Traditionally, summer is a time for cookouts and barbecues, where people indulge in hamburgers, hot dogs and other seasonal favorites. Some folks, on the other hand, use summertime as a means of detoxification. These diets follow the idea that by ridding the body of certain allergens, added sugars and preservatives, people can improve their overall health and well-being. If nothing else, preparing meals for a detox diet offers chefs of all skill levels a chance to explore unique foods and bolster their culinary creativity.
A word of caution
Despite increasing popularity, the Mayo Clinic notes that people should always be informed before beginning the detoxification process. While empirical research is ongoing, the reason detox diets might work stems less from the removal of toxins and more avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrition food. The clinic also notes that dehydration is a continual concern, so anyone keeping a detox diet must properly monitor their water intake. As such, always consult with a health care professional before commencing any dietary adjustment.
Salads in general tend to be healthy and nutritious, and that’s doubly true for those with raspberries and potatoes. Red raspberries have a great sugary taste that’s akin to candy, but they’re jam-packed with beneficial phytochemicals. The inherent fiber in raspberries can help with weight loss by speeding up the metabolism, while ellagic acid has shown to help in cellular regeneration. Additionally, potatoes can help promote digestive health and are also a great source of protein, vitamin C and vitamin B1. When these super foods are mixed with baby spinach, coconut oil, red onions and honey, the resulting salad is both sweet and savory.
Grown in the western part of South America, quinoa is jam packed with thiamine, which helps prevent heart disease, in addition to protein, magnesium and essential amino acids, which aid in the metabolic process. And because it has both minimum calcium and a reduced gluten content, quinoa is a great alternative to beans for both the lactose intolerant and those coping with celiac disease (which affects the small intestine). The quinoa is dressed up with a few more zesty options, like honey roasted peanuts, orange slices and some scallions, to really enhance the overall flavor panel.
Vanilla chia pudding
For a new alternative to yogurt, chia seeds are a naturally healthy option. Native to southern Mexico, these seeds have been used as a food source for centuries, and are noted for being rich in calcium, magnesium and antioxidants. When properly refrigerated (usually eight to 12 hours), these seeds develop an extra creamy texture, which goes great with the pudding’s other ingredients of vanilla, maple syrup and milk. For even more health benefits, try using soy or almond milk.
Macrobiotic refers to a regimen that deemphasizes processed food in favor of vegetables and grains. As such, the average macro bowl offers a sampling of this diet’s staples: brown rice, which has loads of fiber and magnesium; seaweed that’s rich in iodine, which has been known to promote thyroid health; and red cabbage, which contains plenty of antioxidants. As healthy as they may be, though, macro bowls are also a great blend of both sweet and salty flavors.