Cranberries

When most people think of cranberry they think of helping UTI’s (urinary tract infections). This is one of the benefits that the proanthocyanidins (PACs) in cranberries help to fight off bacteria in the urinary tract, as well as the digestive tract. There are also anthocyanins that are a powerful antioxidant in cranberries that give them their beautiful color as well as help with inflammation, digestive tract issues, protecting the cardiovascular system, fighting cancer, immune support, and reducing all free radicals in the body.

Cool Cranberries

How to Choose and Keep
Fresh cranberries are harvested only between Labor Day and Halloween. It is best to eat fresh in the fall to winter time. Choose cranberries that are plump and rich in color. The firmness of the cranberry is how you can tell it is the best to choose. You can store cranberries in the fridge for about 20 days. You can freeze for years! Once you thaw you need to use immediately. Dried cranberries are found everywhere! Please check the sugar content of them and find the one with the least amount of grams of sugar.

Preparation
The best way to clean is to rinse under cool water in a strainer. If you are thawing, drain before you use. 

Nutrients
Vitamin C, Fiber, Manganese, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E

Action Steps
1. Fall/Winter is the best time to go choose fresh cranberries. Go find some fresh ones and make a fruit salad with oranges, apples, pineapple or pears and add a little maple syrup or agave nectar.
2. Cranberries are delicious in water. Place a few fresh ones in a jug of water or some sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
3. Have some dried cranberries handy to always toss into your oatmeal, salads, or mix in with mashed sweet potatoes or winter squash.

Cabbage

One of the most nutritious foods for its value. With it’s cholesterol lowering qualities, this fiber rich food is a great addition to any meal. Other benefits include anti-inflammatory, cancer prevention, digestive support and cardiovascular system support.

Creative Cabbage

How to Choose and Keep
Choose heads that are firm and shiny. Make sure the outer leaves are not damaged; as it is likely the internal leaves are damaged too. Try to buy it fresh and avoid the pre-cut forms. Keep cabbage cold in a plastic bag. It should keep for about 1-2 weeks.

Preparation
To get the most the nutrients out of cabbage it is best steamed. Make sure you wash thoroughly before you steam.

Nutrients
Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, Fiber, Manganese, Molybdenum, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Tryptophan, Calcium, and Vitamin B1

Action Steps
1. Find a fresh head of red cabbage and use in your salad.
2. Steam some green cabbage as a wonderful side with some steamed leafy greens.
3. Find a great pigs in the blanket recipe The REAL ONE with cabbage. It’s call Halupki.

(Resources: whfoods.com, food.com)
 

Coconut Oil

This oil is made from the kernel of the coconut. The saturated fat in the oil is where the benefits lie. Not all saturated fats are bad! We need saturated fat to absorb nutrients. Coconut oil is the highest form of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which means it speeds up our metabolism. If that isn’t enough, it also wards off sugar cravings, creates feeling of fullness, and boosts energy.

Creative Coconut Oil

How to Choose and Keep

Make sure the oil is virgin or extra virgin. Organic is even better. It really doesn’t matter what brand. It is very stable with heat so it is great in stir-fry’s or baking. To reduce the “coconut taste” try choosing expeller pressed types. Coconut oil will keep for up to 2 years in a cool dark place as a solid form. Once heated it will become liquid.

Preparation
As mentioned before I love to substitute coconut oil in all my baking. I even make buttercreme icing with coconut oil instead (especially if you love the “coconut taste.” It also is wonderful used with stir-fry’s or to sauté shrimp.

Nutrients
Plant-based saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, omega 6, vitamin E, Vitamin K, Choline, Iron

Action Steps
1. Buy some extra virgin (organic is better) coconut oil.
2. Make some brownies with coconut oil instead. You won’t be able to really taste the coconut, but should notice they are moister.
3. If you have severe dry skin you can add some oil to the spot to moisturize.

(Resources: Sarah Wilson, www.nutritiondata.self.com, http://www.thecandidadiet.com)

Turmeric

If you have any inflammation in the body you should be consuming turmeric daily. It is one of the best spices to help reduce inflammation and reducing the discomfort of arthritis. According to UCLA researchers turmeric can actually prevent certain types of cancer as well, especially head and neck cancers.

Terrific Turmeric

How to Choose and Keep
Turmeric is generally found as a powder. Make sure it is in a glass jar and store in a cool dark place.

