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Summer – The Time for Healthy, Cleansing Foods

28 July 2013

Everyone knows summer is the season of the sun, outdoor activities, and vacations. Summer is also the best season for plenty of good healthy, detox foods. All produce is best when we can find and buy it locally grown and in its freshest state, which supports both our community and the environment. In most of North America summer is the season of fresh fruit and vegetables, including those nutritionally dense greens (Mustard/Turnip/Collard Greens, Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Arugula, etc.) and wonderful herbs (Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Mint & Rosemary, etc.).

Visit your local produce stand or farmers market and choose from the variety of fruits and veggies straight from the field, and often picked that very morning. These local harvests contain a great deal more nutrients than the store bought varieties. Filling your refrigerator with the foods listed below insures your body is filled with all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients it needs. Additionally, these wonderful nourishing foods, when eaten fresh off the farm have awesome detoxing properties.

Here’s a list of healthy choices, easy to find, nutritious and delicious summer detox foods. Try to incorporate as many as possible into each week through daily planning of meals you make yourself, for yourself and/or to share with your friends and family…

Berries

Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries & Blackberries are the most popular) and are some people’s favorite summer food. Oftentimes it’s possible to pick local and fresh from the “pick your own” farms in your neighborhood. Berries are an awesome way to start your day; they are light and refreshing and their high water content helps to rehydrate your body after a good night’s sleep. Berries are rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients (cancer fighters), and their rich colors can even help to elevate your mood. They are wonderful for breakfast or as an evening desert.

Cherries

Cherries are not only rich in flavor; they are also known to contain potent anti-inflammatory properties and are great for gout and arthritis sufferers. They pack high doses of beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate. Cherries also contain high amounts of melatonin which is known to help regulate sleep patterns. Enjoy a small bowl of cherries in the evening an hour or more before bed. They are delicious warmed-up slightly with some sliced apples in a pot for desert.

Carrots, Yams & Sweet Potatoes

These rich orange vegetables always add a vibrant dose of color to any meal. Carrots and sweet potatoes not only help add a bit of sweetness to a meal they are loaded with vitamin C and beta carotene, (both powerful antioxidants). These fiber rich vegetables also help to sooth and cleanse the bowel plus they fill you up, boosting your energy levels as well.

Alliums (Onions/Garlic)

Two words that are often used to describe garlic and onions are pungent and aromatic. These are wonderful foods to add to any dish and can be enjoyed either raw or cooked. Both onions and garlic are known for their rich content of sulfur compounds (that’s what makes your eyes water when cutting an onion), they are also very active disease fighters and detoxifying agents as well. Onions and garlic both fend off infections and have been used as medicine for centuries. They help to support good bacteria in the bowel, fight cancer cells, kill viruses and bacteria, lower cholesterol and add a nice of flavor to any dish you make.

Dark Leafy Greens

Greens have an excellent reputation for packing in an extreme amount of nutrition in each and every leaf. , rich in vitamins, water and minerals bring energy and cleansing to your body when included in any meal. They are one of the richest sources of the B vitamins, insoluble fiber and phytonutrients; no afternoon or evening meal is complete without some greens, either fresh or lightly steamed on the plate. For vegetarians and those on a plant-based diet they is the best natural source of iron, B12 and folate. Because of their rich fiber content greens are digested slowly, creating nice even blood glucose levels and sustained energy.

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