10 Healthy Summer Cleanse Foods
By: Marlena Roe CNP, Colon Hydrotherapist.
Summer is the season of sun, outdoor fun, friends, vacation and evening BBQ's. Summer is also one of the best seasons for those good for you healthy detox foods. Food is always best when we can find and buy it locally grown. This supports our community and environment. In Ontario summer is the season of fresh fruit, wonderful rich greens and herbs galore. In an attempt to inspire some healthy choices this summer season I have compiled a list of my top 10 favorite summer detox foods. See how many you can incorporate into each week, day and meal you make for yourself or share with your friends and family.
Visit your local farmers market and pick the freshest choices straight from the field. You will get more nutrients from these local harvests. Filling your fridge with the foods listed below will supply your body with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These are all wonderful nourishing benefits of choosing summer fresh detoxing foods.
(Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries & Blackberries)
Berries are by far my favorite summer food. I love to go out and pick local and fresh from the pick your own farms in my neighbourhood. Berries are a great way to start your day. They are light and refreshing, not to mention their high water content helps to rehydrate your body after a good sleep. Berries are rich in vitamin C, phytonutrients (cancer fighters), and their rich colours help elevate moods. Have them for breakfast or as an evening desert.
Cherries are not only rich in flavour; they are also have potent anti-inflammatory properties, great for gout and arthritis sufferers. They also pack in high doses of beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate. Cherries also contain high amounts of melatonin which can help regulate sleep patterns. I love a nice bowl of cherries in the evening an hour or so before bed. They also taste delicious warmed with some apples in a pot for desert.
Carrots & Sweet Potatoes
These rich orange vegetables add a vibrant dose of colour to any meal. Carrots and sweet potatoes not only help add sweetness to a meal they are loaded with vitamin C and beta carotene, (two powerful antioxidants). The fiber in these vegetables also helps to soothe the bowel and fill you up. Carrots and sweet potatoes are a great food for boosting your energy as well.
(Garlic & Onions)
Pungent and aromatic are two words to describe garlic and onions. These are wonderful foods to add to any dish and can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Allium foods are known for their rich content of sulfur compounds. These are what make your eyes water when cutting an onion, they are also the active disease fighters and detoxifying agents in these foods. Onions and garlic both fend off infections and have been used as medicine for centuries. These foods help support good bacteria in the bowel, fight cancer cells, kill viruses and bacteria, lower cholesterol and add a tone of flavor to any dish you make. I love adding these two with some fresh cut plum tomatoes and basil on multi-grain bread for a fresh summer bruchetta.
Dark Leafy Greens
(Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach & Dandelion Greens)
Greens have a good reputation of packing in an extreme amount of nutrition leaf for leaf. Rich in vitamins, water and minerals dark leafy greens bring energy and cleansing to your body in any meal. One of the richest sources of the B vitamins, insoluble fiber and phytonutrients; no meal is complete without some dark greens fresh or lightly steamed on the plate. For vegetarians this 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. Add spinach and kale to a fresh stir-fry, or have a big fresh salad with a variety of these delicious nutrient power houses.
(Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage & Turnip etc.)
These vegetables are on the A-list of nutrition; with cancer on the rise these foods have become essential to the daily diet. Known as some of the most potent and powerful cancer-fighting foods available, cruciferous veggies fight active cancer cells, they also help in prevention by ensuring healthy cells do not become cancerous. Broccoli seems to get the red carpet in research, maybe because people tend to eat broccoli more than the other cruciferous vegetables. But if you cut these up and pair them with some balsamic vinaigrette on top of fresh leafy greens, or steam them with some fish you will have yourself a cool summer meal your whole body will love.
Fresh & Organic Seafood
(Cod, Sole, Salmon, Sardines & Herring)
Seafood contains the essential oils and fatty acids necessary for healthy hair, skin, nails, nerves and energy for summer sports. Seafood are water rich, light sources of protein that are as delicious as they are nutritious. Summer favorites are a beautiful salmon over a fresh salad, or some cod with lemon garlic drizzle and steamed vegetables. Don't forget to toss sardines or herring on a salad for an energy packed meal that will give you that great summer glow. Choose organic and fresh fish sources to protect yourself from the common high levels of mercury and chemicals found in farmed and canned fish.
Fresh Garden Herbs
Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Oregano, Mint & Rosemary)
Herbs have a way of taking ordinary meals and making them extraordinary. Because herbs are so abundant in the summer they are fresh, fun and abundant for meals. Mint is a perfect cooling and soothing herb for the tummy wonderful paired with fruit or in tabuleh. Oregano and thyme re nice in pasta and bean dishes; they help to decrease gas and enhance digestion. Rosemary is wonderful on most meats try it with a salmon fillet. Herbs are earning a reputation for providing high levels of antioxidants to the dishes both fresh and dried. Season up your soups and salads, with healthy herbs, for a healthier meal.
(Sweet Bell Peppers & Hot )eppers)
Peppers are a great addition to any dish, they add vibrant colour both raw and cooked. Peppers (sweet and hot), deliver vitamins A, C and K as well as carotenoids. Red peppers are a great source for the antioxidant lycopene also found in cooked tomatoes. Peppers have also been shown to increase body heat, this means the metabolism burns higher and they can actually help with weight loss. Some people find the skin on peppers tough to digest, this tough skin is also a good source of fiber.
(Cucumbers, Celery & Tomatoes)
These refreshing cooling foods can be diced and tossed together with herbs, lemon juice and olive oil for an incredibly nutritious salad. All three of these foods are rich in vitamin A, B, and C, as well as numerous minerals. Talk about your whole foods these will help to rehydrate your body, decrease stress, and decrease fluid retention. Cucumber is well known as a skin tonic and blood cleanser. Celery is wonderful for circulation, lowering blood pressure and decreasing inflammation. Tomatoes are potent anti carcinogens, also wonderful skin tonics, and highly energizing. All three of these foods are wonderful detoxifying foods for the whole body. Take Advantage of the Season.
Enjoy all the wonderful, bright foods of the season. Remember to rotate and pair up these foods with your other favourite vegetables and whole grains or meats. Summer is the season for hydration, relaxation and enjoyment. So take the next few months to kick back cool off and have a great detox. A wonderful way to support summer detoxes is to have two to three colonics, to cleanse your body.
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