Are you are getting the USDA daily recommendation of 4 cups of fruits and veggies in your daily diet? And if you are, is that requirement really enough? Are you filling yourself up with the good stuff so you won’t have room for processed junk foods? Are you getting ALL of the phytonutrients your body needs to function OPTIMALLY?
Your liver is responsible for the detoxification of your entire body. Is your liver and are your digestive cells fighting their way through too much fat, sugar and processed ingredients or are your liver and cells reveling in the earth’s banquet of fruits and vegetables daily, soaking in hydration, phytonutrients, natural protein, enzymes and antioxidants?
If you, like most Americans, suffer from an inflammation of any kind, STOP and take stock of what you are eating.
To make the most basic improvement on your overall health, reduce inflammation and detox your liver, consider doing two very easy things:
1) Drink water 95% of the time and more than you are currently drinking.
2) Consume way more fruits and veggies than the minimum daily recommendation–perhaps 8 servings per day.
Are you thinking, how can I get in 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day if I’m not even getting in four? Well, start with one bite or sip at a time! Eat salads, whole pieces of fruit, steamed, roasted or sautéed veggies, raw veggies and hummus or other healthful dip. Eat more plant based meals with limited animal products. (Many studies and documentaries based on these studies exist on this topic alone.) And once you are doing all of these things, you will realize it is still hard to get 6 to 8 servings per day of these healthful super foods. What else can you do?
Add in home-made smoothies and juices!
I’ve always been a proponent of a homemade smoothie for breakfast, lunch or a snack. They are an awesome way to pack some power foods and fiber into your day. But here is the kicker, a home-made smoothie has fresh or minimally processed frozen fruits and no added sugar; however, many of the smoothie chains use fruits that are processed with sugary syrups and add as much to inflammatory diseases (such as diabetes) as does soda and cake. Read the ingredients and ask they use fresh fruit and then ask if it’s organic.
My go-to smoothie contains half a banana, 1/2 cup frozen organic berries, 1 handful of fresh spinach, 2 tablespoons of hemp protein, a splash of vitamin b12 since I do not eat meat, and some omega 3 as well as powdered super high antioxidants such as dried cranberries or amla berries. Plus enough almond milk to cover. This is not that sweet, but the taste grows on you. I have this almost daily. I make a big one when my husband is around and share the joy.
Another great way to add in more fruits and veggies is to juice. This is something I’ve recently started. In my research around healing cancer, the survivors that opt out of chemo and radiation tend to opt into a raw vegan diet as part of their healing cancer regimen. In this regimen there tends to be juice. Recipes often include carrots, beets, celery, ginger, lemon, apple, and garlic in all different combinations. Each ingredient serves as a super food to decrease inflammation. If some cancer patients are doing this to get well, and claim it is helping them, what about trying to juice in order to reduce minor inflammation and support the healthy function of all of our cells and organs on a regular basis? If we proactively take the very best care of ourselves, we will look and feel great!
There are a few challenges related to juicing. First, juicing removes the fiber and we need lots of fiber. Those of us eating a typical western diet take in half the daily recommended minimum amount of fiber at around 15 grams. Other countries that typically consume unprocessed foods, are taking in 4 times as much fiber as we do and are suffering fewer digestive conditions such as constipation, IBS, obesity, and more. Additionally, if you are eating lots of fruits and veggies in their raw state, I definitely recommend that you buy organic. In some fruits with porous skins, like berries, pesticides don’t come out when you wash them. This can be pricey, but focus on your purpose. If you are working to detoxify your system, the quality of the food matters. That means how it was farmed.
I am currently drinking a large smoothie and 12 to 24 ounces of homemade juice per day, in addition to my mostly plant based-vegetarian diet. I do eat a minimal amount of dairy and fish once a week.
Fruits and vegetables in large doses as part of a nutritious diet AND a healthy, balanced lifestyle will decrease your hunger and cravings for processed junk food because you are filling up with the good stuff. Your digestive system and your liver will function with greater ease and you will definitely lose weight!
Here’s to drinking your fruits & veggies!
Keep it clean-ish,
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