Better Skin, Better Mood, and So Much More — These Spring Veggies Are Good for the Body and Soul
Fill up your plate with these produce picks.
My favorite warm weather activity is going to the farmer’s market to buy in-season vegetables. At their peak, spring veggies like peas and bell peppers elevate every dish they’re in — in terms of taste, of course, but also in terms of health. How? They’re packed with nutrients and minerals essential to your body’s function, from boosting your mood to aiding digestion. The best way to reap these benefits is by eating veggies raw. Cooking them works fine, too, so long as you don’t overdo it. (Too-done veggies can lose their nutritional value.) And so, to power-pack your spring with in-season vegetables that boost your health, buy up the below produce the next time you’re at the market or grocery store.
To Improve Skin Health: Spring peas
Work a serving of spring peas into your daily diet, and your skin could look smoother and healthier over time. Researchers reporting in the journal Legume Science say the tiny green gems brim with firming, collagen-healing proteins including lysine. Plus, peas having a rich vitamin C and flavonoid content may help to repair damaged skin cells, increase moisture retention, and improve skin tone.
To Boost Mood: Spinach
Eating mild-tasting spring spinach as part of your daily vegetable intake could help reduce your risk of depression, suggests a 2018 study. This benefit is likely due to the leafy green brimming with a nutrient called alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). According to a 2011 study, ALA has been associated with altering brain biochemistry as a way to decrease depression and promote calmer feelings.
To Promote Healthy Digestion: Beets
Adding beets to your everyday diet may lower your risk of indigestion and other stomach troubles. The reason: Beets are a rich source of fiber. Research published in the journal Nutrients found that fiber speeds the growth of healthy probiotic bacteria in the intestines. Additionally, researchers suggests that fiber prods the GI tract to release gut-healing compounds called short-chain fatty acids.
To End Aches: Bell Peppers
Bell peppers don’t just add a pop of color to your meal — nibbling on one cup with a meal could help reduce ache-triggering inflammation. Credit goes to the peppers’ anti-inflammatory plant compounds called beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Both of these compounds play a role in easing pain, swelling, and stiffness throughout your body.
To Rev Metabolism: Cauliflower
Want to shed winter’s stubborn hibernation pounds? Cauliflower can help! The veggie contains a compound called choline, which is essential for stabilizing your metabolism. Cauliflower is the perfect veggie to aid your health goals as a 2018 review of studies found a positive connection between vegetable consumption and weight loss in adults.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.