Nettles—Most people are not aware that this common garden weed is a powerhouse of nutrition and an excellent addition to soups or stews. Nettles are proven to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms (check out my book Allergy-Proof for more information), and reduce water retention, while strengthening the liver, adrenal glands (the glands that deal with stress and boost energy), and kidneys. If you’re picking them yourself, be sure to find an experienced herbal guide and to wear thick gloves. Cooking destroys the stinging part of the plant. It is an excellent addition to soups and stews.
Artichokes—Studies show that artichoke helps with irritable bowel syndrome, eases digestive disturbances, and lowers high blood pressure. Globe artichokes contain a phytonutrient called cynarin that supports healthy liver function and boosts the detoxification of harmful chemicals. Recent studies show that artichoke helps with digestive troubles, irritable bowel syndrome, and lowering high blood pressure. To cook artichokes, choose ones that feel heavy, trim off the outer leaves and use only the “heart” or inner portion.
Garlic—Revered as sacred by the ancient Egyptians, garlic has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and even anti-cancer properties. Over 1000 scientific studies uphold garlic’s healing status, due largely to its natural chemical component, allicin.
Rhubarb—Did you know that only one cup of cooked rhubarb contains 348 mg of calcium, making it one of the best sources of usable calcium? Due to its high calcium content, rhubarb helps maintain strong bones and teeth. But, it is also been shown to be helpful against some forms of cancer and for maintaining healthy heart function. Eat only the stems since the leaves are toxic. Stew rhubarb by cutting it into 1-inch pieces, adding a bit of water, and cooking until soft. Sweeten with a bit of stevia or honey.
Leeks—Compounds known as allyl sulphides found in leeks are protective against many types of cancer, especially prostate and colon cancers. The same compounds also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, while lowering high blood pressure. Leeks also contain zeaxanthin and lutein—two phytonutrients that help prevent macular degeneration and other eye disorders. They are also high in vitamins A and K, and the minerals iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted from The Life Force Diet by Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, PhD, RNCP, ROHP.
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