Today my body was craving light and wholesome nourishment. Because it was raining yesterday my meals were a little more hearty. Today the sun broke through the clouds (for an hour or so) which inspired a nice yoga session and a craving for raw foods. I was also inspired by Richgail’s (Astig Vegan) final post for raw fresh lumpia closing out her 7 day raw diet; Janet’s (The Taste Space) awesome looking raw Thai pineapple parsnip rice; and Linda’s best salad ever for day 2 of Cleanse America.
Needless to say, I was motivated when I opened my refrigerator ready to prepare my breakfast. I grabbed some spring vegetables, opted to omit any salad dressing, and pulled out the hemp seeds and flax meal. I keep both the hemp and flax seeds in the refrigerator to preserve freshness and prevent the oils from going rancid.
Eating raw vegetables vs. cooked vegetables is best because you are preserving the vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are destroyed or reduced from high heat. Many of us know about vitamins and minerals but what about enzymes? Well, enzymes aid in digestion and contributes to your health in other ways.
For instance, the body utilizes the enzymes from raw fruits and vegetables which eliminates the need for the body to produce its own digestive enzymes. The body can then use the energy saved for other tasks such as increasing immune function for healing and fighting off outside pathogens and also for cell repair. Look at it like this, imagine washing clothes by hand vs. in a washing machine. When you use a washing machine then you are able to focus your energy and attention on other tasks accomplishing more in the end. You can also use that time to rest, relax and rejuvenate.
This is why it is important to get more raw vegetables in your diet. Your body is able to utilize valuable energy to remove toxins and rejuvenate your system leaving you feeling fresh and new. Also, the vitamins and minerals which can be denatured due to heat are easily assimilable when eating raw vegetables.
Today for my salad I included the following spring vegetables:
Avocado: Avocados are a good source of fat and a nice substitute for salad dressings. Also, research has shown that eating avocados in salads helps aid in absorption of carotenoids which are found in orange and green fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, cayenne and chili pepper. Avocados are also the best fruit source of vitamin E. Another great benefit of avocados is the high concentration of glutathione which impacts the liver’s ability to detox.
Asparagus: Asparagus is high in folic acid which is responsible for blood cell formation and growth. Your liver also benefits from the folate in your diet. The amino acid, asparagine, in asparagus also helps detox the body. Asparagus is also a great source of potassium, vitamins A, C and K and some B vitamins.
Beet Greens: Beet greens are loaded with vitamins and nutrients including vitamins A, C, E, K and B vitamins. Beet greens also contain the phytonutrient, betalains, which is known for it antioxidant and detoxifying benefits. You can learn more about beets and beet greens here.
Carrots: Carrots contain beta-carotene which is an awesome anti-oxidant. They are also a good source of vitamins A, K and C.
With the vegetables in hand I headed to the chopping board to prepare my simple spring vegan salad. What more can a girl ask for than a wholesome bowl of chopped spring vegetables topped with nutritious hemp seed and flax seed meal.
3-4 beet green leaves, chopped (stems included)
3 asparagus spears, chopped
1/2 avocado, chopped
flax seed meal
Place the chopped vegetables in a bowl and toss. Add the grated carrot and top with some flax meal and hemp seeds.