotene (an antioxidant that your body converts to Vitamin A). Some awesome things about the health benefits of carrots is they do everything from lower your cholesterol levels and support your eye health to help to keep your skin glowing as they boost your immunity.

Try This: Sauteed Carrots Recipe

3. Mangoes (May-September)

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Stringiness aside, hands down, one of my favorite fruits are mangoes. And yes, I can definitely tell the difference between what one is like when I have it in season and when I attempt to eat one out of season (the latter? Please avoid it at all costs). It's kind of crazy how something so sweet can be filled with so many different nutrients yet mangoes are a really good source of fiber, protein, Vitamin C, copper and folate. Mangoes also have vitamins A, B5, E, K, potassium, manganese and magnesium in them. Thanks to they're antioxidants, this is another food that is great for your immune system. The Vitamin C in them will help you to produce collagen which gives your hair and skin more "bounce" and youthfulness. Since mangoes contain a prebotic fiber, they're good for your gut health and, if you happen to be diabetic, this fruit is one you can enjoy without any fear or guilt because its average glycemic index is somewhere around 51. 51 and lower are a glycemic food that diabetics are typically able to eat.

Try This: Thai Mango Salad Recipe

4. Scallions (Late March-August)

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Scallions are a vegetable that come from the allium (onions, garlic, shallot, leeks, chives) family. If you've never had them before, they basically taste like onions except much milder. Scallions contain protein, plant fiber, folate, vitamins A, B, C and E. If you're looking for the kind of food that will strengthen your heart, improve your bone health, lessen period discomfort and even hinder the growth of cancer cells, look no further than this veggie that is at its peak during the spring season.

Try This: Chinese Scallion Pancake Recipe

5. Pineapples (March-July)

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When it comes to Vitamin C's RDI (recommended dietary intake) in pineapples, it really is off the charts. You can get a whopping 131 percent with each serving. Pineapples also have 76 percent of the manganese that your system needs along with fiber, protein and respectable amounts of Vitamin B, folate, potassium and magnesium. The antioxidants in pineapples have a great reputation for reducing oxidative stress. They're digestive enzymes can make digesting food a lot easier on your body. Believe it or not, pineapples can fight bodily inflammation (including arthritis thanks to the protein-digesting enzyme bromelain that's in it) and they're an immune-boosting fruit that totally has your back, if you're looking for something delicious that can actually help you to lose weight.

Try This: Grill-Roasted Pineapple Recipe

6. Artichokes (March-May)

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I'm assuming that the way most of us are familiar with artichokes is spinach and artichoke dip. Well, every time you indulge in some, you're taking in a ton of fiber and protein, for starters. Artichokes are also a veggie that have vitamins C and K, folate, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron in them. If you're looking for a food that will help to lower your cholesterol levels while also helping to regulate your blood pressure, artichokes can totally make that happen.

Something else that's great about this vegetable is the antioxidants cynarin and silymarin are beneficial in boosting the health of your liver (which is always a good thing). If you've got IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), artichokes can bring you some relief. They also contain cancer-fighting properties and the folate that's in them can reduce the inflammation that is associated with allergies.

Try This: Roasted Artichokes Recipe

7. Apricots (May-July)

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Did you know that the other name for apricots is Armenian plums? They're a fruit that are smaller than a peach and tastes a lot like a plum. Anyway, vitamins A, C and E, as well as potassium, calcium, beta carotene, fiber and protein are what apricots are a pretty good source of. If you want a type of food that will protect your skin from damaging sun rays, will promote good gut health, has non-heme iron in it (iron that comes from plant-based foods), strengthens bones and boosts your metabolism, bite into an apricot. You won't regret it.

Try This: Apricot Lemon Iced Tea Recipe

8. Peas (April)

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Peas and rice are bomb. And while a lot of us tend to get peas from a can, they do taste different when they are fresh, in season and still in the pod (via your produce section). Peas are a good source of zinc, protein, fiber, vitamins A, B, C and E as well as antioxidants, iron and phytonutrients (plant chemical compounds). They're great for your health because the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are good for your eyes, plus they help to regulate blood sugar levels. Not only that but the nutrient coumestrol can protect you from getting stomach cancer and, if you're looking to increase your man's sperm motility, peas are down for doing that too (if they're snow peas, that is).

Try This: Green Pea Dip Recipe

9. Strawberries (April-June)

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I'm gonna be honest. Something that irks the mess outta me is to see strawberries in the produce section year-round. I don't care if the national strawberry season is supposedly every month but December or not, I'm rocking with the deep south farmers who say your best bet is to get them spring through summer (you can definitely taste the difference—big time!).

One reason why I think it's fitting that strawberries are at their best during the warmer months is because they contain 91 percent water, so they can definitely keep you well-hydrated. This is a fruit that also has fiber, antioxidants, manganese, folate and potassium in them. Snack on some if you want to protect yourself from heart disease, regulate your blood sugar, boost your immunity, improve your vision, reduce inflammation, strengthen your immunity or keep the elastin in your skin longer.

Try This: Ricotta and Strawberry Toast Recipe

10. Dandelion Greens (March-June)

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While virtually all dark leafy greens are good for you, various ones are at their best during different times of the year. Take dandelion greens, for example. Spring is when you can get the most potent combination of its vitamins A, B, C, E and K, along with iron, calcium, fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. The bioactive compounds in these kinds of greens will help to reduce bodily inflammation, its chicoric and chlorogenic acids will help to keep your blood sugar levels under control, plus dandelion greens contain other properties that help to reduce cholesterol levels, lower your blood pressure, keep your liver healthy, support healthy digestion, keep you regular and protect your skin from sun damage. So, if you want to try a different kind of greens than spinach, kale or collards, consider dandelion. It will literally do your body good.

Try This: Pasta with Dandelion Greens, Garlic, and Pine Nuts Recipe

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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