The Top 10 Raw Foods Your Body Wants
Posted on March 05 2013 | (1) Comments
Your body is hungry, but not for refined sugar, flour, or nutritionally empty processed foods. To operate at its full potential, your body wants...craves...needs a weekly serving of these Top 10 all-natural raw foods.
1. Dark Leafy Greens
Rich in antioxidants and running the gamut from delicately sweet (baby spinach) to boldly bitter (kale), leafy green vegetables are a rich source of essential-for-health vitamins and minerals.
Calorie for calorie, dark leafy greens are probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. Along with great taste, they provide your body with iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR GREENS
Dark leafy greens are delicious from dawn to dusk. Start your day with an Apple Banana Green Smoothie, dig into a spinach salad for lunch, and feast on Mediterranean Kale for dinner.
2. Flax and Other “Super” Seeds
What’s so “super” about seeds? Everything! Flax seeds, chia, hemp, and pumpkin seeds are known as “super seeds” because they contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy omega-3 fatty acids...a cornucopia of nutrition for your cells.
Seeds are an important part of a healthy diet. They can help you reach your recommended intake of protein each day, and provide your body with healthy, cholesterol-free fat.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR SEEDS
Because they are so nutritionally dense, seeds are a wonderful choice for your morning meal. Dishes such as my Multiseed Porridge and Chia Blueberry Breakfast Pudding will get you going and keep you going until lunchtime. Take that, mid-morning munchies!
3. Citrus Fruits
Mother Nature’s citrus fruit crate offers delights ranging from sweet to tart. Choose from dozens of varieties of oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes for your RDA of Vitamin C, as well as folate and potassium.
Good health has never tasted better. Citrus fruit flavonoids have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevent the spread of tumors. Citrus flavonoids are also antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals and may protect against heart disease.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR CITRUS FRUITS
Simply toss grapefruit together with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, and you’ve got an easy, but colorful and delicious breakfast. Add a drizzle of my three-ingredient Orange Cream Sauce for an extra flourish of flavor and Vitamin C.
Berries are tiny and tantalizing nutritional powerhouses with a sweet flavor that makes you forget just how good for you they are. Brightly colored strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have high levels of phytochemicals, the naturally occurring nutrients that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Berries are naturally sweet, but not the kind of sweet that should send people with diabetes running. They are gentle on your blood sugar levels, so you can give your tastebuds a treat without triggering cravings and binge-eating.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR BERRIES
I love to use berries in dessert recipes, and in salads, too. In a variation on my simple Green Salad recipe, I swap out the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries. The flavor is amazing!
5. Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables, as their name suggests, come from Neptune’s domain. Sea veggies such as nori, kelp, dulse, and wakame are prized for their mineral content. Algae, such as chlorella and spirulina, have been found to absorb toxins better than any other natural food and contain nine essential amino acids in a balanced and very easily digested form.
Sea vegetables have also been found to reduce blood pressure and serum cholesterol. Scientists have also discovered that sea vegetables have antibiotic and anti-tumor properties.
Apples may be a common fruit at the market, but the health benefits they deliver are definitely uncommon. A generous serving of soluble fiber (4 grams per medium apple) for a modest amount of calories (95) makes apples a filling, sweet snack.
Apples have been applauded as invaluable tools for losing weight and even lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. Apples are “brain food,” too. The fruit facilitates a communication between nerve cells, so apples may help your memory.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR APPLES
Apples are delicious and affordable year round, so you can use them often in things like tasty, low-carb Apple Sandwiches. Apple slices replace bread in this crunchy twist on the peanut butter sandwich.
Walnuts are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which helps decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease.
Walnuts have benefits beyond simple nutrition. Their texture helps make a dish more satisfying, so you are likely to chew more and eat less. That’s one of many reasons that this nut (and others) are popular with people who are trying to get or stay trim.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR WALNUTS
Make walnuts the star of a meal by stuffing a fresh tomato or bell pepper with Curried Walnut Pate. A variation on my traditional pate, this taste-of-Mumbai version is aromatic and flavorful.
Classified as a fruit by scientists and as a vegetable by grocers, tomatoes have gained quite a reputation as a natural medicine by doctors. Rich in Vitamins A, C, K, folate and potassium, tomatoes are useful in the fight against high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.
Tomatoes are wonderfully sweet, but low in sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. Due to their relatively high water content, tomatoes are quite filling, however, so they are extremely useful in managing weight and blood sugar.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR TOMATOES
A terrific way to show off tomatoes is in a raw tomato salsa. In my Mango Salsa recipe, I add ripe mango to Roma tomatoes and traditional salsa seasonings for a sweet, yet zesty taste.
Bananas are especially rich in potassium which helps your body’s circulatory system deliver oxygen to your brain. Potassium also helps maintain a regular heartbeat and a proper balance of water in the body.
Bananas are rich in natural sugars and satisfy your taste buds without affecting your blood sugar the way refined sugars do. Those natural sugars, along with the vitamins and minerals in bananas, make them an excellent source of natural energy.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR BANANAS
Bananas are naturally sweet and creamy and you can use them to make my luxurious dairy-free Banana Ice Cream, a one-ingredient frozen recipe that you can make with a food processor. No ice cream maker necessary!
Carrots come in a rainbow of colors, including black and white, though it is the brightly color varieties that offer the most antioxidants such as alpha- and beta-carotene, vitamin C, cyanidins and lutein.
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, an important factor in eye health. However carrots are also important to total body wellness, as they can help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of certain types of cancer by up to one-third.
HOW TO ENJOY YOUR CARROTS
Carrots are crisp, crunchy root vegetables that can be enjoyed affordably year-round. Peeled and shredded carrots can be added to salad greens, or you can make my Carrot Salad with Golden Raisins and Fresh Mint . The bright mint perfectly balances the sweetness of the other ingredients.
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