As the weather changes, chances are you’ll be reassessing your diet and steering away from heavy winter foods. Check out these light spring options to help boost your energy this spring!
Purple and Red Grapes Grapes—especially the darker colored variety—burst not only with flavor, but also with health benefits. They’re full of antioxidants and enzymes that can protect you from serious health conditions including heart disease and cancer. Additionally, a compound in grapes called resveratrol has been linked to the upkeep of strong blood vessels, breast cancer prevention, and blood sugar regulation. Be sure to munch on the fruit rather than sip it in juice form—you’ll get a higher dose of wait-slimming fiber and will avoid taking in added sugar. Image: Thinkstock
Red or Black Beans Legumes work double-duty—they provide the weight-managing fiber of other veggies as well as a huge dose of muscle-building protein. Caplan believes that beans and other plant-based foods are essential to clearing the path for healthy arteries and stress-free organs. Processed foods and animal-based proteins can add unnecessary fat to your diet, with legumes sidestepping these cholesterol and heart health risks. Instead of a side dish, make beans the star of the meal by incorporating them into a salad with celery, onions, and red peppers—giving you a great source of both plant protein and vegetables. Image: Thinkstock
Brussels Sprouts One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains more than 4 grams of fiber and 62 milligrams of vitamin C, and assist with regenerating other antioxidants within your body. The cruciferous vegetable also has cancer-fighting capabilities that flush carcinogens from your system. To enhance this veggie’s taste, try giving them a light coating of heart-healthy olive oil before roasting them in the oven. Image: Thinkstock
Papaya With its bright coloring and tropical heritage, papaya is a refreshing source of antioxidant nutrients including vitamins C and A. Along with a strong supply of fiber, Cornell University ties the fruit’s chymopapain and papain compounds to having a colon-cleansing quality that helps produce enzymes necessary for breaking down protein and harmful waste. Look for papayas with yellow skin that give slightly to pressure to ensure that they’re ripe and ready to enjoy. Image: Thinkstock