- Onion and leeks – so easy to add to our diet. Onion slices on our hamburger, onion in our salads. How do they work? Onions produce butyrate which is a prebiotic that encourages the growth of good bacteria in our intestines. The butyrate also helps one burn body fat.
- Artichokes and asparagus – on a recent trip to the Cheesecake Factory, my daughter and I enjoyed the fire-roasted artichoke appetizer. Absolutely delicious. Asparagus is now plentiful at our local farmers markets where I live and a great health food. These two are also prebiotics and they produce acetate. Acetate sounds awful but this also help us burn fat and recover from inflammation. MSN suggests roasting these veggies with a drizzle of olive oil, some parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and some lemon.
- Avocado – used to be people avoided avocado because of its fat content. However, avocados have a heart healthy fat full of omega 3’s and omega 6. Avocados provide more long burning energy so you are not as hungry after a meal. Enjoy your avocado dip, add chopped avocado to summer salads.
- Dark leafy greens – not iceberg lettuce which has little nutritional value but dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy which are loaded with nutrients and full of fiber. These veggies also promote healthy bacteria in our intestines. Spinach is often in the pre-mixed salads; add spinach to a summer salad, along with the avocado. Bok choy can be enjoyed stir-fried for dinner.
- Yogurt – I am a big fan of yogurt. Great for body builders because of the great protein in yogurt. Great for everyone because of the probiotics in yogurt. Look for yogurt with lactobacillus. Also look for low fat, low sugar varieties. Prefer Greek yogurt, that is fine but other yogurts are also healthy choices. (Read more about Greek yogurt in my 4-20-2014 post.) I eat a yogurt for lunch every day, my husband prefers his at breakfast to add protein to his breakfast. Or use yogurt in place of mayo or sour cream in salads.
- Garlic – recently we had our roof replaced. While talking to the roofing manager in our driveway, he reached into his pocket and pulled out garlic and started to eat a few c loves. He said he did it for his health. Garlic actually helps kill the bad bacteria that promotes inflammation and promotes the growth of good bacteria. The fiber in garlic is “inulin” which helps us digest our food and even steadies our blood sugar levels. Use garlic fresh on salads, top tomatoes with mozzarella, some garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Use in stir fries. We like to sauté zucchini, onion, summer squash, garlic with some olive oil. Great summer side dish.
- Water with lemon – such as easy and refreshing thing to do. My daughter brags about her lemon water. She keeps slices of lemon in the refrigerator and adds them to her ice water. Some suggest sipping water with lemon when you get up or after each meal to aid the digestion process. Researchers claim lemon juice stimulates your GI juices to aid the digestive process.
Now that it is summer and there are so many fresh veggies to buy locally, it would be easy to add one or more of these foods to your daily diet.