Eating the right vegetables can give you more energy, a sharper memory and smooth, glowing skin. For example, you can boost memory with luteolin, a plant compound found in red bell peppers that helps ease inflammation in the brain, a problem that can lead to memory loss. Other veggies, such as celery and carrots, also produce luteolin.
As for your skin, blueberries are packed with phytochemicals that boost the body’s antioxidant activity. Dark-colored berries, red peppers and greens are filled with vitamins that help fight free-radical damage to skin and other organs and tissue, including muscle—C, A, D and B12—and broccoli is a superfood, packed with nutrients that bolster the immune system and fight disease like various cancers.
This main dish is a wonderful way to reap a variety of veggie benefits.
Sweet Shrimp and
Red Pepper Stir Fry
1 pound shrimp, peeled and washed
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 tablespoon pineapple vinegar
1/4 cup sliced sweet onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dill
4 cups coleslaw mix
4 cups chopped romaine
1 cup chopped purple cabbage
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup sliced and halved cucumbers
1/4 cup chopped purple onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon pineapple vinegar
1 tablespoons soy-based or fat-free mayo
Assemble the salad. Then in a medium skillet sauté the shrimp, red bell pepper and onions. Let the shrimp brown, then add 1/2 tablespoon of pineapple vinegar to the pan. Season with dill, garlic and onion. Cover and simmer one minute. Pour the shrimp mixture over the salad. Serves four.
Each serving: calories, 135; fat, 0 grams; carbs, 2 grams; protein, 26 grams. —Taylor Matheny
Editor’s note: Taylor Matheny is an Oklahoma–based fitness trainer and chef. She studied sports nutrition while learning culinary techniques and is certified in personal training and sports nutrition. Finding herself in the bodybuilding industry—she’s also an IFBB pro bikini competitor—she honed her cooking skills on contest diets. Currently, she works as a personal chef and is a spokesmodel for Myogenix.