Spring is here, and fresh fruits and vegetables are designed to help our bodies naturally detox. This season is when everything starts to come back to life. Each of the fruits and vegetables we find in this season are nutrient dense as well as hydrating. The winter season tends to leave toxins that build up in our system from reduced movement. Luckily, the spring season is jam-packed with detoxifying foods that help cleanse our system to make room for the upcoming seasons. For the record, just like in all aspects of life, there is a reason for every season, and it is important to eat seasonally.
The Reason For The Season
Did you know that each season brings with it a different selection of fruits and vegetables? Each of these foods actually helps us reap each season’s benefits. For example, during the spring months foods, are higher in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This is due to the fact that our bodies need to purge all the excess toxins that have built up over the long winter months. When we choose to eat seasonally, it allows our bodies to go through similar changes that our environment experiences during each season. These foods are actually high concentrations of the vitamins and minerals we need to get through each season with an added advantage. For example, spring foods are high in vitamin C and zinc to keep your immune system up. In comparison, each winter month is all about foods that help you feel full longer. The following are my favorite top five fruits available in April.
Apples are not only great at getting you up, and on your way, they are perfect for aiding in weight loss and management. Apples are high in fiber which aids in digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. The fiber in apples also helps lower the risk of heart disease and aids in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Apples are also low in calories and high in water content which helps the body naturally detox and, thus, removes excess weight that can be stored toxins. When our bodies come into contact with something they either do not recognize or consider an enemy, they encase it in fat as a form of protection. During detoxing, our bodies force out these fat-encased toxins, which result in a lower number on the scale.
Apples are great for your brain activity. They contain high levels of boron, which stimulates the brain’s electrical activity and increases mental alertness. Apples also help to produce Dopamine in the body, which helps to improve: memory, mood (feelings of joy or bliss), motivation, and focus. Apples may not be rich in calcium, but their high levels of boron make them a great food to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones. A 2006 study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine found that quercetin (one of the antioxidants found abundantly in apples) was one of two compounds that helped reduce cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. Once again, this highlights what makes apples so desirable in daily nutrition.
Oranges are famous due to their natural sweetness, the many different types available, and their diverse uses. For example, a person can consume them in juices and marmalades, eat them whole, or use the zested peel to add a tangy flavor to cakes and desserts. This popular citrus fruit is mainly known for its vitamin C content. However, oranges contain a range of other plant compounds and antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and work against disease. As an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, oranges may help combat the formation of free radicals that cause cancer. Although an adequate vitamin C intake is necessary and very beneficial, the amount a person would need for the desired therapeutic effect on cancer is more than they could realistically consume.
Oranges contain no sodium, which helps keep a person below their daily limit. On the other hand, a cup of orange juice can boost daily potassium intake by 14%. Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. However, increasing potassium intake may be just as crucial for reducing a person’s risk of high blood pressure as it can help support the relaxation and opening of blood vessels.
Persimmons are rich in betulinic acid, which has anti-tumor compounds. This acid has the power to cause tumor cell apoptosis. Essentially the tumor cells die before they have a chance to develop. If you have a tumor already, the betlulinic acid helps prevent the tumor from growing larger or metastasizing. Because persimmons are so rich in antioxidants, they have the power to neutralize disease-causing free radicals. Persimmons are rich in nutrients like potassium which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Once the blood pressure is reduced, the cardiovascular system has significantly less strain. High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Known to help regulate blood sugar levels, persimmons are a portion of food that people who have diabetes should consider adding to their diet. Persimmons are rich in fiber, so they can leave you feeling fuller for longer.
The health benefits of lemon might be attributed to its vitamin C content. It can help improve skin health, promote weight loss, and may act as a breath freshener. Lemons may also help with dental problems, throat infections, and high blood pressure. These citrus fruits can also be used in skin and hair care. Lemon may also help to strengthen your immune system. Lemon juice might help you manage your blood pressure with long-term use. Drinking warm water with lemon and honey in the morning is said to aid your weight loss efforts. While that might or might not work for you, a research study on mice confirmed that polyphenols can suppress body weight gain and body fat accumulation.
