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 vegetables available in April.
Leeks are rich in vitamin A, one of the nutrients necessary for the eyes to function properly. They are also loaded with antioxidants that help the eyes combat environmental pollutants or allergens they might encounter. Lastly, leeks are good sources of zeaxanthin and lutein, which shield the eyes, thus helping prevent cataracts. The antioxidants in leeks combat these aging elements and can make you cleaner, healthier, and glowing. Leeks also contain allicin, an anti-bacterial agent that keeps germs at bay. These prominent onion family members are also good for your heart – they contain kaempferol, which protects the blood vessels. They also contain small amounts of nitric oxide, which helps dilate and relax blood vessels.
Another healthy ingredient in leeks is potassium. This nutrient helps regulate tension in blood vessels to keep a steady flow of blood streaming through your veins and arteries. Potassium also helps to regulate hormone levels in the body and maintain a good acid/base balance in the digestive system. Anemia, a low concentration of red blood cells in the blood, can cause a number of troubling symptoms, including fatigue, low mental alertness, and general weakness. Leeks are a good source of iron and B vitamins, which both combat anemia and boost the body’s red blood cell count. The antioxidant vitamins in leeks are beneficial for weekend warriors; they lessen inflammation from sore muscles, bruises, and strains. Leeks contain vitamin K, which is needed to successfully produce a protein called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is essential for good bone health and wards off osteoporosis.
Saving Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a natural and abundant source of beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential in helping the body fight off infections and remain resistant to any further infections. Sweet potatoes contain essential fibers and magnesium that are critical in preventing and managing diabetes. Vegetables also have a moderately low glycemic index that also aids in the regulation of blood glucose levels. Sweet potatoes are an essential source of magnesium, whose deficiency has been linked to a higher risk of depression, stress, and anxiety. Thus, sweet potatoes can replenish the body’s magnesium levels and help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety-related behaviors in individuals.
The presence of anthocyanin and choline in sweet potatoes makes vegetables an essential dietary source for preventing and reducing chronic inflammation in the body. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a carotenoid essential in protecting men from developing prostate cancer. In addition, extracts from different parts of sweet potatoes have been shown to accelerate the death of breast, gastric, colorectal, and prostate cancers, limiting the growth and spread of these cancers. Studies on the extracts from sweet potatoes have shown that the vegetable has chemicals that can help heal wounds and ulcers in the stomach. Thus, dietary consumption of sweet potatoes can be an effective treatment plan against major types of ulcers, including ethanol and aspirin-induced ulcers.
The fibers, anthocyanin, polyphenols, and high radical scavenging activity contained in sweet potatoes are all crucial in the fight against cardiovascular diseases. Sweet potatoes and their extracts possess antimicrobial activities, which can be used to prevent and treat a variety of bacterial pathogens and infections. Sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, all of which are useful in promoting proper skin and hair health. These vitamins are helpful in repairing skin that is damaged due to exposure to UV light. The vitamins also slow down the cell aging process in the skin, helping you retain a youthful look for longer. In addition, vitamin E is especially useful in the prevention and treatment of alopecia and in maintaining good hair health.
Rich in vitamin A, carrots are a great detoxifying agent that removes toxins from the blood and delays aging, keeping you mentally and physically feeling younger. Vitamin A is also essential for vision and can prevent night blindness. Carrots are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is the chief producer of collagen, a protein that makes up most of the body’s cells and is an active participant in the cell renewal process. Carrots are also a critical vitamin K, vitamin B8, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese. Vitamin K plays a massive role in regeneration by promoting blood clot formation. Folate is a primary component of DNA and is vital for the reproduction and renewal of cells in our body. Ions such as potassium, iron, copper, and manganese can also be found in carrots and are essential for our body’s physiological processes, like maintaining normal blood pressure and respiration.
Artichokes are chock-full of essential nutrients, like vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, potassium, and antioxidants. In addition to its comprehensive nutrition profile, artichokes offer more protein than many other vegetables at 3.5 grams per serving. Studies show that those who consume a higher ratio of plant-based protein to animal-derived protein have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
A half-cup of artichokes contains about seven grams of fiber, or more than a quarter of the amount recommended for women and nearly a fifth of the amount recommended for men. Americans, on average, only eat about half the amount of fiber that’s recommended per day. Artichokes are full of inulin, which is a unique form of fiber known to help prevent gastrointestinal issues like constipation, enhance the absorption of minerals like calcium, and bolster your immune system. It is also a natural probiotic that helps support digestion. Artichokes are high up on the list of immune-boosting, antioxidant-rich foods. Artichokes are naturally high in polyphenols, which can repair damaged cells that impair your immune function.
Asparagus is great for weight loss for a number of reasons. One of the reasons is its high fiber content. It is also a natural diuretic and contains inulin which aids in digestion by increasing good bacterial flora. Asparagus is great for regulating blood sugar levels and contains saponins such as diosgenin which help improve blood pressure. It helps to detox the body and increase energy levels due to its high concentration of B-complex vitamins. Asparagus also helps increase the production of red blood cells, and the vitamin K content helps promote heart and bone health. But wait, there’s more. Asparagus is high in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants and contains glutathione which detoxifies and fights carcinogens. It is definitely a vegetable that should make it on your plate this season!
Carrot Cake Smoothie
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 1
- 1 medium Banana frozen
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 carrot chopped
- 2 dates pitted
- 1 tsp ginger fresh
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cup coconut milk
Add all the ingredients into a blender and combine until it reaches desired texture. Top with chopped walnuts, shredded carrots, and whipped coconut cream.
Gluten-Frees, Vegan, Serves 4
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 pounds asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 white onion minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Into a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the garlic and onions. Cook for 1 minute or until they become fragrant. Add the asparagus and cook an additional 5 minutes. Next, stir in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender but green, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the heat. Stir in the cream over low heat and season to taste. Once the soup has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the heat and serve.
Spicy Szechuan Noodles
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 2
- 7 ounces gluten-free noodles
- 1 stalk green onions diced
- handful of cilantro chopped
- sesame seeds
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp Szechuan chili flakes or to taste
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp coconut amino
- 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the noodles as directed on the box. Drain very well. Prepare the sauce by sauteing the garlic with the oil until it becomes fragrant. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients of the sauce into the pan. Transfer the sauce into a bowl with the noodles and toss. Make sure to coat the noodles well. Garnish with onions, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
Spring Vegetable Hash
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 4
- 4 cups cubed baby potatoes
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch spring green onions sliced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 3 Tbsp coconut yogurt
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 4 medium eggs
Cook the potatoes until just tender. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the potatoes. Fry until crisp and golden making sure to move them around the pan for about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Mix in the peas, yogurt, mustard, and most of the parsley. Cook for another 2 minutes, seasoning to taste. Make four slight indents into the hash and crack an egg into each of the indents. Put the lid on the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the egg whites are set. Top with remaining parsley.
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!