Have you ever wondered, “What can I eat to help my body work better?”  I have and it’s a question I get asked a lot by my clients.  Spring is a time for regeneration and renewal. It’s a time to shed those extra winter pounds and lighten up.

If you are feeling a bit bogged down by winter then try some of the foods below. Each one is beneficial for helping your body to get rid of the extra toxins you’ve accumulated over the winter months.

Parsley, not something that is usually top on my ‘let’s eat’ food list surprised me.  Did you know that it is high in vitamins A, B12, C and K, all vitamins that help to boost the body’s immune system?  It’s also a good source of iron, folic acid and beta carotene.  Adding it to your daily diet can help in reducing blood pressure, and its resulting factor of hypertension.  It is also known for helping to decrease cramps during the menstrual cycle.

Lemons, something that adds a natural punch to everyday drinking water can help you to fulfill your duty of getting in those 8 glasses a day, while also acting as a natural diuretic, flushing toxins from your system.  It also has the ability to curb bad breath.  If you’re suffering from a toothache, just a little squeeze massaged on the affected tooth and gums will do, or for a sore throat or tonsillitis.  Swap your Scope mouth wash for a few gargles with some fresh lemon juice mixed with warm water.

Beets, a vegetable that is so satisfying because of its natural sweetness can seem like a treat, while at the same time benefiting your body with its vitamin A and C, as well as a great dose of magnesium, iron and phosphorus.  They are also high in carbohydrates, which are a source of energy, but not in the processed-food kind of way that is a no-no. Beets have also been shown to guard against colon cancer and heart disease.

Dandelion greens, yep, that’s what I said!  They sound odd, I agree, but they totally rock!  They are rich in copper, phosphorus, potassium,  magnesium and iron. They are a great source of vegetarian protein too.  They’re high in calcium, even more so than kale.  Add a few cups of dandelion greens to a smoothie with your favorite fruits and you’ll have a green smoothie that’s higher in calcium than most dairy products!

Turmeric, a wonderful, colorful spice that is part of the ginger family, has the healing properties of a natural anti-inflammatory, without any dreaded side effects.  It also aids in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.  Turmeric has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine, and found to help in those who suffer from depression.

Pineapple, it’s a common fruit that has great healing properties, and let’s face it, just tastes really good!  It strengthens bones with manganese, a mineral needed by the body to build healthy bones and connective tissues.  Pineapple helps aid in digestion.  It contains bromelain, which neutralizes fluids and reduces their acidity, as well as helping out the pancreas.  100g of pineapple has around 50 calories, is a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.

Cabbage, a vegetable that is sometimes neglected, is a great source of vitamin C, and helps to strengthen the immune system.   Cabbage juice is a wonder-remedy for peptic ulcers, due to its high glutamine content.  Eating red cabbage can also help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.  Research has shown that the vitamin K and anthocyanin, an antioxidant, helps with the plaque on the brain, and has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Cherries, well, they’re yummy, plus to boot, they’re a super-fruit!  The little red gems are packed with dietary goodness like beta carotene, about 19 times more than both, strawberries or blueberries. They contain antioxidants that help reduce inflammation with arthritis and gout, as well as guard against cancer and heart disease.  Cherries are one of the few foods that contain melatonin, another antioxidant that helps to regulate our sleep patterns, and who doesn’t love more sleep!

Cucumbers, they’re a super-crunchy, low-calorie addition to any healthy diet.  They are 96% water, helping to hydrate and satisfy at the same time, while still doing the job of flushing the body’s toxins.  They even have some beauty benefits…their high silica content helps to maintain beautiful nails, and keep them from splitting.  Cucumbers also contain properties that have been shown to provide a reduced risk of many types of cancer, such as breast, prostate, uterine and ovarian.

Watercress, is another one of those not-on-the-top-of-my-list foods, but has obviously been overlooked, as it’s one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans…huh!  It is high in iodine, which proves to be a source of strength for the thyroid gland, and contains sulfur, which aids in protein absorption, blood purification and cell building.  It has even been used as a tonic for the promotion of hair growth.

So, to sum it all up, sometimes the foods we don’t even think about adding to our daily diet help our body in so many incredible ways. Go on, give them a try, and maybe you might even add a few top foods of your own to the list.  Bon appetite!

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