Add the luck of the Irish to your daily diet by eating more green. Green veggies are good for you. They are good for your heart, your lungs, vision and babies-to-be. Eat some every day. Eat green veggies when they are seasonally fresh and at their peak, especially in the spring.

• Cabbage: Corned beef and cabbage is always a favorite on St. Patrick’s Day. But why not eat cabbage all year long? It is filled with powerful cancer-fighting nutrients. In fact, it contains 11 of the 15 vegetable compounds thought to prevent cancer, especially lung and prostate. Compounds in cabbage have also been shown to stop cancer cells from growing. These compounds are most effective in fighting cancers of the breast, liver and lung. Enjoy cabbage slaw, corned beef cabbage and shredded cabbage in soups and salads.

• Asparagus: Spring has sprung when this member of the lily family appears. Nutritionally it is best known for having an abundance of folate - a vitamin necessary for moms-to-be. Folate helps prevent birth defects and premature deliveries. If you are not planning to have babies, eat asparagus anyway. Folate will help prevent heart disease. Serve fresh asparagus raw in the spring, or roasted and steamed any time of the year.

• Spinach: Keep your eyes in focus by eating more spinach. Rich in lutein, spinach helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It is also abundant in vitamin K which is important for strong bones and a healthy heart. Enjoy spinach fresh, sautéed or steamed in the microwave.

 

Roasted Herbed Asparagus

Serves 5.

All you need:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or marjoram (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper

• 1/8 teaspoon onion salt

• 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

• Shaved Parmesan cheese, optional

All you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

Blend olive oil, tarragon, garlic pepper and onion salt in small bowl.

Place asparagus in shallow bowl and drizzle with olive oil mixture. Toss gently. Arrange on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Serve topped with shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 83 calories, 7g fat, 40mg sodium, 4g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 3g protein.

 

-- Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com .