Easter, for many of us, is a time of cakes and other baked goods, both homemade and packaged. In my country it also comes with huge portions of non-vegan foods, fatty, greasy products, and creamy salads with mayo. Though I still find Easter diet way healthier than what we usually eat at Christmas, people tend to over-eat and don’t move as much as usual since they are in holiday mode.
Most natural foods are packed with vitamins and provide our bodies with high quality nutrition. Food, like air, sun and water, contains life force. When we eat high quality foods, we are filling our bodies with more vitality and energy. Eating foods that are canned, boxed, prepared in a factory, or pumped with preservatives and chemicals is not going to give us a whole lot of life force.
I focused on 8 different type of foods that are naturally packed with nutrition and are accessible in every market or grocery store so you can easily incorporate them into your post-Easter diet.
Detoxifying foods to eat post-holiday
Dark, leafy greens
Dark green, leafy greens provide us with tons of nutrients, such as zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber. Research has proven just one cup of leafy greens reduces the risk of heart disease. It also lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. By including leafy greens, you consume anti-inflammatory compounds called carotenoids, which help to protect against certain types of cancer. Try kale, Swiss chard, collard, turnip greens, spinach, arugula. Mix them in your soups, salad, curries, stir-fry, and green juices to increase your intake of these leafy greens.
These beautifully colored root veggies helps to boost your energy levels and lowers your blood pressure. Studies show that they can improve cognition, fight cancer, reduce arthritis pain, and assist with weight loss. Beets offer a plethora of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and iron. Sauté, steam, bake or grate them raw to add color and taste to any salad, soup, stir-fry, or even smoothie.
Sweet potato is full of potassium, fiber, vitamins A and C, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
They are best baked or boiled, pureed or fried (not in oil). Sweet potatoes are a delicious treat that can be added to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can also use it to replace basic potatoes as a healthier choice, or due to the similarity in flavor, they can be used in place of pumpkins.
My favorite “superfood,” turmeric is a spice originating from India with a unique, slightly buttery flavor. It is mainly used for cooking and also has medicinal benefits used in Ayurveda for centuries (helpful for wound healing and pain reduction). Curcumin, the active compound found in turmeric, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
You can add turmeric basically to anything. I love to microdose it into my tofu scramble, add to my smoothies, curries, stir fries. It goes perfectly with fried sweet potatoes and in salad dressings.
Garlic has been used for centuries as a natural medicine worldwide. It is a great source of vitamin C, E,K, zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and manganese. Though there isn’t a lot in a single clove of garlic, consuming it daily does help.
With its strong flavor and medicinal qualities, garlic is both a popular ingredient in savory dishes and a home remedy for many conditions, from upset stomach to treating flu. You can add garlic to basically any savory dishes, make a cream soup out of it, or rub a clove into your toast.
Ginger serves as a flavor enhancer and have multiple medicinal uses. It can help with nausea and pain from inflammation and strengthens your immune system. Ginger can be used raw and fresh, as an oil or juice, or in dried or powdered form. Dice, crush, or blend the ginger into your soup, sauce, smoothie, or herbal tea for best uses, they are also delicious in any Asian style food.
Avocado is more versatile than you would think and rich in nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and “good,” monounsaturated fats—oleic acid, which is linked to reduced inflammation in the body. Eating avocado regularly may reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Adding avocado to your diet is super easy: spread over bread, slice it up and add to your sandwiches or salads, make salsa or add it to your smoothies or cream soups. It is delicious as garnish on top of many dishes with vegan cream and fresh parsley as well.
I left my favorite and the least expected as last. Peanuts are often wrongly categorized as nuts, but they are actually legumes. So they are the little brothers of beans, lentils, and peas. Legumes are rich in vitamin B, minerals, protein, and fiber. Peanut butter can be eaten as a snack with bananas, apples, spread over bread, or mixed into a fruit smoothie or in any cakes. Adding peanut butter with a small amount of water to pasta, rice dishes or Asian style soups gives your meal a protein boost and a nutty taste.
Maintaining optimal health through nutrition is best achieved by eating a variety of local, unprocessed foods every day. By adding these 8 foods to your every day diet, you can make sure to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs after the Easter holidays.
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Photo: Taylor Kiser via Unsplash