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.”
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.” 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.
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.
Good for: Energy
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).
Good for: Skin