In our youth most of us use foods (if you can call them that) for keeping our weight down rather than how healthy they might be for us. Diet sodas, weight-loss drinks, nonfattening and low-calorie foods packed with artificial ingredients and preservatives were once my staples too. As a result my health was always on the edge. I wasnt necessarily sick a lot but I would tend to ignore symptoms of fatigue, fuzzy thoughts, edginess, lack of endurance and poor sleep.
When we push our bodies to such extremes and many of us do with or without knowing it, we will eventually suffer the consequences. My wake up call came in the form of a serious bout with Lyme Disease. Of course, people who take care of themselves still get this nasty bacterial infection spread by the bite of a tick, but my body was not in the best of shape nutritionally speaking, therefore I had my work cut out for me.
Now more than a decade later Ive turned my life and my health around with the help of traditional medicine and several complimentary therapies including various power food diets. Having come from a family of organic gardeners and vegetable juicers (the prodigal child returns) I came by my interest naturally.
After several decades of living better through chemistry our country is once again becoming more concerned with the quality of the food we put in our mouths. With such a dramatic rise in the incidence of chronic degenerative diseases its become a necessity.
Now that we are heading into the growing season we can once again look forward to using foods grown organically and locally. Lets take a look at some of your best power foods-
Asparagus is highly valued for its diuretic qualities and as well as for its high mineral and rutin content. Rutin is one of many bioflavanoids which helps reduce capillary fragility.
Broccoli belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family. It contains phytochemicals (plant chemicals) known as indoles and isothiocynates, which are thought to help prevent cell damage and possibly head off cancer. In addition broccoli is a good source of vitamins A and C.
Cabbage is high in fiber and anticancer phytochemicals, cabbage also provides vitamin C and potassium. Its good raw or cooked.
Carrots are a power house for detoxing and nourishing the body. The lowly carrot with its bright orange color gives vitality and health to the body. Good for the eyes, the liver, rich in beta carotene. Good for whatever ails the body.
Cucumber has long been noted for improving the complexion, cleansing the liver, and aiding in digestion. Helps treat diabetes and headaches.
Hardy greens, all members of the chicory family- escarole, endive, lettuces, strengthen the spleen, liver, kidneys and other organs.
Radishes are an excellent aid in digestion, the radish should be highly valued by those with liver and gall bladder problems. Radishes are also useful in the treatment of skin eruptions, herpes, acne and boils.
Spinach is high in chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. An excellent source of vitamin A and iron.
Other power foods worth honorable mention are soy foods, walnuts, mushrooms, kale, fennel, yams, horseradish, beans and bananas. And if you want to really pack a powerful healing punch to all these foods, invest in a juicer. Juicers are now quite affordable, easy to use and clean. Your body will thank you.
To purchase locally grown produce- some grown organically visit the local farmer market held every Saturday throughout the growing season. Till next time stay healthy with power foods! Rebecca.