Picking up some produce from the farmer’s market or your local grocery can do wonders for your health and wellness. Feel your best with these five picks of green vegetables that are currently in-season!
Fresh asparagus is one of the many in-season green vegetables that are a sure sign of spring! And British scientists say enjoying eight spears daily tames inflammation, relaxes tight muscles, and speeds the healing of damaged tissues to tamp down stiffness and pain, thanks to the veggie’s vitamin B-1, folate, and vitamin K. Tip: Asparagus can be substituted (cup-for-cup) for green beans in any recipe.
Tender green scallions add zip to sauces, sides, and salads. Rich in sulforaphane, a compound that activates liver detoxification genes, these mild onions speed toxin breakdown by as much as 22 percent when you enjoy 1⁄4 cup daily, report Canadian scientists.
Enjoying three artichokes (or six artichoke hearts) weekly cuts the risk of sluggishness and fatigue in half. So say Swedish researchers, who credit an artichoke compound (silymarin) that boosts the absorption of energizing minerals like potassium and magnesium, plus switches on enzymes that help muscles burn food for energy.
Tender spring spinach adds freshness to wraps, pizzas, pastas, and more — and Yale University researchers say eating one heaping cup daily can help you shed four pounds a month, without dieting! Thanks goes to lipoic acid, a compound that soaks easily into muscle cells, where it activates enzymes that convert stored fats into ATP, your body’s key source of cellular fuel.
Crisp sugar snap peas are a tasty time-saver since their pods are edible — no shelling required! Add one cup to a meal or snack (try dipping them into cream cheese), and you could boost your focus by 30 percent for three hours. That, say researchers at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, is because 25 percent of a sugar snap’s calories come from amino acids — the basic building blocks of the brain-stimulating hormone dopamine.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.