Preparation
Please be careful when cooking with turmeric, as it stains clothes easily. Great ways to use turmeric is in curries. If you do not want to try out curries you can use the spice in a stir-fry. Turmeric in egg salad also adds flavor and nutrient content. Try sautéed cauliflower rubbed with turmeric with some olive oil, salt and pepper for an amazing healthy dish.

Nutrients
Manganese, Iron, Vitamin B6, Fiber, and Potassium

Action Steps
1. Grab some turmeric and add whenever you can to dishes.
2. Try out the egg salad or cauliflower recipes.
3. Head to your favorite Indian restaurant and get a turmeric treat with almost any dish.

(Resources: O Magazine, www.whfoods.com)

Nectarines

With a substantial amount of Vitamin C to help with the immune and cardiovascular systems, nectarines also throw in a huge amount of potassium as well. They are a great food to help with decreasing stress, blood pressure and high blood sugar.

Nutritious Nectarines

How to choose and keep

The fruit is very susceptible to brown rot or dark reddish spots, so it is best to take extra care with the handling. Nectarines are almost the exact same fruit as peaches without the fuzz, so take your pick with which fruit you like best. My favorite is nectarines. I feel they are able to withstand more "wear and tear" and don't bruise as easily. They are ripe when they feel a bit soft, and are best stored in the fridge for 3 days once they are ripe. To speed up the ripeness you can place them in a brown paper bag. They are highly perishable, and typically should be consumed or canned within two weeks of harvest.

Preparation
Nectarines are a great food to freeze if they start to over ripen. They can be used in water or smoothies. Enjoy them when they are ripe are a wonderful snack on a hot day. Make sure to wash the outside thoroughly and purchase organic as much as possible, as they soak up a high amount of pesticides. 

Nutrients
Vitamin A, Folate, Vitamin C, Iron, and Potassium

Actions Steps
1. Purchase some ripe organic nectarines and enjoy as a wonderful snack.
2. If they begin to over ripen slice up and place in the freezer for a delicious smoothie.
3. Create some delicious cobbler, using gluten free flour and stevia or agave nectar as sugar substitute to make a healthier version of a wonderful dessert.
(Resources www.Wkipedia.com)

 

Pumpkin Seeds

One of the best fall detoxifying foods. Pumpkin Seeds have one of the largest sources of the mineral zinc, which can boost your immune system. With their big source of antioxidants like vitamin E and lignans that can protect the bodies cells against free radical damage.

Perfect Pumpkin Seeds

How to Choose and Keep

You can use the seeds from a pumpkin and roast immediately or choose raw pumpkin seeds in the bulk bins at the store. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They will stay fresh for a couple months.

Preparation
Roast at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. You can also just sprinkle on items.

Nutrients
Manganese, tryptophan, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, protein, zinc, and iron.

Action Steps
1. Get raw pumpkin seeds and roast the seeds at 200 degrees with some sea salt.
2. Keep some raw pumpkin seeds in your fridge and sprinkle on your salads and stir-fry.

(Resources: www.whfoods.com)

Raspberries

One of the biggest benefits that is fairly new information is that raspberries can help decrease the risk of obesity. According to The Worlds Healthiest Foods "the key enzyme is rheosmin, which can also ward off a fatty liver and keep blood sugar level." On top of that, raspberries have a nice vitamin C and antioxidant quantity helping the immune system (even reducing the risk of cancer) and reducing inflammation. They also taste really good :)

Rad Raspberries

How to Choose and Keep
Raspberries are a highly perishable fruit, so you should consume them in about 2-3 days after purchase. The berries should look plump and have a vibrant color. Store in the fridge unwashed and make sure to remove any that might be moldy or crushed.


Preparation
I love just eating fresh raw raspberries. Make sure to wash under a slow running faucet, and pat them dry. You can then enjoy them on top of some yogurt, oatmeal or with other fruit.


Nutrients
Vitamin C, Manganese, Fiber, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Folate, Omega-3’s, Copper, Vitamin E, and Potassium


Action Steps
1. Get some fresh looking raspberries and put in with some unsweetened oatmeal. You might notice you don’t need any sweetener.
2. Buy some frozen raspberries and make a smoothie with almond milk, a protein powder, and 1 banana.
3. Find locals that make homemade raspberry preserves. Then make your own homemade buttercream strawberry frosting with preserves and organic unsalted butter. Oh so yummy!

