Enhance your Health

superMost of us are striving to be healthier, to eat better, to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air, to move more, to love ourselves and honor our bodies.

There are many delicious and highly nutritious foods from Mother Nature that can help us with these goals.  Fresh fruit and vegetables in their natural form are very powerful at helping the human body ward off disease and help keep us healthy, fit and strong.  Processed foods…..not so good for us.

I will share some powerhouse foods here with you.  Try to incorporate these gifts from Mother Nature into your weekly nutrition plan for better overall health.

1.  Kale:  This leafy green veggie has certainly become a popular addition to a healthy diet.  Back when I was a child, kale was not popular.  I don’t think I even knew what kale was until I was in my 20’s.  It wasn’t a commonly used veggie as far as I know.  Now it is found on menus in some of the finest restaurants.  Kale is now considered a SUPERFOOD.  Kale is good for your brain as it contains omega 3 fatty acids.  This green veg is good for your mental acuity and will help keep your brain sharp as you age.

2.  “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  You’ve heard this sentence before.  It’s true.  Apples have so many good qualities that help our bodies function better.  They are good for digestion as they have fiber in them.  The malic acid in apples and pure apple juice help to soften and pass gallstones.  Apples also protect your brain from neurodegenerative decline with aging.

3.  Cinnamon:  A spice we connect with sweet desserts like apple crisp.  It’s yummy in baking.  But did you know that cinnamon is full of antioxidants.  I actually have cinnamon bark in my cupboard that I boil in water to make a delicious and nutritious cinnamon tea.  Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, helps to protect your brain from free radical damage and is a great infection fighter in your body.   Cinnamon also helps to treat muscle spasms, nausea, colds and it lowers blood sugar in people with diabetes.  Start adding cinnamon to your recipes.  It will do you good.

4.  Tomatoes:  rich in lycopene especially when cooked with olive oil.  Lycopene is good for your skin, your brain and very good for the male prostate.  Tomatoes have even been studied and proven to help protect you from Alzheimer’s.

5.  Watermelon:  This deliciously sweet fruit is very good for us.  It is extremely hydrating and contains important antioxidants, minerals and vitamins such as A, B6, C, lycopene and amino acids.  Good for your skin due to the water content….I love eating watermelon and adding it to salads.  I even make a delicious watermelon gazpacho in the summer when watermelon is at it’s best.  Kids love it too.  Puree it and turn it into delicious popsicles for a cold summer treat.

6.  Spinach:  This versatile green powerhouse is a wonderful source of nutrition….packed with Vitamin C, A, K, fiber, calcium and iron to name a few, it is good for slowing down skin wrinkles.  Spinach contains protein.  In studies spinach shows evidence of protection against prostate cancer.  Popeye ate his spinach to stay strong.  Eat your spinach to help you stay strong.  Spinach is great in salads but can be tossed into many cooked recipes as well.  It cooks very quickly so should be added to stews and soups at the last minute of cooking.

7.  Berries:  Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, to name a few, are very beneficial to our health.  They include antioxidants and flavonoids that do wonderful things to many systems in our bodies.  One great benefit of including berries in your daily diet is that they improve short and long term memory and keep our brains working well into our old age.

8.  Avocado:  High in monounsaturated fats, avocados lower blood pressure.  They are also anti-inflammatory.  They are high in Vitamin E, B and potassium….all beneficial for beautiful and healthy skin.  Avocados are good sources of fiber too.  You can add avocados to your salads, smoothies, sandwiches and so many different recipes.

Next time you go to your local grocery store add these items to your basket, if you don’t already.  Enhance your health!

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