Avocados– Good fats are not your enemy. If you’re looking for sustained energy throughout the day, it starts with healthy fats that don’t spike your blood sugar levels and leave you hanging out to dry. Avocados are loaded with fiber and protect against heart disease, breast cancer, osteoarthritis, diabetes, inflammation, and improve cognitive function. They are rich in magnesium, potassium, folate, B6, vitamin E, and help the body to produce glutathione levels like broccoli and cauliflower. They prove beneficial for adrenal health, eye health, skin health, and can support weight control.(19) I love to stuff these lovelies with fermented sauerkraut, or mix them up in baked sweet potatoes.Yum!
Apples– Green Apples are my ‘wake-up food’ in the morning. They present the body and brain with more energy than a cup of coffee. Organic apples are loaded with fiber, calcium and protein. High fiber foods helps to improve cognitive function, depression and dementia. The brain is made from cholesterol. “Dietary Fiber decreases cholesterol synthesis…”(1)
Pumpkin Seeds– Pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite all time foods. I toss them on salads and whip them in smoothies and ice-cream. When was the last you roasted these delicious seeds? They’re high in protein and their nutrient content makes them a wonderful addition to any snack.(2) “On a dry weight basis, pumpkin seed contained 58.8% protein and 29.8% healthy fat.”(3) Pumpkin seeds are great for digestion and can actually help remove parasites. They are full of magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, and lysine. Because they are rich in zinc they prove beneficial for prostate health,(4) and found to prevent breast cancer.(5) Pumpkin seeds also are found to lower the risk of kidney stones.(6)
Fermented Veggies– Fermented foods are rich in probiotics. Probiotics build and feed our gut with healthy bacteria.(good gut microbiome) You can purchase or make your own fermented sauerkraut, fermented carrots and kombucha. Why is this important? About 85% of our immune system is in our gut. Gut microbiome can also positively or negatively effect our brain and behavior. Additionally, probiotics are found beneficial for balancing cholesterol levels. According to Vicki Koenig, MS, RD, CDN, “several studies have shown that probiotics actually help lower cholesterol. They work by preventing the reabsorption of cholesterol back in to the blood stream.” Without good gut microbiome we see massive collateral damage in our mind and body in the form of thyroid disorders, adrenal fatigue, IBS, cancer, depression, autoimmunity disorders, disrupted hormones and obesity.
Ginger root and Turmeric root– These roots are beneficial for digestion, and have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Both help to fight off hot flashes, depression and insomnia. Regular consumption of ginger and turmeric strengthens both the immune system and the nervous system. Turmeric prevents leptin raising glucose levels.(7) Ginger and turmeric reduce inflammation, suppress tumor formation and fight premature aging. According to the International journal of food sciences and nutrition,“Organic extractions of ginger significantly inhibited the growth of E. coli.”(8) Additionally, there are very positive therapeutical roles that ginger and turmeric play on the health of our bitesizepieces.net endocrine system.(9) I make a ginger and turmeric tea every evening. My customers have found chewing a small piece of ginger root is beneficial for their indigestion or GERD.
Pomegranates- A National Academy of Sciences study showed that pomegranate juice reduces cholesterol plaque buildup, reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, and increases nitric oxide production (nitric oxide helps reduce arterial plaque).(10) Pomegranates help to prevent skin cancer.(10a) If you love pomegranates, as I do, it helps to have them easily accessible by planting these trees in your back yard. OR, you can frequent your local famers market. I eat them in salads and for a healthy snack.
Cilantro– Cilantro is also known as Coriandrum sativum. It’s not only a superfood, it helps to boost your beauty. This means it’s found beneficial for digestion, helpful as a blood purifier and can improve your sleep.(11) This herb is cancer fighting, reduces oxidative stress,(12) fights anxiety,(13) and will assist the body to detox heavy metals through the urine. It is highly praised for lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics.(14) According to the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences, cilantro fights free radicals, and possesses hepatoprotective activity in liver injury.(15) Cilantro is an easy herb to grow indoors all year long. You’ll find it a simple addition to salads, vegetable dishes, hummus and guacamole recipes.
Broccoli and Cauliflower– These cruciferous vegetables are rich in flavonoids and have antiviral and antibacterial properties.(16) They contain Sulfur and are beneficial for healthy hair and skin. (positively affecting our skin’s epidermis layer, aka, stratum corneum). According to the NIH, cruciferous vegetables help protect us from DNA damage, have cancer fighting properties,(17) lowers our risk for cardiovascular disease,(18) and helps balance cholesterol levels. I enjoy making cauliflower pizza or just plain roasted cauliflower and broccoli with a spray of organic olive oil, some onions and a dash of turmeric. Cauliflower bitesizepieces.net and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C, manganese, B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, and more.
Spinach– Have you heard spinach is full of phytonutrients and has anti-cancer properties? I purchase 2 boxes of organic spinach a week and freeze one for smoothies. Spinach is found beneficial to protect us from UV radiation and boost collagen levels. Not only is spinach good for your skin, it’s good for your eyes, your brain and your bones! Made famous from the original Popeye cartoon, you’ll find it tasty in salads with a few walnuts and green apples, and in smoothies with ginger root, cilantro, and green apples. One cup of spinach contains about 6 grams of protein. Spinach is a good source of calcium, antioxidants, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium. Implementing these foods will help your beauty to shine ‘HEALTHY’ from the inside and out.
Connie Rogers is a 14 year Certified Integrative Nutritional Holistic Health Coach, Certified Cosmetologist & Skin Health Educator, Gluten-Free Practitioner, Reiki Master, Natural Wellness Blogger, Professional Researcher, Expert in non-pharmaceutical applications to chronic illnesses for endocrine, metabolic, and skin health. Connie believes health and wellness are established with proper nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness. Connie takes a natural and holistic, common sense approach to rebuilding wellbeing from the ground up. Her book ‘Path to a Healthy Mind & Body’ is available on Amazon.
References are available on request.