10 Superfoods for Spring
These science-backed foods will boost your mood, energy, metabolism, and memory.
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Power up your diet
There's a food movement afoot: Eating well to look, feel, and perform our very best is hot. And as Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama alike are showing us, this isn't a matter of choking down foods because they're good for you. It's about filling your plate with delicious fare.
"Food, if it's chosen well, can reshape our medical destinies for the better," says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center. It can also improve our mood, focus, energy, skin, and metabolism. Here's how to graze your way to a supercharged you.
Good for: Mood
Walnuts are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid your body needs to create the feel-great chemical serotonin. (In fact, Spanish researchers found that walnut eaters have higher levels of this natural mood-regulator.) Another perk: "They're digested slowly," Dr. Katz says. "This contributes to mood stability and can help you tolerate stress."
Good for: Mood
These spears are one of the best veggie sources of folate, a B vitamin that could help keep you out of a slump. "Folate is important for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine," says David Mischoulon, MD, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. All of these are crucial for mood.
A cup of cooked asparagus has 268 micrograms (mcg)--two-thirds of the 400 mcg RDA for women. Add a cup of enriched pasta--which is fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate--and you'll have a feel-good meal indeed.
Good for: Weight Loss
The slim-you benefit of this seasonal treat lies in a compound called allicin, which gives garlic its pungent smell. "Allicin may keep you from overeating by stimulating satiety in the brain," says Tara Gidus, RD, a dietitian in Orlando, Florida.
Spring garlic has a milder, sweeter taste than the dried white bulbs you buy later in the season. Enjoy it diced on salad for a fat-fighting side or lunch.
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