Oranges are one of the brightest and happiest fruits I know. Their beautiful bright color just makes me smile! They have been a favorite fruit of many throughout history. In the medieval times, oranges and their blossoms were used on a couple’s wedding day to help celebrate the occasion. Oranges were presented as gifts to Queen Victoria during Christmas time. A variety of oranges exist including Valencia, Navel, Jaffa, and Blood Oranges. Perfect as a snack, juice, or used in a recipe, oranges are a fabulous fruit. Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to maintain the health of cells by protecting them from damage caused by free radicals. They also have a concentrated source of many heart-healthy nutrients including fiber, vitamin C, folate, potassium, and flavonoids. Oranges contain limonoids which are phytochemicals that can have therapeutic effects such as antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antieoplastic, and antimalarial. In lab tests, limonoids have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach, and colon. In addition to these health promoting properties, oranges are a good source of vitamin A, calcium, and vitamin B1.
DID YOU KNOW:
– Studies have shown that oranges can lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol.
– The pulp from oranges is very beneficial to your health. A lot of the healthy compounds like the limonoids are found in the white pulp of the orange. Consider juicing the entire orange, skin, pulp and all!
Not only are papayas beautiful and delicious fruit, they possess amazing healing properties. Did you know that eating papayas can improve the clarity and texture of your skin, lessen the severity of cold and flu symptoms, and help to promote a healthy digestive system? They are full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, dietary fiber, potassium, and B vitamins. Green papayas are rich in an enzyme called papain which helps to aid in the digestion of protein. Pick up a papaya today!
We’ve all heard about garlic and its amazing ability to ward off vampires. 🙂 Did you know that eating garlic has other great benefits for your body? The ancient Egyptians believed that garlic was not only bestowed with sacred qualities but it enhanced the endurance and strength of the slaves that built the pyramids. Garlic is used all around the world in a variety of recipes. Some people enjoy eating garlic cloves raw! Numerous studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Some studies show that eating garlic two or more times a week can help lower your risk of colon cancer. Garlic contains a concentrated source of calcium, vitamin B1 and phosphorus, protein, and tryptophan. Like onions, garlic is an anti-inflammatory because it contains sulfer containing phytonutrient compounds. This makes it useful for helping attacks of asthma. It can also help reduce the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
DID YOU KNOW:
– Researchers suggest that garlic may be a potent remedy in warding off a common cold. It has also been noted that garlic has strong antibiotic properties, even on bacteria strains that have become resistant to many drugs.
– Cooking garlic for more than 45 minutes generates a substantial loss of nutrients. If you cook garlic for 5-15, you will preserve the health benefits.
Are you loving leeks? Leeks originated in the warmer climates of Asia and the Mediterranean but they are now grown in more temperate climates. They are celebrated as a delicious (and nutritious) ingredient to include in many different dishes. Leeks are a good source of bone-strengthening calcium, iron, and folate. They are also full of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. Like onions, leeks contain compounds that help to lower cholesterol. Kaempferol is the anticancer substance found in leeks. It has been shown to help block the development of cancer-causing compounds in the body. This substance also helps promote good cardiovascular health.
DID YOU KNOW:
– A half cup of chopped, boiled leeks contains only 15 calories!
– Brush your teeth after eating leeks! While they taste great in many different recipes, they do cause bad breath.
Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you tend to get a sweet tooth at night? Try chewing on some cherries! Dried cherries are not only a good source of sleep-promoting melatonin but they are full of serotonin-boosting carbs. Try eating a handful about 20 minutes before going to bed. Cherries are also a great source of immune-boosting antioxidants and beta-carotene for protecting your cells. Cherries have anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to help ease rheumatoid arthritis and gout. When it comes to buying dried fruits like cherries, make sure that you are reading the label. You always want to purchase unsulfered dried fruits, especially if you are prone to allergies and asthma. Fresh is always best and fortunately it’s farmer’s market season!
What do asparagus, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt all have in common? They are good sources of zinc, a nutrient that our bodies need in order for us to stay healthy. Zinc is important for helping our blood sugar stay balanced. It’s also responsible for stabilizing our metabolic rate and strengthening our immune system. Studies have shown that zinc is responsible for regulating many genetic activities. It’s also important for helping us maintain a healthy sense of taste and smell.
How do you know if you need more zinc in your diet? If you tend to get sick a lot, feel depressed, and have a lack of an appetite, you may be deficient in zinc. You can also tell if you need zinc by looking at your nails. If your nails have white spots on them, it’s time to eat some “zinc-rich” foods, like the ones mentioned below:
Do you suffer from breakouts and acne? Are your lotions and creams just making your complexion more irritated and red? Try eating a diet full of protein (wild-caught fish, chia seeds, beans, goji berries), organic vegetables and fruits (especially ones full of antioxidants, like berries), nuts, and seeds. Also be sure that you are including plenty of “good fats” in your diet from foods like coconuts, olives, and avocados. Stay hydrated with plenty of good quality water during the day and avoid soda, caffeine, and alcohol.
I have always been a huge fan of eating watermelon! Lately, I’ve started juicing watermelon and combining it with other ingredients like cucumbers and strawberries. Yum! Watermelon is not only delicious but it is loaded with healthy nutrients. For example, watermelon is a rich source of immune-boosting vitamin C and hair-healthy vitamin A. It is also a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid that works to promote good cardiovascular health. One cup of fresh watermelon contains more lycopene than that one cup of tomatoes! In addition watermelon’s heart-healthy traits, it’s an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants and B vitamins, perfect for giving your body a nice boost of natural energy. Watermelon also contains potassium and magnesium to help your body circulate your blood properly.
Did you Know:
– Watermelon has a high water content, which makes it so refreshing during the warmer months. This also makes it a great food for promoting a healthy weight because it will fill you up while giving you a big dose of nutrients.
– While you can purchase watermelon year-round, the best time to buy it is during the summer. This is when it will have the most nutrients and taste the sweetest.
You may have heard about tryptophan and it’s ability to help us fall asleep at night. While it is true that tryptophan promotes relaxation, it is also important for helping to elevate our moods and regulate our appetites! It has also been shown to help prevent a deficiency in niacin. Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids (something that our bodies cannot produce on their own) that our bodies use to synthesize protein. Tryptophan works with many other nutrients that are important for it’s metabolism including vitamin C, B6, magnesium, and folic acid.
How can you tell if you are deficient in tryptophan? You may feel depressed and struggle with staying focued. Other symptoms include weight gain or unexpected weight loss, overeating, the craving of carbohydrates, and insomnia. Be sure you are including tryptophan in your diet by eating the following foods:
Apples, apples, everywhere! I love apples and I especially love to add them to my morning juices. This juice is full of nutrients that will help you feel revitalized like beta-carotene, vitamin B3, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. Apples are a great source of fiber and the skins are loaded with antioxidants. Kale is an amazing food that helps boost immunity. Give this juice a try!
Apple Kale Juice
2 organic apples (I love Red Delicious or Gala apples)
2 organic kale leaves
1/2 a cucumber
Wash the fruit and veggies thoroughly. Add to a juicer machine and juice thoroughly. Serve in a tall glass. Enjoy!