The power of food

Hello readers!

It has certainly been some time since I have posted! After two summer vacations and a trip to Tennessee, we’ve been so busy! After splurging during the holiday season and eating out almost every day on our trip, my body was craving some healthy food. I don’t know about you, but when I drink booze, I don’t crave a Big Mac in the morning, I crave a smoothie full of nutrients. It’s amazing the power good food has on our body. After watching a documentary called “Food Matters”, it astounded me the attitude doctors and big business have about our health. Sure, being healthy is wonderful, but it doesn’t make money! All the pills, creams, powders and surgeries are doing is reducing the size of our wallets. It doesn’t cure our ailment, but masks it. What did our ancestors do back in the day? The answer: good food. Food is medicine. Bottom line is what you are what you eat. Eat good, healthy food and you lessen your chance of getting sick, becoming obese and being reliant on pills.

Every cell in our body feeds on the food we eat. As I mentioned before, our bodies are starving nutritionally. The abundance of processed foods makes it difficult and expensive to eat raw foods. But, our body needs it. Did you know food can make you not only look better, but feel better? So next time you’re shopping, turn your grocery list into an Rx for what ails you. Check out this list of super foods that heal:

1. Painful heartburn? Try foods with insoluble fiber like fresh veggies as well as replacing refined grains like white rice and pasta with their whole-wheat counterparts. The more fiber your body consumes, the less time food spends in the stomach, which helps keep acid from coming back up.

2. Got the sniffles? Eat foods with selenium like tuna and halibut. Selenium helps build up white blood cells—particularly those responsible for killing bacteria and viruses, even the flu! Head to the nearest fish market and chow down on some fish this winter. If you’re not a fish person, try eating foods with probiotics like kefir, yogurt, kimchi and tempeh to also keep your immune system strong.

3. Muscle or joint pain? The omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as salmon and sardines can help relieve muscle and joint pain. You can also try adding in tart cherries to your diet because they have anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Allergies got you down? Try munching on nuts and seeds like almonds, peanuts and sunflower seeds (and even some vegetables) that are chock-full of vitamin E, which may help reduce the allergic response. Apples, onions and berries are also considered an “allergy drug” as they prevent immune cells from releasing the histamines that cause those symptoms.

5. Battling a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection)? Studies suggest drinking parsley tea. It has been shown to be an antibacterial force against the germs that cause urinary tract infections—even some of those that may be resistant to antibiotics. You can also try cranberry juice which is found to keep bacteria from attaching to bladder cells and causing infection.

6. Experiencing moodiness or dementia? Lean meat, beans and broccoli are all dishes that are rich in folic aid as well as vitamin B12. These vitamins help prevent disorders of the central nervous system, mood disorders, and dementia.

7. Reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and respiratory disease. Adding kiwis to your diet adds an astonishing amount of vitamin C as well as offers natural blood-thinning properties, reducing the formation of blood clots and lowering LDL cholesterol.

8. Prevent eye disease and vision loss. Spinach is a power food full of nutrients like vitamin K, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron. The green leafy vegetable is not only great for improving eye sight, but also good for brain function, guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers; and lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, and dementia!

9. Kidney and liver disorders.The pesky weed that we all try to rid our lawns of is actually very nutritious. Dandelions provide our bodies with vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A. It’s also one of the best sources of beta-carotene. Dandelion has been used for years to treat hepatitis, kidney stones, jaundice, and cirrhosis. It’s routinely prescribed as a natural treatment for anemia and liver detoxification.

10. Diarrhea, ear infections, coughs and constipation. Carrots contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin C, and an incredible amount of vitamin A. The alpha-carotene in carrots has been shown to cease tumor growth. Carrots also  promote eye health and prevent cataracts. Carrots are also used to treat rheumatism, kidney stones, tumors, indigestion, diarrhea, night blindness, ear infections, earaches, skin lesions, coughs, and constipation.

As you can see, food is the most powerful medicine on this planet. Without these super foods, our body cannot perform to its full potential. And the best part: adding these foods to your diet doesn’t have to be boring or expensive.

As promised, here are a few clean recipes that utilize some of these super foods.

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Pumpkin Oat Cookies:

2 cup oats

1/4 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie puree)

2 Tb. unsweetened coconut

2 tsp. chia seeds

1 medium banana

Add all ingredient together in bowl. Mash up banana and ensure mixture sticks together. Place on baking sheet at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Add cinnamon on top for added flavor.

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Eggplant Mini Pizzas:

1 eggplant

2 pieces of string cheese

1 can tomato sauce (no salt added)

Oregano and basil

Cut eggplant into 1 inch piece. Lay on paper towel to dry (pieces will begin to turn a yellowy color). Add tomato sauce, oregano, basil and sprinkle low-fat cheese on top. Bake for 10 minutes until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Potato Sliders:

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 cup spinach

2 pieces of cooked salmon

1 avocado

1 cup Greek yogurt (or kefir)

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes (until tender). Slice into 1 inch pieces. While potatoes cook, bake salmon in oven on 375 for 15 minutes until pink. Cut into 4 pieces and serve on sweet potato pieces. Add yogurt and avocado in blender until smooth. Add a dollop of avocado “sauce” on slider. Place in oven for 15 minutes. Add Spinach once cooked.

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Buffalo Chicken Wontons:

Low sodium hot sauce

2 cups of cooked chicken (skinless)

1 package of wontons

1 cup of low-fat cheddar cheese

1 package of low-fat cream cheese

This isn’t technically clean, but an easy (and protein-filled) recipe to bring to any party! Add wonton wrappers to muffin tins (I laid two in different directions). Cook chicken and add warm cream cheese. Mix mixture together. Place into the wonton “cups” and sprinkle cheese. Bake in oven on 350 until cheese melts and wontons are crisp (15 minutes).

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