Feel your best with these in-season picks.
Collard greens are loaded with vitamins ! and K, and according to researchers these nutrients energize detoxification enzymes in the liver to help it break down herbicides, pesticides and other toxins more quickly and easily. Enjoy as little as ½ cup daily and you could enhance your liver’s detox, potential in 72 hours.
Adding a 1 cup serving of plump green peas to a meal can chase away tiredness for up to five hours. How? According to investigators at the USDA, 25 percent of peas’ calories come from amino acids-the basic building blocks of the energizing neurotransmitter dopamine.
Sweet, tender butter lettuce contains a unique compound (lactucarium) that calms the amygdala (the brain’s anxiety center), say scientists. The effect is so powerful that it helps 63 percent of women who eat 1 cup a day feel more relaxed. DELICIOUS IDEAS: Use butter lettuce in place of bread in chicken-or tuna-salad wraps to cut carbs. Or make a tangy salad by mixing 2 cups of butter lettuce, half a sliced grapefruit, half a diced avocado and 1 tsp. of chopped dill. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
Asparagus is rich in vitamin B1, folate and saponins-a nutrient trio that calms the adrenal glands to tamp down the production of mood-sapping cortisol in as little as 10 minutes. Consume six stalks with a meal or as a snack and Canadian researchers say you could feel more upbeat for three hours.
Great news: Enjouing a heaping cup of spinach every day can help you shed 1 pound a week. That’s because spinach is packed with alpha-liponic acid and nitrate-nutrients that soak into liver cells and ramp up their ability to convert fats into ATP (the body’s key source of cellular fuel).
Struggling to keep your brain on task? Enjoying ¾ cup of crunchy d daily can help. British researchers say red pigments in the veggie, called anthocyanins, increase the brain’s production of the focus-enhancing neurotransmitter acetylcholine-an effect that improves focus and concentration by as much as 32 percent in 10 days.