Spring has finally sprung! With March finally, here it means we see an increase in fruits and vegetables that have our back. Spring fruits and vegetables are chock-full of metabolic boosting foods. Most, if not all of us, are looking to shed our winter coats. What better way to do just that than to fill your plate with powerful fruits and vegetables designed to burn fat and even slow down aging. Just like that, spring has just become one of all of our favorite seasons.
Let’s face it, we all want to look and feel our best. One of the best ways to do just that is by providing our bodies with the building blocks they need. During the month of March, mother nature fills our cupboards with fruits and vegetables that help bring out the best in all of us. Spring fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that support immunity, slow aging, boost metabolic rate, improve oral health, reduce seasonal allergies, and more! The following is a list of the best vegetables in March along with their health benefits.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, alongside kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, rutabaga, and turnips. Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants can help prevent the development of various conditions. The body produces molecules called free radicals during natural processes such as metabolism, and environmental stresses add to these. Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, are toxic in large amounts. They can cause cell damage that can lead to cancer and other conditions. The body can eliminate many of them, but dietary antioxidants can help. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin K, but this may interfere with some people’s use of blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin (Coumadin). People who use these drugs should not suddenly increase their intake of vitamin K-rich foods such as broccoli.
Leeks are rich in vitamin A, one of the nutrients necessary for the eyes to properly function. They are also loaded with antioxidants that help the eyes combat environmental pollutants or allergens with which they might come in contact. 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 your cleaner, healthier, and more glowing. Leeks also contain allicin, an antibacterial agent that keeps germs at bay. These large members of the onion family 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 produce a protein called osteocalcin successfully. Osteocalcin is essential for good bone health and wards off osteoporosis.
Celery is filled to the brim with antioxidants and polysaccharides. Antioxidants can repair the damage caused by free radicals — one of the most common causes of inflammation. These include quercetin, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid. Celery is a great home remedy for inflammatory issues which include joint point, IBS, kidney infections, and UTIs. There is a compound called BuPh in celery that can lower lipid. Furthermore, if you add more celery into your meals or start taking celery supplements, you’ll find that your triglyceride concentration, total cholesterol, and lipoprotein cholesterol will all be decreased. Excessively high cholesterol levels make it difficult for your body to move blood around your arteries which can lead to heart disease and even cardiac arrest. Eating celery regularly will ensure that the free flow of your blood across your body is safeguarded.
In addition, celery contains muscle-relaxing capabilities which can regulate your blood pressure and ensure you don’t get a stroke. It can inhibit the growth of bacteria, boost the efficiency of your immune system, and fight any bacterial infections that might be manifesting within your body. Most people just rely on antibiotics to deal with any bacterial infections that they may be dealing with. Celery has the ability to lower your blood pressure which could further aid digestion. In this regard, celery is the best vegetable for killing two birds with one stone. Celery can help decrease the frequency of urinary tract infections due to the fact that it can increase the production of urine and lower the levels of uric acid in your body. It also holds antibacterial properties which can ward off any harmful bacteria before they even have the chance to manifest into a full-blown infection.
Spinach has long been regarded as a plant that can restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. There are good reasons for this, such as the fact that spinach is rich in iron. In addition to its many vitamins and minerals, spinach provides antioxidants tied to anti-inflammation and disease protection. These include kaempferol, a flavonoid shown to reduce the risk of cancer, as well as slow its growth and spread. Another, called quercetin, has been linked to possible protective effects on memory as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. They’re also able to positively influence the expression of genes involved in metabolism and inflammation. In addition, they trigger the release of satiety hormones, which can make you feel more full and satisfied.
The anti-inflammatory effects of spinach make it a key contender for protecting the brain, particularly with aging. Spinach is a source of naturally occurring nitrates, compounds that open up blood vessels to improve blood flow and ease the workload on the heart. It is safe for most people, however, there are some individuals who need to exercise caution. Spinach contains a high amount of oxalate, for this reason, people with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should minimize their consumption. It is also one of the best sources of dietary magnesium, which is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, regular heart rhythm, a healthy immune system, and maintaining blood pressure.
Peas are high in protein which is one of the biggest reasons people want to add them to their diet. They are also high in fiber making them a great way to promote weight loss. Peas can help regulate blood sugar levels and heart health. They are great at improving liver function and reducing the risk for kidney disease. Peas are high in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which is great for anti-aging. Their high levels of micronutrients make them ideal for aiding in pregnancy. Peas not only help improve bone strength they also boost muscle thickness. They help lower cholesterol levels and improve eyesight. Not to mention peas are also great for increasing energy levels and boosting your immune system. Now that you have a few new reasons to love peas here is an amazing recipe to make sure you get them into your diet.
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 7
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion Diced
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 6 Cups Celery thinly sliced
- 2 cups white potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 4 Cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 5 mint leaves
- 1/2 cup Coconut Cream
Heat the oil in a deep, heavy, soup pot. Add in the onion and let sweat for about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Add in celery, potatoes, stock, water, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and cayenne. The liquid needs to just cover the vegetables if it does not add a little more water. Cover and boil for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Turn heat off, remove bay leaves, add in fresh herbs until they wilt. Blend until smooth, let cool if you are blending in a large blender (I use an immersion blender). For extra green color, you can add a handful of baby spinach to the blender. Pour back into the pot over low heat. Stir in cream and slowly bring back to serving temp. Top with fried celery leaves or additional parsley.
Lemon Butter Chicken Orzo
Dairy-Free Serves 6
- 2 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
- 2 Lemons, 1 sliced, juice, and zest of 1
- 1 cup Orzo
- 2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/3 cup White Wine
- 2 1/2 cup low sodium Chicken Broth
- 1/2 bunch Kale torn
- 1 Tbsp fresh Dill chopped
- Sea Salt and Lemon Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Season the chicken on both sides. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken and sear on both sides until it is a golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Add lemon slices and butter to the pan. Sear until golden on each side, about 1 minute. Remove and place with chicken. Add garlic and orzo to the pan. Toast 2-3 minutes or until garlic becomes fragrant. Add wine, broth, kale, lemon zest, and juice. Bring to a boil and stir. Add in the chicken and lemon slices along with any drippings from the pre-cooked food. Transfer the skillet into the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve with fresh dill on top.
Broccoli Bean Soup
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 4
- 3 Tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion minced
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/4 cup Dry White Wine
- 1 can White Beans
- 3 cups low sodium Vegetable Broth
- 1 pound broccoli florets
- 2 cups Baby Spinach
- 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley
- 1 cup Kale Chopped
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- Green onions and Vegan Yogurt to garnish
In a large soup pot heat the oil and onions for 5 minutes over low heat. Add garlic and turn heat medium, saute for 1 minute. Pour the white wine in and stir for another minute. Drain the beans and rinse them before adding them to the pot. Add in the broth, broccoli, greens, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for five minutes or until the broccoli is cooked tenderly. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to desired texture. Serve with yogurt and chopped green onions on top.
Get Started Today
Keeping your body free of toxins and free radicals is necessary to maintain a healthy life and a healthy mind. There are tons of foods you can add 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 important and realistically everyone should be doing it on at least a seasonal basis I have taken the time to put together a program to help you do just that. Here’s the thing, I know working with me one-on-one can seem difficult 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, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. 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 ever need any help, I am always here to do just 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 you can even 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!