Fruit & Veggie Superfoods
Avocados are known as nature's butter and help prevent heart disease and some types of cancer. Avocados have about a quarter of the calories of total fat as dairy butter. By weight, they provide more heart-healthy monosaturated fat, vitamin E, folate (the plant source of folic acid), potassium, and fiber than other fruits. Yes, it is a fruit! It's the number one fruit source of the cholesterol-lowering phytosterol, called beta-sitosterol, which helps prevent certain types of heart disease and cancers, including prostate cancer. Avocados also help protect your eyes from cataracts and from age-related macular degeneration. They also have a reputation as an aphrodisiac!
Blueberries are known to prevent and reverse abnormal, physical and mental decline. Despite their small size, one cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories and a whole pint gives you about 180 calories, so they're a dieter's best friend. Referred to as the "brain berry," blueberries are packed with tannins, anthocyanins that have been linked to prevention - and even reversal - of age-related mental decline and anti-cancer effects. They are one of the most potent antidotes to oxidate stress, a process that ages you.
Broccoli fights cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions. It has two powerful cancer-fighting substances. First, sulforaphane gives cancer-causing chemicals a one-two punch. It destroys any carcinogenic compounds that you've ingested, and then it creates enzymes that eat up any carcinogens left over from that reaction. Sulforaphane also kills the bacteria H.pylori, which causes ulcers and greatly increases the risk of gastric cancer. Second, broccoli boasts indole-3-carbinol which helps your body metabolize estrogen, potentially warding off breast cancer. Broccoli may also inhibit the herpes simplex virus from reproducing.
- Preparation Tips- I eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, juiced, and in the form of sprouts which magnify broccoli's potent healing powers.
Cinnamon helps normalize blood sugar. Cinnamon is a highly versatile flavoring as well as a carminative that relieves bloating and gas. Adding cinnamon to food, especially to sugary ones, helps normalize blood sugar by making insulin more sensitive. Cinnamon's most active ingredient is methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP), which increases the processing of blood sugar by 2,000%. It is also thought that it may help ward off diabetes and obesity.
Coconut and coconut butter (also referred to as coconut oil) has been used as a food and medicine since the dawn of history. Unlike saturated animal fats found in meats and dairy products, coconut butter is a raw saturated fat containing mostly medium-chain fatty acids which the body can metabolize efficiently and convert to energy quickly. Coconuts may help lower cholesterol and regulate thyroid function.
Flaxseed is known as "Nutritional Gold" and is a rich source of essential fatty acids. It's used, not only for food, but also for making linen. Essential fatty acids are shown to be therapeutic and protect against heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, many skin diseases, and others. Flaxseeds also help eliminate toxic waste, strengthen the blood, reduce inflammation, accelerate fat loss, and reduce depression.
Garlic keeps the body chemistry balanced. Herbalists and folk healers have used garlic to treat myriad diseases for thousands of years; it has been intensively studied in recent years, with hundreds of scientific papers published in medical journals since the mid-1980s. Garlic is a rich source of unique sulfur compounds that keep your body chemistry in balance. Major medical universities around the world have found Aged Garlic Extract (also known as Kyolic) to be effective in its ability to resist and fight cancer, cardiovascular disease, other respiratory ailments and infections, and fatigue.
Grapefruit protects against cancer and heart disease. This fresh fruit eases constipation and improves digestion by increasing the flow of gastric juices. Deep inside the white rind and membranes of this fruit lie bioflavonoids, citric acids, and pectins - compounds that protect against cancer and heart disease. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other inflammatory disorders find that eating grapefruit daily seems to alleviate their symptoms. The pectin content of grapefruit juice helps reduce fever and soothes coughs and sore throats. Make grapefruit your first course to help prevent overeating.
- Preparation Tips- Whenever possible, choose pink and red varieties because they are more nutritious than white grapefruits.
Kale may help prevent breast and lung cancer. It also helps prevent age-related macular degeneration of the eyes and aids in fundamental processes of cell circulation and respiration. Kale is also rich in folate, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Few vegetables compare to kale when it comes to its nutritional beauty.
- Preparation Tips- Juice kale with other green vegetables and herbs (such as celery, Swiss chard, collard greens, romaine lettuce, cucumber, parsley, beet tops, etc.) and add some carrot and apple for sweetener. On an empty stomach, this superior fresh-juice tonic will revitalize your cells and body in minutes.
Kelp is a stellar, nutrient-dense sea vegetable. It is also known as Laminaria and contains a natural substance that enhances flavor and tenderizes. Kelp works as a blood purifier, relieves arthritis stiffness, and promotes adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health. Its natural iodine may help normalize thyroid-related disorders, like overweight, and lymph system congestion. It may also help eliminate herpes outbreaks.
- Preparation Tips- Next time you want a seasoning, instead of salt, reach for kelp granules. I enjoy them plain and mixed with cayenne or garlic (available at health food stores).
Lemon is an alkalizer for the body. Of all the citrus fruits, lemon is the most potent detoxifier. It kills some types of intestinal parasites, such as roundworms, and dissolves gallstones. Limonene, the volatile oil responsible for the distinctive lemon aroma, helps treat some forms of cancer such as breast cancer. If taken in the morning, lemon juice is known to improve liver function and has been used to help eliminate kidney stones. Lemons also help relieve colds, coughs, and sore throats. Too much lemon juice, however, if left on the teeth, can erode tooth enamel so rinse out your mouth with pure water or brush your teeth after consuming lemon juice.
- Preparation Tips- When a recipe calls for fresh lemon zest, which is the grated outer peel, make sure it's from an organic lemon or else it might have been waxed or sprayed with chemicals.
Mushrooms help boost the immune system. Mushrooms are low in calories and rich in minerals. Shiitake mushrooms may help fight cancer, infections, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Shiitakes boost the function of tumor-fighting interleukin-1 and cancer cell killers known as T lymphocytes. They may also lower cholesterol and blood pressure and are an over-all rejuvenation and anti-aging food. White mushrooms and portobellos are a good source of selenium, which may help prevent prostate cancer, and slow an enzyme used in the production of estrogen, which may promote cancer in postmenopausal women.
Parsley detoxifies and rejuvenates the body. Nibble on a few leaves when you want your breath to be sweeter. Parsley is our best source of the volatile oil apiol, which improves appetite and digestion by increasing blood circulation to the digestive track thereby enhancing absorption of nutrients. It helps prevent kidney stones and various urinary tract ailments and is effective in slowing the aging process, reducing depression, lowering cholesterol, strengthening the kidneys, and detoxifying the cells.
- Preparation Tips- Include parsley when you make fresh juices or chop it and add it to grains, salads, soups, sandwiches, and whole grain pasta dishes.
Tomatoes are an internal sunblock. It's an important part of the antioxidant defense network in the skin and, in combination with other nutrients, can raise the sun protection factor (SPF) of the skin. Eat tomatoes to enhance your skin's ability to withstand the assault from the damaging rays of the sun. According to a review published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1999, study results were strongest for prostate, lung, and stomach cancer, although there's some evidence that tomatoes protect against breast, ovarian, and other cancers too.