Healthy Foods for the Liver

Maintaining healthy liver function is essential to ridding the blood of harmful toxins and promoting healthy digestion. Smoking and drinking alcohol in excess and dehydration all negatively impact the liver and increase the risk of heart disease, liver failure, chronic headaches and fatigue, and digestive problems. But even if you are drinking enough water, you don’t smoke, and you don’t drink alcohol much or at all a healthy diet is still so important for a functioning liver. Here are five brilliant foods for you to add to your diet:

  • Garlic—This potent food may not be the best choice for the day of a big date, but it is amazing at  cleansing the liver because of its high amount of allicin and selenium. It also helps the liver activate enzymes that flush out toxins, and adds a burst of flavor to any dish.
  • Beets—Beets are high in plant-flavonoids which help maintain a healthy liver. They are great in salads or as a refreshing juice.
  • Grapefruit—Also delicious as a drink or eating whole is the grapefruit. High in detoxing properties, antioxidants, and vitamins, the grapefruit is great at flushing out those nasty toxins.
  • Turmeric—This spice stimulates the production of bile, digests fats, and helps detox the liver. Try this vibrant flavor in my Creamy Corn and Coconut Casserole from my book The Goddess of Raw Foods.
  • Walnuts—High in omega-3 fatty acids and glutathione, walnuts are great for cleansing the diet. A handful is great as a satisfying snack or you can add them to salads and other dishes! Try adding them to my delicious Apple and Parsley Salad from my book or for a sweet option, my Banana Pudding.

And always remember that you should never sacrifice taste for health, because they work best together.

Stay happy and healthy!

What Doctors Need to Prescribe for Patients……

When we think of the term doctor, we think of someone who is known to heal and take care of people. It is sad that we live in a medicine driven culture where we are conditioned to think that written prescriptions are the cure all for everything.

I believe that a healthy lifestyle and eating habits inclusive of fruits, vegetables, and grains can prevent many diseases as well as prolong life. When I read an article on NPR http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/24/205124705/nyc-doctors-are-now-prescribing-fruits-and-veggies  a couple of weeks ago, I was excited to learn that doctors are now prescribing fruits and vegetables to obese or overweight patients. The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program is based in New York City and launched by deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

The purpose is to give at-risk families greater access to healthy foods.  In the program, families will be prescribed Health Bucks which are redeemable at farmers markets. Health Bucks are through Grow NYC’s  initiative to make fresh and locally grown produce available to low income families in New York.

This is a great start to a healthier nation. I feel more people are paying attention to preventive care and finding ways to have healthy eating optional for everyone. Once the healthier food choices are prescribed, this can become a positive lifestyle habit that can last a lifetime.

We would love to hear from you.

What do you think about doctors prescribing fruits and vegetables?

Please leave a comment with your answer.

Green Smoothies…Why Drink Them?

They are refreshing, healthy, delicious and green. Yes it is a smoothie. Green smoothies have so many nutritional benefits that can help aid you in weight loss, enhance energy and get your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. When it comes to the main ingredients…greens, there are some top picks that will get you going and feeling great all day long.

Kale

It might be the unassuming decoration on a lot of party trays but this green is packed with many vitamins and minerals. Kale has calcium, fiber, beta carotene, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Kale is also known for its powerful antioxidants that help protect against cancer. The leafy green is also wonderful for detoxing and cleansing while boosting the immune system.

Cilantro

This little green leaf has a plethora of healing properties. Known as a metal detoxifier, cilantro is able to remove aluminum and mercury from fat tissues. With vitamins such as A, C, and K and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron, cilantro is known to have more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables.

Collards

These large leaves are big in benefits. A wonderful source of vitamin C, K, and E, they also have wonderful minerals such as calcium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. Collards are a wonderful source of fiber and contain many cancer-fighting agents through their large antioxidant properties.

With the benefits of green smoothies, it is a great way to start your day. Here is a recipe to get you started.

Ingredients:

A handful of black or lacinto kale

1 pear

1 mango (or frozen mango chunks)

1 apple

1-2 bananas

2-3 dates (pitted)

Use apple juice or water for your base Instructions In a high speed blender blend all the ingredients together to the consistency you prefer. Make sure you pit the dates first by taking out the seeds.

If you want more recipes click our Recipe Page

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Do you drink green smoothies?

The Skinny On Fruit

A client of mine recently asked me about consuming only fruits in order to lose weight. I always wonder why people are attracted to mono-diets such as this when trying to lose weight.
I always stress the importance of eating a balanced and diverse plant-based diet.  Your body is not able to get all of the nutrients it needs on fruit alone.
Yes you will lose weight on a 100% fruit diet or what we call a fruitarian diet.  Yes you will have glowing skin, great digestion, better sleep, and most of your ailments will subside.  And you can even do this for a long period of time, however choosing to eat a mono-diet such as this as opposed to a diet rich in all the foods from the plant kingdom is a better choice when losing weight or enhancing your health.
One of the reasons why some people will have trouble losing weight is because they stick to mono-diets that do not provide your body with ample amounts of fuel in order to burn off the calories and fat.
If you are someone who prefers to eat fruits over anything else, you can make your diet at least 50-75% fruit and then the other percentage vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, superfoods, beans, legumes, lentils, etc.  This way you are satisfying your palette’s desires and still keeping your plate diverse.
If you are sticking to fruits especially since our bodies desire more water-based foods like fruits in the summertime so that our bodies can cool down and naturally detoxify itself, at least vary the fruits that you consume.
Fruits are feminine energetically which is why so many of us desire them.  They act as cleansing foods for the body as vegetables act as building foods for the body.  So what does that mean?  That means while your body needs to cleanse and detox itself, it also needs to build the cells, blood, and organs back up as well in order to repair and heal itself which is why we need a balance of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits from a botanical perspective are simply ripened ovaries.  They come from the flowers of plants and trees.  Here are three types of fruits so that you can vary the types of fruits
Types of Fruits
Fleshy Simply Fruits – fruits produced by flowers from one pistil; Pistils are the main female reproductive organ of a flower; grapes, tomatoes, persimmons, bananas, avocados, etc
 
Fleshy Aggregrate Fruits – fruits produced by flowers from more than one pistil; strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, wineberries
 
Fleshy Multiple Fruits – fruits are produced by a cluster of flowers
mulberries, pineapples, figs, dates, pomegranates.