Lemon can be used in cleaning teeth. While most remedies will advocate using lemon and baking soda, try and avoid it as it may lead to dental erosion. The safest way is to choose a toothpaste containing this fruit as one of the ingredients. If you want to use lemon or its juice for oral care, it is best to consult a medical expert before trying out anything new. Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, may also be able to cure problems related to the skin. The juice contains vitamin C; therefore, it can be applied to reduce the pain of sunburns and bee stings. It is also suitable for acne and eczema. Lemon juice may assist in relieving respiratory problems and breathing problems, such as its ability to soothe a person suffering from asthma.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, which is excellent for boosting your immune system. They are high in antioxidants making them ideal for anti-aging. Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, which prevents collagen breakdown and reduces wrinkles. They are high in anti-inflammatory properties, which lower blood pressure and heart health. They are high in fiber, making them ideal for weight loss, detoxing, and digestive health. Strawberries contain high levels of manganese, which improves mood and lowers stress levels. They are also great for your teeth and bones. Strawberries can even help whiten your teeth! Strawberries can prevent your skin from sunburn and improve hair, skin, and nail health. They improve brain function and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative disease. Strawberries are also great for aiding in hormone regulation and supporting a healthy pregnancy. These berries are more than just sweet.
Double Strawberry Cupcakes
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 18
- 3 cups freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup coconut yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup date sugar
- 1 cup strawberry jam
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups coconut flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 6 ounces vegan cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup vegan butter at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered coconut sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1/4 cup warm coconut milk
Blend the freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil, yogurt, eggs, syrup, strawberry jam, and vanilla. Once combined, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add about 2/3 of the strawberry powder and reserve the rest for the frosting. Mix until just combined, then slowly beat in the milk until fully combined. Transfer the batter to the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool. To make the frosting, beat together the cream cheese until whipped. Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the powder sugar, vanilla, and strawberry powder. Beat the frosting until light and fluffy, then slowly add the milk until the desired consistency is reached. Frost the cooled cupcakes and top them with fresh strawberries.
Chicken and Leek Carbonara
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 2
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 2 small leeks finely sliced
- 1 large clove garlic minced
- 2 cups shredded roasted chicken
- 1 Tbsp tarragon chopped
- 1 cup gluten-free noodles
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese
Saute the leeks in a pan with the butter. Cover with the lid and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the garlic, chicken, and tarragon. Cook for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring until hot. Meanwhile, cook the pasta as directed. In a bowl, whisk the yolks with the parmesan until combined. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving 3 Tbsp of pasta water. Slowly whisk the pasta water into the egg mixture. Off the heat, add the pasta to the pan with the chicken and leeks. Lastly, pour over the egg mixture tossing with tongs until a glossy sauce forms. Divide into two servings and top with additional cheese and tarragon.
Strawberry Donut Brioche Rolls
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 6
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk lukewarm
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1/2 cup vegan butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 cups strawberry jam
- 1 egg beaten for wash
- 2 Tbsp freeze-dried strawberry powder
- 1 cup coconut sugar
Pretreat the baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix well with the yeast, milk, and 1 Tbsp of sugar into a small bowl. Set to one side for 15 minutes until foamy. Add flour, remaining sugar, and salt into a standing mixer bowl. Using the dough hook accessory, mix together quickly. Ass the foaming yeast mixture, eggs, and vanilla. Mix for 5 minutes or until the dough starts to come together. Then add the butter gradually, with the mixture on medium until incorporated, then turn the mixture up and knead for 10 minutes. Once kneaded, place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Once doubled in size, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. Cut the dough in half, wrap it, and put it into the fridge for 1 hour. Onto a floured workspace, roll the dough out to 8×16 inches. Spread a thin layer of the jam over the dough, roll the dough into a log, and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Place the rolls onto a tray and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush with an egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Once baked, toss the rolls in strawberry sugar coating.
Zucchini Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 8
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups Gluten-Free rolled Oats
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil divided
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pretreat an 8×8 baking dish with 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil. Combine the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix to combine. Add the applesauce, milk, vanilla, oil, and maple syrup to the bowl. Stir to combine. Fold in the 1/2 cup of blueberries and zucchini. Spread the batter into the prepared dish. Top oatmeal with the remaining blueberries. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with maple syrup or a splash of coconut milk.
Get Started Today
Keeping your body free of toxins and free radicals is necessary to maintain a healthy life and a healthy mind. You can add tons of foods to your regular diet to help your body with its critical detoxifying processes. If you are looking for a safe and all-natural way to detox your body at home, be sure to check out my Balancing Abundance Program. Because detoxing is so essential and realistically, everyone should be doing it on at least a seasonal basis, I have put together a program to help you do just that. Here’s the thing, I know working with me one-on-one can seem challenging to get into (due to limited space), and I wanted to be able to give everyone an additional solution that has no limits. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful at everything you do, so here are some recipes to help set you up for success!
Need A Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, which shows when we don’t feel our best. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you need help, I am always here to do that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies, and check back daily for more great recipes and information!