(Resources: whfoods.com)

 

Parsley

What is it not good for ;) Parsley has so many benefits, but I feel the most important is its ability to boost your immune system and keep your ph level in your body balanced. If that isn’t enough parsley has a huge amount of antioxidants, folic acid and many other vitamins to help support your heart health, protect the body against arthritis, and reduce the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes and asthma!

Pretty Parsley

How to Choose and Keep
It is always best to choose parsley fresh rather than dried. I do keep dried handy in case I run out of the fresh kind. Italian parsley (flat leaves) has a stronger flavor than curly parsley (shown here). Make sure when choosing fresh that the leaves are bright green and they look fresh with no wilted leaves. Store in the fridge wrapped in a wet paper towel and loose plastic bag. It will last for about 8 days.

Preparation
Parsley is a fragile plant and should be gently washed right before it is used. I love to use fresh on top of salads. It is also amazing in Italian dishes, or even in smoothies. I also enjoy it in soups and sautés.

Nutrients
Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, and Iron

Action Steps
1. Choose 1 kind of fresh parsley.
2. Use half in cooking and other half raw in salads, sandwiches or smoothies.

(Resources: www.whfoods.com)

Pumpkins

One of the best detoxifying root style foods are Pumpkins! They are not as jam packed with nutrients at pumpkin seeds are, but they do have a great ability to lower cholesterol. With their big source of antioxidants like vitamin E and lignans that can also protect the bodies cells and reduce inflammation.

Pretty Pumpkins

How to Choose and Keep
Ask your grocer if they have any “pie pumpkins.” They will be smaller and flatter. Knock on the pumpkin to test for ripeness. A hollow sounds means its good to cut into. The vine attached to the pumpkin should also be brown and died. Store inside away from direct sunlight. If you don’t want to go that route, look below for buying in the can form.
 

Preparation
Clean the outside thoroughly and cut. Roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or more. If you are purchasing from a can make sure it is organic and B.P.A free. The other kinds leach bacteria into the pumpkin! I like Farmer’s Market brand. Buy “canned pumpkin” for breads and muffins and “pumpkin pie” for pies.
 

Nutrients
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate, Niacin, Choline, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, and Manganese.
 

Action Steps
1. Cut your favorite pumpkin up yourself and bake like squash.
2. Make some pumpkin bread!!

 

Cinnamon

An amazing tool for lowering diabetes risk and severity, cinnamon helps cells absorb glucose from the blood. On top of diabetes support, cinnamon also can help lower cholesterol and boost metabolism. Good reason to shake that sweet stuff on lots!

Cool Cinnamon

How to Choose and Keep

Ground cinnamon is the most flavorful. It is best to choose cinnamon that is in a glass container. It can stay in a cool dark and dry place for about 6 months. You can see if it is still fresh by smelling it. If it is still sweet smelling it is still good.


Preparation
Cinnamon is great sprinkled on lots of dishes. It can give a stir-fry a nice kick of flavor, or make beans taste even better. It is wonderful to sprinkle on many desserts. Putting a cinnamon stick in hot water or tea adds a great taste.

Nutrients
Manganese, fiber and calcium


Action Steps
1. Get some fresh ground cinnamon and regular oatmeal. Cook oatmeal and add cinnamon and some fresh berries for an amazing breakfast.
2. Next time you roast a chicken or turkey sprinkle some cinnamon on top. You will be glad you did.
3. You can even take a ½ teaspoon daily for 40 days to help with blood sugar.

(Resources: www.whfoods.com, O Magazine)

 

Ginger

The best belly ache and nausea remedy I have ever come in contact with. It can help to end a vomiting episode, as it blocks serotonin receptors in your small intestine. Eat too much?? Ginger relieves that painful gas and bloating in the gut. With the anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, ginger is also great for arthritis.

Great Ginger

How to Choose and Keep
Try to choose fresh as much as possible. Fresh ginger has a more powerful percentage of gingerol, and will help with inflammation best. Make sure fresh ginger feels firm and doesn’t have any mold on it. It can be stored in the fridge unpeeled for about 3 weeks. If you are choosing the dried spice make sure it is organic, as conventional could have chemicals in it. Dried ginger powder can last about a year if you store it in the fridge. You can also choose ginger in other forms as candied or crystallized for a nice sweet nutritious snack.

Preparation
If you are preparing fresh ginger make sure to take off only what you need and grate or mince up. Then seal tightly back in the fridge so it doesn’t go bad.

Nutrients
Considered an herb, ginger has properties that aid in health, not specific nutrients.

