Here are three seasonal products to enjoy in March: strawberries, peas, and Skrei cod. Surely you’ve heard that it’s good for you to eat seasonal foods, right? There are many benefits: they are tastier, healthier, cheaper and more sustainable for the environment.
However, although the benefits are often known, it’s not always easy to know which products are in season (because these days, virtually all foods can be found all year round, although once you try them, you can tell the difference). So here are some top tips from our nutrition and health section.
What seasonal foods are available in March? What are their properties?
With a beautiful red colour (due to flavonoids) and highly characteristic aroma, strawberries have many beneficial properties:
- High water content
- Fibre: like all fruits, which helps with constipation and helps to control cholesterol, triglyceride and blood glucose values.
- Vitamin C:100 g of strawberries provide the recommended daily allowance of this vitamin that our bodies need every day.
- Vitamin E
- Flavonoids (anthocyanins), the pigments that give strawberries their colour.
Flavonoids, vitamin E and C have great antioxidant power, which helps to fight free radicals and therefore protects the body against degenerative and cardiovascular disease (they also help to lower cholesterol and control “bad” cholesterol).
- They are also rich in vitamin B9 and folic acid, essential for pregnant women (it helps the correct growth of the neural tube in the embryo).
- They contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and fluid retention.
- Peas are rich in calcium and magnesium, important for bone health.
- They also contain vitamin C and iron, so they are a good choice for iron deficiency anaemia.
- They are rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, which means that, contrary to popular belief, they help to maintain more stable blood glucose values and are a good food option for diabetics (always accompanied by vegetables). They also help with constipation and regulate cholesterol and triglyceride values.
- Like the other legumes, they are very rich in vegetable-origin proteins, with a high biological value, and are excellent substitutes for animal-origin proteins, making them essential in vegan and vegetarian diets.
This cod is at its best from late February to late March and early April.
The name Skrei means nomad, since it migrates from the Barents Sea (Norway) to the Lofetens Islands to spawn. Once they have spawned, they return to the Barents Sea and those remaining on the islands are the ones that are usually fished.
To prepare for migration, the cod accumulate fat, which gives them a more intense flavour juicier flesh. Seafood provides many minerals and tastes delicious.
Other seasonal foods in March
In addition to these three foods that are now at their best, you can also enjoy: local kiwi fruit, oranges, apples, artichokes, wild asparagus, cauliflower, collard greens, Romanesco broccoli and red cabbage. And as for fish, Atlantic horse mackerel, Verdel mackerel, and soon the anchovies will be here!
Remember to maintain a good nutritional balance and as well as eating beneficial foods, take out anything harmful in your diet; those foods that are not recommended for health.
Dr Arantza López-Ocaña