Food can improve our mood, focus, energy, skin, and metabolism. Here are five seasonal super-foods and one super-drink guaranteed to add a spring to your step!
Good for: Mood
These spears are one of the best veggie sources of folate, a B vitamin vital for the production of the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Asparagus is also abundant in vitamin K (which you need for blood clotting, heart and bone health, cancer prevention, and many other functions), as well as copper, selenium and many other important nutrients.
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. That means eating a handful of spinach a day may give you more lasting power on the rowing machine (or in your daily sprint to catch the bus).
Good for: Skin
They may not have the smoothest complexion themselves, but strawberries can get you one. They're loaded with antioxidants that help your skin repair damage caused by environmental factors like pollution and UV rays. Plus, they're packed with vitamin C, which supports collagen synthesis which leads to fewer wrinkles!
Good for: Memory
Eggs are a rich source of choline, a macronutrient that’s important for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, supporting energy levels and maintaining a healthy metabolism. A choline deficiency may also play a part in age-related cognitive decline, including memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because choline helps with neurotransmitter maintenance, an important part of long-term brain health.
Good for: Memory
Eat them regularly and you may reap big brain benefits. The secret component? A type of antioxidant called anthocyanin, shown in a recent US study to increase signals among brain cells and improve their resilience, enhancing learning and memory.
Blueberries are also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre, manganese and other antioxidants. In fact, some nutritionists believe that if you make only one change to your diet, it should be to add blueberries.
Good for: Digestion
Lastly, we thought we’d tell you about this latest dietary booster to hit the headlines. Kombucha tea is a slightly fizzy fermented drink made with black or green tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It has a distinctive sweet/sour taste and can be found either plain, or in various fruit flavours. Like it’s also-fermented cousin Kefir, Kombucha is reputed to be full of beneficial probiotic bacteria which aid digestion, and it is also rich in antioxidants.