Action Steps
1. Choose some fresh ginger and make some ginger lemonade. Combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.
2. Add fresh grated or minced ginger to a stir-fry or hot water for tea.
3. Grab some candied or crystallized ginger for a nice snack.

(Resources: www.whfoods.com)

Bananas

If you’re angry or irritated before you put your fists up take a bite of a banana. This convenient fruit helps balance the serotonin in your brain, helping you to keep calm. They are one of the best hangover helpers too, as they have vital nutrients (B & C Vitamins as well as potassium) to stabilize the deficient and dehydrated body. The fiber, digestive enzymes and probotics in bananas will keep your digestive system regular.

Bad Ass Bananas

How to Choose and Keep
Make sure to choose ones according to when you are going to consume. The greener they are the more unripe they will be as well. To accelerate the ripening process keep them in a paper bag (an apple in with it will help ripen even faster). Take extra care when storing at room temperature, as bananas are very fragile.


Preparation
You can enjoy just by peeling or even freeze the bananas. If you are freezing make sure to peel and store wrapped in plastic. Use in smoothies or even make some ice cream with frozen bananas, coconut milk, vanilla, strawberry preserves, or cacao powder. It is delicious! Let them become very ripe and make some banana bread. Oh so yummy!

Nutrients
Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese, Fiber, Potassium

Action Steps
1. Use some ripe bananas and fresh strawberries on top of your favorite ice cream (I prefer Almond Dream vanilla).
2. Make some of that delicious banana ice cream. Click here for the recipe from my Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pin/203225001906003556/
3. Spread some of you favorite nut butter on a banana and enjoy as a power snack.

(Resources: O Magazine, www.whfoods.com)

Pineapple

A great fruit for memory. Pineapple has antioxidants that fight off free radical that tend to damage neurons in the brain. The B vitamins in pineapples help with low energy, and the Vitamin C boosts the immune system.

Pleasurable Pineapple

How to Choose and Keep
When choosing a pineapple look for ones that are heavy for their size. Try to pull out a top stem. If the stem comes out the fruit is ripe. Look on the bottom before you ever pick a pineapple to make sure mold isn’t growing. Keep at room temperature for a few days to help the fruit get juicier. Once you cut it you should be consume within 5 days.

Preparation
How to Cut a Pineapple: Cut off the base and top. Cut the fruit into 2 pieces or quarters. Then slice off the outside and cut around the center to remove the rind. You can also check out You Tube for various ways to cut pineapples.

Nutrients
Vitamin C, Manganese, Fiber, Vitamin B6, Copper, Vitamin B1 and Folate.

Action Steps
1. Find a fresh pineapple.
2. Cut up and use half for a snack. Use the other half in a chicken stir-fry to add sweetness to a great dish.

(Resources: www.whfoods.com)

Cherries

If you’re feeling agitated or can’t stop that racing mind (especially while you’re trying to go to sleep) try some cherries or 100% Cherry Juice. Cherries are the number one food source of melatonin (an important hormone to regulate sleep). Melatonin absorbs into body very well with juices of cherries.  On top of that cherries are also high in potassium, Vitamin C that help with muscle, kidney, nerve, immune functions. The high amount of antioxidants also help protect from free radical damage to our cells. If that is not enough cherries are amazing for arthritis relief!

Cool Cherries

How to Choose and Keep
Cherries are best chosen during the late spring, early summer months. They are best chosen fresh. Make sure when choosing they are a deeper red (light red are not ripened) and not bruised. They will keep in the coldest part of the fridge for up to 10 days. Do not store next to strong smelling foods, as they will pick up the smell. Always check the cherries and discard ones that have gone bad.


Preparation
The best way to enjoy cherries is as a snack. The hardest part is removing the pits. The best way is to use a clean (unused) standard paper clip. Push into the top of the cherry. Once it reaches the end of the pit twist the paper clip and pull out. Or you can go out a buy a cherry pitter.

Nutrients
Melatonin, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Magnesium, and Fiber


Action Steps
1. Go find some fresh cherries
2. Use as a go to hot summer snack. You can pit before you leave, or take a mini Tupperware or baggies to store the pits.

(Resources: http://www.stemilt.com)

Brazil Nuts

These nuts are jam packed with so many health benefits. The biggest are they are a great source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that actually help to lower your LDL (Bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Palmitoleic and oleic acid is what makes this happen. These nuts also have Vitamin E that protects us at a cellular level! And, on top of that they also have high levels of selenium that can prevent coronary artery disease, cirrhosis of the liver, and some cancers. If you feel like you’re always stressed or anxious these nuts are YOUR BEST FRIEND! They really help to lower anxiety!

