12. Asparagus for liver health
Guard the body’s main detox center with glutathione, an antioxidant in asparagus that protects the liver.
Creamy Asparagus Soup: In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add 2 sliced leeks, 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms and 1 bunch chopped asparagus; cook 4 minutes. Add 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste; simmer 20 minutes and purée. In a food processor, mix together 1 cup unsalted cashews and 2∕3 cup water until smooth. Stir mixture and juice of ½ lemon into soup; heat 5 minutes. Garnish: crostini Per serving: 280 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 12 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 135 mg sodium
13. Seaweed for thyroid health
Loaded with iodine, which is necessary for proper thyroid function, seaweed also contains folate, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, E and K.
Tofu Miso Seaweed Soup: Soak ½ ounce dried wakame in water for 10 minutes; drain and chop. Bring 5 cups water to a boil, add wakame and 1 cup sliced oyster mushrooms; simmer 5 minutes. Whisk 3 tablespoons white miso with 1∕3 cup soup stock and add to soup along with 1 block (14 ounces) cubed firm tofu and 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce; heat 2 minutes. Garnish: green onion Per serving: 133 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 10 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 760 mg sodium
14. Saffron for PMS
This brightly colored spice has been shown to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Scallops with Saffron Broth: Season 1 pound bay scallops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, bring to a simmer 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1 teaspoon orange zest, ½ teaspoon saffron and ½ teaspoon sweet paprika. Add scallops; simmer 2 minutes. Flip scallops; cook until opaque in center, about 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish: fresh chives Per serving: 145 calories, 2.5 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 56 mg cholesterol, 28 g protein, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 327 mg sodium