These beautiful blooms boast healing compounds, vibrant hues, and fragrant scents proven to supercharge health. Here’s five ways to feel healthy and happy with flowers!
Speed weight loss with dandelion greens.
Here’s an easy way to boost metabolism and burn more calories: Toss a handful of dandelion greens into smoothies, soups or salads. These earthy, somewhat bitter greens stimulate the production of healthy bile in the liver, which breaks down fat and toxins so they can be flushed from your system. Indeed, Harvard University investigators report women who improved their bile health increased metabolism by 53 percent, plus reported fewer cravings and hunger pangs.
Tame tiredness by peeping pansies.
Next time you feel your stamina flagging, pop outside to admire dainty pansies in your garden or porch planter for a few minutes. According to researchers at the University of Essex in the UK, taking two minutes twice daily to gaze at pansies’ vibrant “faces” will instantly boost energy levels and mood by 35 percent. The bright colors kick-start the brain’s production of rejuvenating beta waves, plus stimulate the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that helps you feel clearheaded and sharp.
Wash away worries with lavender soap.
Good news: That lavender soap you washed your hands with rinses away worries too. Turns out linalool, the compound that gives lavender its distinctive scent, activates receptors in the nose that send signals to the brain to relax, according to a study published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. The happy upshot: Lavender reduces tension as effectively as the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication diazepam. Researchers explain lavender’s power lies specifically in its scent, so any lavender- scented product or essential oil delivers the benefits.
Boost immunity with a flowery root.
Outsmarting spring viruses is as easy as reaching for astragalus root, a flowering plant that produces tiny purple blooms. The natural immunity booster is packed with flavonoids that Chinese researchers say increase the activity of virus-fighting white blood cells, cutting the risk of infection by up to 50 percent. To get the benefit, try 250 to 500 mg. of astragalus root like Nature’s Way Astragalus Root Capsules (Buy on Amazon, $13.49) three times a week. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
Ease joint pain with sunflower seeds.
The crunchy seeds of this summer stunner are a delicious way to ensure more fun from every sunny day. The reason: Sunflower seeds are rich in selenium, and French scientists found that folks who got a steady stream of the mineral were half as likely to have joint pain as those who rarely ate selenium-rich foods. Turns out selenium mops up free radicals before they damage joints.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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