Vitamins are vital substances which the body cannot produce on its own and which must therefore be constantly supplied through healthy and varied nutrition. Different vitamins have specific functions in the body. For example, they influence the conversion of food into energy, the building of body cells, supporting the immune system, the formation of hormones, the detoxification of the body and the support of enzymes. The vitamins E, D, K and A are fat-soluble vitamins. All other vitamins are water-soluble. Common sources of these vitamins include oranges, green leafy vegetables, carrots, apples, and salmon.
Carrots are a staple in many kitchens and today we have a few tips that all involve carrots!
Although baby carrots are a convenient option, try picking up large, regular carrots the next time you are at the store. Not only do these taste even more delicious than baby carrots but they also keep much better in the fridge. After shopping, carrots should be taken out of their packaging immediately and preferably stored in the vegetable drawer in the fridge. We also advise always removing the green leaves before storing, but don’t throw them away! Carrot leaves are far too good not to use – we suggest adding them to a green smoothie like this one. Simply blend the green stems from three carrots with 1.5 cups of water, 150g baby spinach, a peeled orange, a few chunks of mango and banana, and a tablespoon of cold pressed flax oil! This smoothie is not only delicious but also provides a great boost of energy.
By the way, did you also know that the alpha and beta carotenes in carrots are a precursor of vitamin A? This is what makes carrots so good for your skin. In addition, they contain B vitamins and vitamin E plus an excellent level of the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and iron as well as the fiber pectin.
A final couple of tips: Always add a little oil to your carrot dishes, otherwise the fat-soluble vitamins they contain will not be able to be fully absorbed by your body.
Let’s talk spinach! As kids many of us probably were not a big fan of this leafy, green vegetable.
Spinach is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. In addition to a comparatively high iron content, it contains minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is also rich in vitamins B and C. Especially in the kitchen, spinach is extremely versatile. It can be used in many ways, whether in salads, as pesto or quite classically in combination with a fried egg. Consider trying a new way to use this great vegetable!
A change of diet through Metabolic Balance program can not only help with you physical but also mental well-being. Different chemicals and processes in the brain are responsible for your mood and are impacted by what you eat. For example, serotonin is produced in a healthy intestinal flora when the body has absorbed enough tryptophan through a healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids commonly found fish, flax and chia seeds are important for brain metabolism. B vitamins found in many foods including protein sources are also brain boosting vitamins. All of this is to say that, “happiness can be eaten”.
Pineapples are one of the strangest looking fruits but actually pretty awesome!
This exotic fruit belongs to the flowering bromeliad plant family and takes around 2 years to mature. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain which can break down proteins (can tenderize meat) and supports digestive health. Pineapples also contain vital minerals including potassium, magnesium and calcium as well as the trace elements manganese, iron, copper and zinc. Small amounts of vitamin A, the vitamins of the B group and vitamin C are also present in this delicious fruit.
Pineapples are great as a snack, in sweet dishes such as a crisp, or in savory dishes such as fried rice or a salsa. Whichever way you enjoy eating pineapples, the possibilities are endless!
Tip: Pineapples don’t ripen after they have been harvested and their color doesn’t necessarily indicate ripeness. For example, a greener looking pineapple could be just as ripe as a yellow pineapple.
Mango is a delicious summer time fruit that contains many beneficial vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and C, copper, and potassium. It not only has a beautiful, vibrant yellow-orange color but is also rich in carotenoids which have antioxidant qualities. Mangoes may improve digestive health, heart health, and clear the skin.
Known as India’s national fruit, this fruit has a long history in this country. In ancient India, the mango tree was associated with the god of love, Manmatha. With the rise of Buddhism, mangoes became a symbol of faith and prosperity. Today, India cultivates over 100 different types of mangoes of various shapes, sizes, and colors.
Delicious on their own, in smoothies, in a sorbet, or even in savory dishes such as chutney or salsas, this fruit is perfect for summer!
Cucumbers are a wonderful vegetable. They consist of 97 percent of water, are very low in calories, have a mild taste and, as raw vegetables, go well with many dishes and almost every salad. In terms of vitamins and minerals, cucumbers are rich in carotene, vitamins E, K, B1, B2 and B6 and the minerals, calcium (15mg per 100g), phosphorus (25mg per 100g) and potassium (140mg per 100g). They can have a detoxifying effect on our bodies, by helping to reduce uric acid and acting as a diuretic. Fresh cucumbers are best stored in the refrigerator, separate from other vegetables (it’s best not to store them close to apples and melons).
Top tip: Clean the cucumber well and eat with the skin on! The skin is rich in silicic acid and can help strengthen our skin, hair and nails. Also aim, aim to shop locally, this allows you to not only get the freshest product possible but is also better for the environement.
Did you know?
Asparagus is known as a rejuvenating food, as it is rich in nutrients, which our body absorbs especially well in the spring and early summer months. In addition, this vegetable has plenty of vitamin C for strengthening the immune system and memory, as well as vitamin E which ensures beautiful skin, strong hair and firm connective tissue. These vitamins can also benefit your vision, heart and libido. Asparagus is also a folic acid treasure chest: this precious organic substance refreshes and invigorates, as it contributes to the rejuvenation of cells, boosts blood formation and hormone production. On top of all of this, asparagus also provides the trace element zinc for strengthening connective tissue and blood vessels.
This spring vegetable is delicious roasted or boiled, in salads, stir-fries, pasta dishes, or soups.
In the spring time, gardens everywhere start to fill dandelions, considered by many to be a pesky weed. What you may not know is that dandelion is actually a “bitter” herb with the amazing ability to help purify blood in the body. According to tradition, dandelion stimulates the body to flush out any undigested foods from the body – like a spring clean after the long winter! Rich in minerals, vitamins and enzymes, it has an invigorating effect on all body functions. Dandelion is a known diuretic, meaning that it helps increase the amount of water that is filtered through the kidneys, helping to filter out waste. It is also believed that the “bitter” qualities of the herb work to stimulate the liver by increasing bile flow and solubility, cleansing the liver of fatty acid deposits. Drinking dandelion tea over the course of three to four weeks is known to rejuvenate the connective tissue, improve liver function, and help with digestion.
For more information about this herb check out the links below:
In honor of this day let us talk about this amazing fruit!
This popular food is one of the most cultivated and consumed crops in the world. In addition to being an extremely versatile ingredient, the nutritional and health benefits are endless! Bananas are rich in potassium, vitamins C and B6, as well as flavonoids and phenolics. Eating bananas can help improve heart health, digestive health, lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes, and boost your mood.
Buy a large bunch next time you go to the grocery store and once ripe, cut them up and place them in the freezer. You can then pull them out as needed, for your morning oatmeal, a smoothie, or even some banana “nice” cream.