Eating all this wonderful produce does more for your body than you probably realize. All the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in vegetables and fruits prevent free radicals from damaging our DNA. We all have these free radicals flying around in our body....they come from all kinds of sources-- from different toxins we ingest through foods we eat, (meat and dairy, processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients, just to name a few) and the environment we live in. These free radicals can cause all kinds of damage to us....when they start damaging our DNA, it triggers a "change" in our cell replication....once our healthy cells start to "change", we begin making unhealthy healthy cells, and now we are in trouble.
However, when we eat an abundance of vegetables and fruits, we increase the amount of phytochemicals, (found only in the plant kingdom)....remember, phytochemicals are the substances in vegetables and fruits that "fight off" all the toxins and free radicals we have in us....these phytochemicals come to our cell's defense...in many ways they repair our DNA. You cannot get enough of these powerhouse foods!! Eat them in abundance everyday---the amount of "POWER" these foods have is unmatched by any drug out there....there is no drug available that can do what vegetables and fruit can do...that's just AMAZING to me!! NOTHING can match the POWER that Mother Nature is handing to us.
Let me give you August's Superfoods....foods that are loaded with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals...foods you want to eat an abundance of!
- Canteloupe: Full of Vitamin A and C, potassium, hydrating water and very low in calories.
- Zucchini: Very low in calories, high in fiber, full of Vitamins A, C, K and potassium, adds bulk without calories--you can grill zucchini, eat it raw, make dressings with it or pasta noodles
- Eggplant: Full of Vitamin B6 and vitamin K, high in fiber, loaded with disease fighting antioxidants, is found to improve heart function and improve your memory
- Blackberries: High in fiber and antioxidants, low in calories, have been proven to slow cognitive decline, protects our heart, lowers blood pressure, and is full of Vitamins E, C and K, high in potassium and magnesium. Drop some in water for a flavored drink, add to salads, put them in baked goods, or just eat them by the handful!
- Yellow summer squash: High in fiber, full of Vitamins C, K and potassium, low in calories. You can grill squash, through some in soups or salads, or use as a pizza topping!
Right now is the time we can easily eat a rainbow of colors....so many vegetables and fruits are available locally....we aren't forced to purchase produce that was shipped across the country, taking days to arrive at our local stores, and in the process losing some vital nutrition. It's BEST to eat produce as soon as possible.....as soon it's picked, all the vitamins and antioxidants are at their highest. When the vegetable or fruit sits around for days, it's nutritional value is diminishing.
I would love to live in an area where we could shop for vegetables and fruit in an outside market daily where everything was picked fresh that morning. That would be my DREAM place!!
2 cups of butter beans, (or any white bean), drained and rinsed well
2 cups of corn
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 yellow squash
1 small zucchini
1 clove garlic
2 med tomatoes
1 celery stalk
1/2 c chopped basil
2 T cider vinegar
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t salt
pepper to taste
Saute the corn, onion, squash and zucchini in a small amount of water for about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add cooked vegetables to beans, refrigerate until cool. Stir in tomatoes, celery and basil. Whisk vinegar and mustard until combined--season with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and enjoy!