Your diet can do wonders for keeping you alert and energized every day. That’s why it’s important to load up on health-boosting veggies, especially when they’re in season. Here are six tasty spring vegetables that you should add to your daily diet!
Broccoli rabe pairs beautifully with garlic and rich meats (try blanching it to remove bitterness, then add to sausage and pepper bakes or beef stews). Enjoy a one cup serving, and Columbia University researchers say you could boost your energy and stamina by 35 percent for four hours. Credit broccoli rabe’s polyphenols, which help your liver burn fats to produce the energy enzyme ATP.
A daily one cup serving of collard greens can make your skin look smoother, healthier and up to eight years younger, say Stanford University researchers. Thanks goes to collard nutrients (lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin C) that heal and rejuvenate the epidermal layer of the skin, plus prompt the formation of strong, healthy, skin-smoothing collagen.
A tasty way to stay healthy: Cook with kale! A study in Cell suggests eating 4 cups weekly enhances immune cell communication to strengthen your ability to fight viral invaders by 45 percent. Bonus: Other cruciferous veggies offer the benefit.
Delicious Ideas: For a savory side, sauté minced garlic for one minutes, add rinsed and chopped kale, cover and cook until tender (five to seven minutes). Or toss sautéed garlic kale into pasta with other veggies for a tasty primavera.
Nothing says spring like fresh asparagus! And this seasonal treat brims with compounds (fructooligosaccharides) that fuel the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines, French scientists say. No wonder nibbling on six stalks daily cuts bloat and gassiness by 55 percent for three in four women studied. Tip: Roasting asparagus at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes brings out its natural sweetness.
Feeling foggy? Adding 3⁄4 cup of peas to a meal can sharpen your focus for up to five hours. USDA researchers say that’s because 25 percent of this vegetable’s calories come from amino acids, the building blocks of the brain-energizing hormone dopamine. Plus, peas contain nutrients that help brain cells absorb and use glucose for fuel.
Weight Loss Hero
Savoy cabbage is milder, sweeter, and more tender than its red and green cousins. And Yale University researchers say it offers a unique blend of nutrients that block fat absorption in the intestines and flush trapped fluids — helping you effortlessly shed three pounds monthly if you add a heaping cup of this veggie to your daily diet.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.