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.
Loaded with many excellent benefits, such as high antioxidants, remove free radicals throughout your body. They are high in fiber, which helps improve digestion and aid in heart health. Peaches are great for your skin because they improve skin texture and help skin retain moisture. They are low in calories and high in vitamins A and C, which helps improve the immune system and promote eye health. Peaches can also restore electrolyte imbalance and reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which can help lower blood pressure.
Cheering for Cherries!
Cherries have been shown to improve liver, kidney, and heart health and function. They are high in antioxidants which makes them amazing at rejuvenating the skin and slowing down the rampant signs of aging. Cherries are one of the only naturally occurring forms of melatonin in food. Other foods need to be converted into melatonin, which makes them great for reducing stress and improving sleep. Not to mention they have anti-inflammatory properties, which help with joint pain. Cherries can also help boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels, and aid in digestion. If that wasn’t enough, here is the big one if you are trying to lose those extra pounds, they promote weight loss! I know they are superhero fruit that everyone should consider incorporating into their diet.
Strawberries are high in vitamin C, which boosts 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 and 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. It is clear these berries are more than just sweet.
Apricots are very nutritious and contain many essential vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, this fruit is a decent source of beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, all of which are potent antioxidants that help fight free radicals in your body. Apricots are low in calories and fat and are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C. Moreover, they’re high in a group of polyphenol antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to protect against illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. Apricots contain numerous antioxidants, most notably flavonoids. They help protect your body from oxidative stress linked to many chronic diseases. Apricots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E. These nutrients protect your eyes against damage.
Apricots are naturally high in antioxidants, which guard against environmental damage from sunlight, pollution, and cigarette smoke. These compounds may benefit your skin by lowering your risk of wrinkles and sunburn. Apricots are a good source of soluble fiber, which feeds your healthy gut bacteria and may boost digestive health. Potassium aids nerve signaling, muscle contractions, and fluid balance. Eating potassium-rich foods, such as apricots, may help prevent high blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke. Apricots are naturally high in water, which is essential for staying hydrated. Proper hydration is vital for several aspects of health, including blood pressure and heart rate.
Eating cantaloupe daily can improve your vision. Vitamin C, zeaxanthin, and carotenoids present in cantaloupe improve vision and reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration (an eye disease that causes vision loss, typically in the central field of vision). Cantaloupe falls at 90 percent water per gram. Antioxidants come in many different forms, but the notable one here is beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta carotene to vitamin A—which in the case of cantaloupe, gives the fruit its orange color. The beta carotene in cantaloupe reduces cell damage, possibly reducing cancer risk. It may also reduce inflammation since it contributes to immune and cell tissue health. Cantaloupe is high in something called folate, or vitamin B9.
Cantaloupe is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which boosts immunity by stimulating the white blood cells in the body. WBCs are considered the body’s natural defense mechanism as they prevent foreign bodies from attacking as well as eradicating infections that attack the body. Being a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C also effectively combats free radicals in the body. These free radicals damage the skin and are responsible for causing premature aging. Adding cantaloupes to your diet can keep premature aging at bay. Cantaloupe is rich in potassium which normalizes the heartbeat and promotes oxygen supply to the brain, thus making you feel more relaxed and focused. It also has superoxide dismutase, which combats stress by lowering blood pressure and relaxing the nerves.
Chocolate Chip Cherry Bars
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 9
- 1/2 cup vegan butter melted
- 1 cup coconut brown sugar packed
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup cherries pitted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil. In a bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and stir to combine. Next, stir in the flour and salt and stir until just combined. Don’t over-mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and cherries. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides and the center is set. Allow the bars to cool in the pan for at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
Creamy Vegetable Soup
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 5
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion minced
- 12 ounce baby potatoes quartered
- 1 cup celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 9 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 pound mixed frozen vegetables
- 15 ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Soak the cashews in 2 cups of hot water while you make the rest of the recipe. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and celery; cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Next, add the potatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the frozen vegetables and chickpeas. Add the broth and bring it to a boil, making sure to stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmered covered for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Transfer cashews into a blender on high until smooth. Pour the cashew mixture into the soup and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes. Remove thyme stems, season to taste, and blend if desired.
Cherry Bourbon Cocotail
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 1
- 6 fresh cherries pitted
- 4 basil leaves
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 ounce cointreau
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- ginger beer for topping
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tsp fresh chopped thyme chopped
Prep the sugar by mixing all the ingredients together. Mull the cherries, thyme, and basil in a shaker. Add the Cointreau, lime juice, bourbon, and vinegar. Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of the glass prior to dipping it into the sugar mixture. Shake well and serve over ice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with basil and lime zest.
Thai Coconut Salmon Curry
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 4
- 4 salmon fillets, skin removed
- 1 red bell pepper finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 baby bok choy roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 3 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 small yellow onion minced
- 2 Tbsp double-concentrated tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp ginger minced
- 2 cups coconut milk unsweetened
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp gluten-free fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, cumin, coriander
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Basil leaves
- Steamed Jasmine rice per serving
Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat the coconut oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the salmon fillets and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes before adding the bell pepper. Let cook an additional 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and curry paste, and cook for 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, and pepper flakes. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Add the bok choy, fish sauce, and almond butter. Stir to combine. Pour in the coconut milk and reduce to a simmer. Place the salmon into the sauce. Sprinkle with lemon juice and simmer for 3-5 more minutes or until the salmon is cooked. Remove from the sauce, stir in the basil, and serve with rice.
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!