Looking to feel your best the natural way? Well, a healthy and balanced diet is a great way to do so. Try adding these six tasty and healing vegetables to your diet to boost your overall health and mood!
Baby spinach is a pain eraser.
If winter left you feeling stiff and sore, enjoying a heaping cup of baby spinach daily could put the spring back in your step within two weeks, plus halve your risk of summertime aches and pains. How? Boston University researchers credit spinach’s rich stores of vitamin K-1, a nutrient that dampens tissue inflammation, flushes trapped fluids out of joints and speeds the healing of damaged muscles and ligaments.
Radishes are an anxiety ender.
When you’re feeling rattled, crunching on a crispy radish can induce calm in 15 seconds — and for up to 90 minutes, say Ayurvedic physicians. According to their research, compounds in these gems (glucosinolates and myrosinase) stimulate the release of nerve-steadying beta brain waves. Hint: Slicing and soaking radishes in ice water for1hour eases their spicy bite.
Artichokes are a fatigue fighter.
Enjoying three artichokes (or six artichoke hearts) weekly could boost your energy and stamina by 50 percent, say scientists from Sweden, who credit the compound silymarin with enhancing the absorption of fatigue-fighting potassium and magnesium, plus switching on enzymes that help muscles burn food for energy.
Butter lettuce is a happiness booster.
You’re twice as likely to feel content if you eat butter lettuce each day, scientists from Great Britain say. The tender green’s vitamin C, betacarotene, and lactucarium stimulate brain nerves that fuel calm energy.
Delicious meal ideas: Fill a lettuce leaf with deli-sliced chicken, bacon, tomato, and mayonnaise. Or sauté 3 heads of trimmed butter lettuce (cut into strips) with 1⁄2 cup of sliced red onion and one tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce, tossing in one tablespoon of sesame seeds before serving.
Rhubarb is a craving stopper.
Biting into sweet-tart rhubarb nixes food cravings for up to 2 hours, say scientists from Canada. That’s because rhubarb’s distinctive flavor prompts the release of calming, appetite-taming alpha brain waves. To make a rhubarb sauce for grilled meat, simmer 4 cups of chopped rhubarb in cup of water, 1⁄2 cup of sugar, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes.
Asparagus is a bloat blaster.
Nutrients in asparagus fuel the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines, reducing the risk of bloat, burps and gas by 55 percent if you enjoy six stalks daily, research out of France suggests. For a yummy spring side, season the spears with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and top with grated Parmesan and mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.