Spring is the time for “CLEANsing”- lets make it the best. Cleansing can mean a lot of things. Beginning in April, we start to slowly see the comfort foods and hearty winter veggies subside. Having seasonal vegetables has the bonus of making sure that they are packing the most nutrients since they are at their peak. Knowing that they come from a garden near you secures the fact that you can trust that they are grown without crazy chemicals in unnatural circumstances. Since you don’t know what you’ll receive each week, you end up finding creative uses for new items that you may have never tried before.
Forget spring cleaning your house, start with you kitchen, pantry and fridge. When it comes to cleansing your body, we want to become more alkaline and get rid of harmful toxins, food really is the best medicine. Many of your favorite foods also cleanse the liver, kidneys, skin, intestines and other detoxification systems.
Here are my top five picks for seasonal spring detox foods.
1. Strawberries: Packed with antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C, they protect your heart, help with memory loss, arthritis, and increase good cholesterol. Detoxing never tasted so sweet! Don't be afraid to freeze them, you will not loose any nutritional value, and you can use them in your smoothies.
2. Beets: Bet you didn't know these cancer fighters belong to the same family as chard, spinach and quinoa. Beets contain extremely potent cancer fighters and they’re rich in minerals including magnesium and potassium. They provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. You can eat them raw, steamed, roasted, or sautéed. I like to roast them and use them in salads.
3. Artichoke: Artichoke is a rich source of dietary fiber, an excellent source of folic acid, B-complex group of vitamins that are essential for optimum cellular metabolic functions. Artichokes help the digestive system, they aid digestion, improve gallbladder function and, are of great benefit to the liver. Thanks to their positive effects on the liver, many people swear by artichokes as a hangover treatment. Instead of the hair of the dog, try the leaves of an artichoke.
4. Asparagus: asparagus is known for its cleansing and healing properties. The high folic acid content in asparagus is crucial to blood cell formation and growth, and aids in the prevention of liver disease, and birth defects such as spina bifida. Rich in Vitamin K which helps promote strong,healthy bones as well as potassium, a terrific blood-pressure regulator. Enjoy roasted, or raw with hummus.
5. Arugula: Is a source of magnesium, which helps strengthen bones, keeps your immune system going strong and aids in muscular health. Add it to you smoothie, make pesto, on pizza, or as a main ingredient in salad.