Boosting Brazil Nuts

How to Choose and Keep

Choosing the nuts that are in the bulk bins are the best. Get them raw and roast yourself or just eat raw. Make sure that the bins you get the nuts from have a high turnover and are tightly sealed. They will keep for several months. Keep in the fridge to keep fresher.

Preparation
If you like to roast nuts you can make so many delicious flavors. And if you roast yourself you can control what is on them. Roast at 250 for about 10 minutes. Mix in with olive oil, salt and whatever seasoning you like. My favorites are curry seasoning or garlic.
 

Nutrients
Palmitoleic acid, Oleic acid, Selenium, Vitamin E, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Zinc.


Action Steps
1. Make sure that when you have a mixed but mix have plenty of Brazil nuts in it.
2. Roast some delicious flavor on your nuts and enjoy during the week, especially during a stressful week.

(Resources: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com)

Basil

The amount of flavonoids in basil helps protect your body at a cellular level! Wow! If that’s not enough it also has antibacterial benefits and can decrease inflammation in the body. The carotenoids in basil helps your cardiovascular health buy protecting the blood vessels, and even helping with cholesterol build up.

Beneficial Basil

How to Choose and Keep
It is always best to buy fresh whenever you can. I like to have dried in the house just in case. You will get more flavor from fresh. When buying fresh make sure the leaves look lively and are a nice green color. Store in the fridge wrapped in a damp paper towel until it begins to wilt. You can also freeze basil and use in cooking.  Freeze by putting in an ice cube tray and fill with water. Dried basil should be stored in an airtight container for about 6 months. 


Preparation
If you are cooking with fresh basil it is best to put in near the end of cooking. Make sure to clean with water if it is fresh. Sprinkle dried basil on any foods you want!

Nutrients
Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A, Fiber, Manganese, Tryptophan, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Vitamin C, and Potassium.

Action Steps
1. Go buy fresh basil and freeze half and save other half.
2. Use the fresh basil in a omelette..Yummy!
3. Make a form of pesto by pureeing basil, garlic and olive oil.
4. Wrap a black olive or cherry tomato with basil and a meat like salami. Sprinkle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
(Resources: whfoods.com)

Pears

You hear it is good to eat the skin with lots of fruits and veggies. Pears are one of those you really should consume. The skin contains 3-4 times as many phytonutrients than the flesh. This is where you will find antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and lots of fiber containing nutrients. The flesh contains the nutrients as well, and is the tasty part. Eating an entire pear gives you so many benefits listed above, as well as decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Potent Pears

How to Choose and Keep
Pears can perish quickly. It is important to find the best ones at the store. Usually all pears are unripe at the store and take a few days to ripen. Check for ones that have a nice firm feeling. The smoother the skin the better. To check for ripeness you can press at the top of the pear by the stem. If it gives it is ripe. Organic is better if you can find and afford, due to the pesticides the pears contain. Once pears ripen you can keep them in the fridge for a few days. To speed up the ripening process place in a brown bag rotating position once in awhile at room temperature. 


Preparation
To clean, just run the pear under cool water and pat dry. It is best to eat the whole pear. If you do cut it up to eat sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on the skin to help with browning.  If your pears have began to over ripen it is best to cook with them. The possibilities of different taste are big with all the different varieties of pears out there. 


Nutrients
Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K


Action Steps
1. Hit the grocery store and find 2 different types of pears. Enjoy the entire pear as a snack throughout the week
2. Cook with pears to make a pear crisp, substituting pears for apples. Or you can combine together.
3. Cutting up a pear and adding to your salad will offer a wonderful sweet addition.

Resource: www.whfoods.com

Cilantro

Before you knock cilantro, (also known as corriander), read and see what this amazing herb can do! It can actually help remove heavy metals from the body, an essential component of detoxification of the body. The liver is the biggest organ for detoxification. But it also does SO much more than that. Consuming foods that support the liver will help it do its job that much better. If you didn't know what the liver does, here is a small list:
-Secretes bile to aid digestion of fats
-Manages your carbohydrate metabolism
-Hormonal Regulation
-Filters the blood

Cool Cilantro

Consuming cilantro, even in a smoothie in the morning will help your very important liver do its job! The better the liver does, the better you do! You can have more energy and lose weight by nurturing your liver. Cilantro also helps control your blood sugar and cholesterol, so why not try this amazing herb.

