The spring season is a great time to harness all the healthy goodness that nature has to offer. Feel your best with these in-season picks.
Blast bloat with asparagus.
Feeing a little puffy? Eating six stalks of asparagus each day could cut your risk of bloat and gassiness by 55 percent in 10 days, French researchers say. Thanks go to compounds called
fructooligosaccharides that fuel the growth of healthy, digestion-boosting probiotic bacteria in the intestines.
Detox your liver with turnips.
Savoring turnips three times weekly cuts your risk of sluggishness by 55 percent, plus restores your stamina within one week if you’re feeling weary. That’s the word from Norwegian scientists, who say these hardy veggies have compounds (indoles) that activate detoxification enzymes in your liver.
Crush cravings with mushrooms.
You’ll lose weight 50 percent faster on any diet if you add 1⁄2 cup of cooked mushrooms to your daily meals. University of Minnesota researchers say mushrooms are brimming with appetite-taming fiber and protein, plus they contain a group of carbohydrates (polysaccharides) that stabilize blood sugar, preventing diet sabotaging cravings.
Beat anxious feelings with radishes.
When you’re getting tense or anxious, crunch on two radishes,
and you could feel 50 percent happier in two minutes. Radish compounds (glucosinolates and myrosinase) combine when you bite into them to produce their spicy kick, and scientists at Northwestern University say that strong flavor punch prompts your brain to release calming, anxiety-ending hormones called endorphins.
Delicious Ideas: For an appetizer, top radish slices with cream
cheese, chives and onion. For a salad, toss sliced radishes with
diced onion and cucumber. Top with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Boost energy with artichokes.
Enjoying four artichokes (or eight artichoke hearts) weekly can
reduce your risk of tiredness by as much as 60 percent, Swedish investigators report. Credit silymarin, a unique compound that boosts the absorption of fatigue-fighting minerals like potassium and magnesium, plus switches on the enzymes that help your muscles convert food into energy.
Enhance focus with snap peas.
Munching on a cup of sweet, crisp sugar snap peas — a cross between green and snow peas — increases your focus by 30 percent for three hours. Scientists at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut say 25 percent of a sugar snap’s calories come from amino acids, the building blocks of the brain-stimulating hormone dopamine.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.