Tag Archives: Dr. Cook

Super Spring Detox Foods

detox foodsI live in a northern climate so the end of winter signals a new season of fresh produce and nutrition-rich foods.  Even though all these foods are available from the grocery store in the winter, getting them straight out of the garden or fresh-picked at a farmers’ market early in the growing season can’t be beat.

When it comes to cleansing your body of harmful toxins, food really is the best medicine.  Many of your favorite foods also cleanse the liver, kidneys, skin, intestines, and other detoxifications systems.  Add more of these nutritious and delicious spring time foods to your diet to help ward off the harmful effects of pollution, food additives, second-hand smoke, and other toxins.

Artichokes—increase bile production. Bile helps the intestines eliminate toxins from the body. They also contain a substance that helps the liver break down fatty acids, reducing its already immense load.

Asparagus– an excleent source of vitamin K and folate.  Asparagus also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium and selenium.  Due to its high folate content it is a particularly good option for pregnant women.

Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites, and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Onions—demonstrate powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer activity. Onions also thin and cleanse the blood and lower LDL cholesterol without lessening HDL cholesterol. Onions also help detoxify the respiratory tract and fight asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, and diabetes. Onions help cleanse the body of viruses and the intestines of harmful bacteria.

Watercress—increases detoxification enzymes in the body and acts on cancer cells in the body. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Centre in the United Kingdom, smokers who were given 170 grams of watercress per day eliminated higher than average amounts of carcinogens in their urine, thereby eliminating them from their body.

Adapted from Weekend Wonder Detox by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, ROHP (DaCapo, 2014)

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7 Reasons to Eat More Beets

People either love beets or they hate them, mostly because they haven’t discovered all the wonderful ways to enjoy beets.  I, personally, am in the LOVE BEETS camp.  I still remember the first time I ate them as a child.  I wanted them every day after that.  Whether you already love them, or just haven’t discovered their marvels, here are 7 reasons to eat more beets.

1. Beets are high in nutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C, making them an excellent source of nutrients, and a particularly good choice for pregnant women who have higher folate needs during pregnancy.

2. In their uncooked state, beets also contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. In other words, it’s a great anti-inflammatory food that helps protect us from the effects of aging and disease.

3. Beets are one of Nature’s miracles in the prevention of cancer.  The fiber found in beets seems to increase the body’s special immune compounds that are responsible for detecting and removing abnormal cells before they can become cancerous.

4. Beets help fight cancer.  The phytonutrients–proanthocyanidins–that gives beets their rich purplish-red hue has potent anti-cancer capabilities.

5. Beets have been recommended for many years to help purify the blood.

6. Beets also help cleanse the liver—one of the most overworked organs in the body, with over 500 functions including: cleansing toxins, removing excess hormones, and metabolizing fat.

7. They are versatile.  They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, boiled (although many nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews. I love steamed beets tossed with a little flax oil and unrefined sea salt. Remember: the anti-cancer properties of beets lessen with heat! So it’s always a great idea to enjoy a little grated raw beetroot on your salads.

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

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