How to Choose and Keep
Dried is always good to keep in your cabinet, but I enjoy fresh better. The leaves should have a vibrant deep green color. There shouldn't be any spots. Store in the fridge wrapped in a wet paper towel in a plastic bag. It should last for about 3-7 days. Do not wash and then put back in the fridge, as it will make the leaves go bad.

Preparation
Wash the leaves right before you use them. Place in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Then drain and rinse. You can enjoy in cold dips, like salsa and guacamole or in Spanish dishes, like Spanish rice or enchiladas. My favorite is cilantro lime rice.

Nutrients
Lots and lots of phytonutrients, fiber, and calcium

Action Steps
1. Find some fresh cilantro (corriander)
2. Use in a morning smoothie
3. Make your own fresh salsa with tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, onion, green pepper, vinegar, salt, cumin, cilantro, and lime. 

(Resources: whfoods.com)

Garlic

What doesn't garlic do! This is one amazing food. It can season many foods to add flavor and so much more. It is one of biggest immune boosters out there. Want to kick a cold immediately? Eat some raw garlic! Most are not excited to do this, as you will smell like garlic! But adding it into your foods every day will keep your immune system going, and you won't be as smelly. Think of garlic as a spring cleaner for your body. The sulfurs in garlic keeps our blood pressure at good levels, lowers our cholesterol, and even lowers our triglycerides. It's antioxidants help our immune system, cardiovascular system, and decrease our bodies inflammation in our musculoskeletal and respiratory systems. And if that's not enough, it has antibacterial and antiviral benefits to keep you in tip top shape.

Great Garlic

How to Choose and Keep
It is always best to choose fresh garlic. The canned, powders and dried versions can be deficient in nutrients. Of course I always have all forms in my house and use fresh when I can. When choosing fresh garlic it is best to avoid those that are soft, sprouting, or look moldy or discolored. Store it in a cool dark place. You can keep a bulb for about a month. Always remove cloves that begin to mold to save the rest of the bulb.

Preparation
To use fresh garlic, I like to cut the end off and squish with a knife or put through a garlic press. Chopping and pressing will bring out the most nutrients in the garlic. When ever cooking it is best to add the fresh garlic at the end of the cooking. This ensures the nutrients stay in the best. I also put raw garlic into lots of dips and salsas I make.

Nutrients
Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium, Calcium, Tryptophan, Phoshorus, Vitamin B1,and Copper.

Action Steps
1. Find some fresh garlic.
2. Saute some greens and use garlic in the oil.
3. Make your own fresh salsa with tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, onion, green pepper, vinegar, salt, and lime. 

(Resources: whfoods.com)

Avocado

A great addition to many dishes, avocados contain carotenoid antioxidants (lycopene and beta-carotene) and healthy fat (Omega 3) that help ward off inflammation, a root issue of almost all disease and health problems. The Vitamins E and K in avocados also help keep your heart healthy. And these delicious vegetables also help with blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular support.

Awesome Avocados

How to Choose and Keep
It is important that you consume a avocado when it is ripe to get all the nutrient benefits. Ones that are ready to eat will be slightly soft, and should not have any sunken spots or cracks. You can buy firm ones and ripen in a paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. If you only use one side of a avocado it is best to store the side with the pit still in it in the fridge. You can sprinkle with lemon juice and then wrap it in plastic. It will keep in the fridge for a day. Ripe avocados that are not cut into you can keep in the fridge for about 1 week.

Preparation
The best way to prepare a avocado is to cut it length wise and twist both sides to separate them. Then slice and spoon out. The side with the pit you can pierce with a knife and remove.

Nutrients
Fiber, Vitamin K, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Potassium, and Vitamin B6.

Action Steps
1. Go buy 2 nice soft ripe avocados. Use one in a salad or on a sandwich or burger.
2. Use the other one and try this delicious recipe:
Baked Avocado Salsa
Ingredients:

-1 ripe Avocado
-¼ cup bread crumbs
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
-1 Tbsp. basil, chopped
-1 Tbsp. lemon juice
-Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
-¼ cups your favorite salsa


Directions:
-Preheat oven to 450°F.
-In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, cheese, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper; set aside.
-Cut the avocado and remove the pit. Divide the salsa between the two avocado halves.  Top with bread crumb mixture.
-Place on a small baking sheet.
-Bake for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately. 
 Servings 2.

(Resources: whfoods.com, http://www.melecotte.com)