Get Your Glow On
Popeye's favorite is good for your complexion. "The vitamin A in spinach protects skin from UV damage and ensures healthy cell turnover, which keeps you looking radiant," Cox says.
Fresh idea: Steam and toss spinach with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, or use the leaves to fill out a sandwich.
Pears may help you kick hunger. Researchers in Brazil put two groups of overweight women on almost identical diets. The only difference was that one group ate about three small pears a day; the other had oat cookies with the same number of calories. The result: The fruit eaters lost more weight. "Because pears contain water and are an excellent source of fiber, they keep you full longer. Plus, the fiber guards against drastic blood sugar spikes that can lead to overeating," notes Amy Kweller, RD, a nutrition professor at Johnson & Wales University in Denver.
Fresh idea: Core pears, drizzle with honey, and bake for a sweet treat. Or add them to a grilled cheese sandwich.
Lift Your Mood
Feeling frazzled? Instead of reaching for a candy bar, try an avocado. It's packed with monounsaturated fat, which provides a pick-me-up. "The building blocks of brain cells are predominantly fat. If you don't eat enough, you get grouchy, crabby and depressed," says Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, author of The Good Mood Diet. "Just make sure they're the healthy fats."
Fresh idea: Drizzle sliced avocado with lime juice, brush with olive oil, and grill; then season with salt. Or make kebabs with avocado chunks, grape tomatoes, and mini mozzarella balls.
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