Health and Vitality in 2014! Top 10 Raw Food Categories

Chilled Mango SoupNew Year's Resolution

In the New Year, many of us feel a strong desire to revitalize our health, beauty, and fitness regimes. With that in mind, we’d like to share our Top 10 raw food categories—the raw vegan foods that help us maintain our resolution to improve dietary choices through raw food nutrition and feel fit and fabulous in the coming year!

1. COLOR COUNTS! Deeply colored raw fruits and vegetables are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants and help combat free radical damage and promote eye health. Examples include blue or purple foods such as blueberries, blackberries, black mission figs and beets.

2. GET YOUR GREEN ON! Leafy green vegetables like collard greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, beet greens, bok choy, many lettuces, broccoli, and Napa cabbage are rich in amino acids (building blocks of protein), calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and K and minerals.Seasonal Vegetables Leafy greens are one of the top foods to include in the diet to improve health.

3. LET THE SUN SHINE! Yellow-orange raw fruits and vegetables like squash, peaches, mangoes, sweet potatoes, carrots; and red bell peppers help balance pH, contribute to healthier eyes, help with collagen formation, boost immune system, and promote healthy bone formation with calcium and potassium.

4. RAW SUPER FOODS! Grasses and algaes like wheat grass, barley grass, leafy green sprouts, blue green algae, spirulina and chlorella contain powerful antioxidants to strengthen the immune system and protect against radiation.

5. HIT THE HIGH C! Raw foods high in vitamin C like lemons, oranges, grapefruit, peaches, strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, papaya, kiwi, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, kale, and mustard greens provide powerful antioxidants to help prevent cancer, heart disease, and cataracts and help stabilize cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

6. GOT Omega 3? Raw foods like chia, flax, hemp seeds and dark green leafy vegetables like kale, romaine, and dandelion greens are rich in beneficial omega 3 fatty acids to lower triglyceride levels, blood pressure, and reduce inflammation in the body.

7. WICKED RICH! Selenium rich foods like Brazil nuts,  sunflower seeds, asparagus, mushrooms (button, crimini, shiitake), psyllium seeds, and onions help prevent free radical damage, balance the thyroid hormones, and lower risk of joint inflammation.

8. BALANCE! Zinc rich foods like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, cashews, and lentils help to balance blood sugar, stabilize metabolism, strengthen immune system and enhance sense of taste and smell!

9. SEA VEGETABLE SUPERPOWER! Sustainably harvested sea vegetables like kelp, sea palm and dulse provide a good source of  iodine and minerals not found in land vegetables. Be sure not to overdo sea vegetables - too much iodine can affect the thyroid gland.

10. EAU DE VIE! Hydrating raw foods like juicy fruits, high water content vegetables, and of course good quality pure water are important every day. Water, water everywhere - it is vitally important to stay hydrated!

Speaking of fresh and juicy fruits, here is a wonderful recipe using some high water content fruits, as well as avocado for a healthy source of fat – perfect for the winter mango season! Check out the video and enjoy the recipe below::

 

 Mango Avocado Wraps with Cilantro & Spicy Sweet & Sour Mango Sauce

Recipe by Cherie Soria  Yield: 4 Large Wraps (serves 2-4)Mango Avocado Wraps

 

Whenever Dan and I are in Costa Rica during mango season, we love to make this recipe. Not only is it  fun to make—it’s delicious, and you don’t need to spend much time in the kitchen to prepare this simple, delicious wrap. These same simple ingredients can also be prepared as a salad, or blended together to make a delicious sweet and savory soup!

1 mango, peeled, seeded, and cut into julienne strips
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into julienne strips
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 bunch cilantro sprigs, stems removed, washed and towel dried
1 tablespoon green onion, very thinly sliced
4 large leaves Romaine lettuce
Spicy Sweet and Sour Mango Sauce (see recipe below)

1. Divide the mango, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and green onion into four equal portions.
2.  Place 1 portion of each ingredient in each lettuce leaf.
3.  Serve with Spicy Sweet & Sour Mango Sauce drizzled over the top and extra on the side.

Spicy Sweet & Sour Mango Sauce
1 cup mango, diced
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt

1.  Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Adjust flavors, if needed, to suit your individual taste. (You may want more lime juice, cayenne, ginger, or salt.)
3.  Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three days.