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Spring Into Health

Walnuts

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,” “This contributes to mood stability and can help you tolerate stress.”


Asparagus

Good for: Mood

asparagus

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.” All of these are crucial for mood.


A cup of cooked asparagus has 268 micrograms (mcg) - 2/3 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.

Spring garlic

spring garlic.jpg

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,”


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.


Spinach

Good for: Energy

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These tasty leaves are a great source of iron (especially if you don’t eat meat), which is a key component in red blood cells that fuel our muscles with oxygen for energy.


Researchers in Sweden recently identified another way in which these greens might keep you charged: Compounds found in spinach actually increase the efficiency of our mitochondria, the energy-producing factories inside our cells. So eating a cup of cooked spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the elliptical machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).


Salmon

salmon

Good for: Skin

There’s wrinkle prevention on your plate: “Salmon is rich in a fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), a type of omega-3 that naturally helps block the release of UV-induced enzymes that diminish collagen, causing lines and sagging skin”


Bonus: Omega-3s also regulate oil production in the skin and boost hydration, which helps keep your complexion dewy and acne-free.


Strawberries

Good for: Skin

strawberries

They may not have the smoothest complexion themselves, but strawberries can get you one. Loaded with antioxidants that help your skin repair damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV rays, they’re packed with vitamin C (less than a cup gets you your entire 75 mg RDA). It's associated with fewer wrinkles and less dryness, as per the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Try them in a homemade facial, too. “Direct application of the antioxidants in strawberries—as well as the natural exfoliant they contain, alpha-hydroxy acid—will give you great results,”

Eggs

eggs.jpg

Good for: Memory

Have your over-easies before you hit the Easter egg hunt. The yolks are chock-full of choline, a key nutrient for recall. “Your body needs choline to make a brain chemical called acetylcholine, crucial for storing memories,” says Steven Zeisel, MD, director of the Nutrition Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for choline is 425 mg. There are 147 mg in a large egg; other good options

are nuts and red meat.


Blueberries

blueberries

Good for: Memory


Eat them regularly and you may reap big brain benefits.


In a recent study, people with age-related memory decline who drank roughly two and a half cups of blueberry juice per day for twelve weeks (the equivalent of eating a cup of blueberries) made significant improvements on memory and learning tests compared with those who drank a placebo juice.




Brant Lakeshore Pharmacy