I learned long ago that if I wanted to have increased energy, mental clarity, and just feel amazing, I needed to focus on the foods with the highest levels of micronutrients. And I’ve seen this happen again and again with the hundreds of people who have come to me to improve their health. When we eat High Nutrient Dense whole foods, our energy, clarity and overall health step up a notch.
Reading the book, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, by Jonny Bowden, I especially appreciated his excellent research and descriptions of the value of different micronutrients in foods. His book inspired me to share the top five foods that, in my experience, deliver the highest micronutrient levels to support Amazing Health Effortlessly:
Dandelion is a great food to detoxify the liver. If we want great health, it’s essential that we keep the liver strong. Dandelion is a great diuretic helping relieve the water retention of PMS or the swelling and bloating of edema. In addition, it is known as a great aid in reducing high blood pressure.
Dandelion is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables that exists. It ranks in the top four of green vegetables. It contains calcium, potassium, bone-building vitamin K and lots of fiber as well as beta-carotene and vitamin A. I often enjoy Dandelion in my daily fresh juice or in a green smoothie, and it’s a delicious addition to salads or lightly steamed in a veggie stir-fry. Try it and see how you like it. I love it.
Sprouts are little packets of sunshine. They are one of the most alive food sources available. And when we eat them, their life force energy is transferred to our cells. They are pre-digested protein that provides us with quick, dynamic energy. When I sprout lentils, beans, nuts, seeds or grains I feel like I’m tending the most precious tiny babies. As they sprout into life, I’m filled with joy rinsing them each day and watching them grow.
And the micronutrient levels in these sprouts are amazing with lots of vitamins, trace minerals, amino acids and anti-oxidants. I often use alfalfa, clover or garlic sprouts in place of lettuce. I arrange a big pile on a large plate and then add radishes, tomato, cucumber, carrots, green onion, turnip and drizzle olive oil and apple cider vinegar over it all. Yum!
Another sprout I love, and they’re one of the easiest beans to sprout are mung beans. They’re the little bean sprout on the right in the picture above and they’re great with salads, lentils, grain or as a little side dish by themselves with ume and olive oil.
Kale or Collards
I adore kale and collards. I love to cook them or enjoy them raw either juiced or in a green smoothie. My day is incomplete without a large serving or two of one or the other or both.
Kale has one of the highest anti-oxidant ratings of all vegetables. It’s a great anti-cancer food and loaded with calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, and K. For those of us in our later years, both kale and collards are particularly beneficial in protecting our eyes against macular degeneration. Isn’t it wonderful how many micronutrients these whole foods contain to create amazing health?
Oh, if we want to find the treasure chest of minerals, seaweed is the best. Seaweed is a great source of calcium, iron and iodine. And what is also very good is that it helps remove radiation and toxic metals from our bodies. Personally, I found eating seaweed to relieve menstrual cramps. Also they are known to alkalize the blood and support thyroid function.
We use Kombu (a 3inch piece) when cooking our whole grains, lentils and beans. At the end of cooking, I remove the seaweed, cut it into a fine dice, then return it to the dish. You won’t taste it, but your body will love it. Wakame is a great seaweed for miso soup and other vegetable soups. Arame is wonderful in salads once you soak it for 10 minutes and drain off the water. It is very mild and ideal for more delicate dishes. And we all know Nori that is used in avocado rolls at the sushi counter. A piece of nori is a great snack as well. Dulse flakes are good sprinkled gingerly on salads or grains. Each sea vegetable has different nutrients. So use them all. Three tablespoons per week will begin to work its magic in your body.
Lentils are a wonderful source of protein, equal to or surpassing red meat in protein content. Also, they are easy on the digestion, so a great place to begin when wanting to experience the health benefits of plant protein.
Lentils are great brain food and support kidney-adrenal function according to Chinese medicine. And they are a rich source of potassium, calcium, iron and B vitamins. I like adding a cup of red lentils to a vegetable soup to add additional protein and more creaminess, fiber and texture to the soup. It is delicious.
Many of the recipes that follow are from my, Amazing Health Effortlessly Cookbook, and utilize my favorite micronutrient foods. Give them a try and experience how your body responds.
FRESH DANDE JUICE
(makes approximately 32 oz.)
1 bunch dandelion greens
1 bunch parsley
3 Granny Smith apples
2 stalks celery
3 inch piece of daikon radish (great to soften gall stones and help flush fat from the body)
2-3 inch piece of fresh ginger
1/2 lemon or lime
Juice all ingredients and enjoy. Such deliciousness and so many micro nutrients.
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1⁄2 bunch kale, collard, dandelion or 1⁄2 bunch parsley
1 Granny Smith apple
1 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
1⁄2 lemon including rind
1 1⁄2 inch of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ground golden flax seeds
1 pack smoothie mix (like NuPlus or Vega) or 1⁄2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
stevia to sweeten
Blend all ingredients and enjoy.
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In a bowl, add:
1 head romaine lettuce, broken in bite size pieces
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 box of mixed sprouted beans
2 carrots, diced
½ medium cucumber, cut in half moons
3 radishes, diced
3 green onions, cut in thin diagonal pieces
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup arame, soaked in purified water 10 minutes and drained
Toss everything together with:
4 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon olive or flax oil
1 large lemon, juiced and zested
Garnish and serve with:
Alfalfa or clover spouts
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WHOLE MUNG DAHL
1 cup whole mung dahl from an Indian store or use 1 cup whole mung beans
2 1⁄4 cups homemade vegetable stock or purified water
1 Jalapeño pepper, minced fine
1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Wash mung dhal until water runs clear. Soak in 3 cups of cold purified water overnight. Drain. Boil 2 cups of purified water or stock and add dahl, turmeric and sea salt. Cover and simmer over low heat for 50 minutes.
In a small pan, heat coconut oil and brown the Jalapeno pepper, ginger and cumin seeds a few minutes. Add powdered spices toward end of browning. Now add lemon juice and remaining purified water or stock to dahl. Adjust sea salt to taste. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes over low heat.