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BELL/HOT PEPPERS

Peppers are a nightshade vegetable. As such, I recommend that clients with arthritis, bone degeneration, or joint pain to avoid peppers in their diet. However, for those who can enjoy peppers freely, summer is an ideal season for them thanks to their cooling properties and the sweet taste of the orange, red, and yellow bell peppers. Peppers offer as much vitamin C as oranges. They also contain high levels of vitamins A and B, and therefore may assist the immune system. Other nutritional benefits include potassium, niacin, and folic acid. "The chiles and cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, with medicinal properties in cleansing the blood and stimulating the circulation and perhaps in reducing cardiovascular disease and cancer. They also stimulate the gastric...

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ASPARAGUS

Asparagus is a spring sprout, however, in some areas its harvest may run into the month of July. This vegetable is an extremely cooling summer antidote and a spring cleanser. While most people have an awareness of strong smelling urine after consuming asparagus, you may not know that asparagus strengthens the kidneys through the cleansing diuretic process. The odor comes from an amino acid called asparagine. Asparagus is fairly high in vegetable protein and offers a good amount of fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, sulfur and potassium, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and iodine in lower amounts. "A blood cleanser and reproductive tonic, asparagus is good for edema, infections, skin disorders, and fever. A high alkaline...

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ARTICHOKES

Artichokes are harvested in the summer and help the body cool down on a hot day. They are rich in folic acid and potassium and provide calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron plus vitamins A and C. Choose artichokes to ward off infections. They are good at purifying the blood. Artichoke leaves may assist the detoxification process by helping the liver increase bile flow, making them a good choice in spring as well for cleansing. To address digestive problems, "nausea, bloating, loss of appetite, and even abdominal pain may be improved with the use of artichoke. " Elson M. Haas, M.D. Steam and enjoy a fresh artichoke to reap the many health benefits.

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APRICOTS

Fresh apricots are a tasty, nutritious fruit best enjoyed during the summer season, although tree ripened apricots may be challenging to find. They have a sweet finish and a beneficial cooling effect on the body. Some consider apricots to promote longevity. The Hunzas (Himalaya Mountain region), are known to live extraordinarily long lives and include apricots in their diet. Apricots, otherwise known as prunus armeniaca, can have a laxative effect, may have anti-tumor properties and assist in reducing coughs and fever. The phytonutrients in apricots include high levels of beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A), lycopene, and quercetin. More benefits include B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper and zinc. Add in iron and cobalt as well and anemia may...

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APPLES

APPLES are an ideal summer food. They help to cool the body down, dispersing the build up of heat, and clearing out excess mucus that may be prevalent during this season. The pectin aids detoxification, and their high fiber content supports intestinal cleansing, and may heal intestinal ailments. Apples have a broad vitamin and mineral content, including iron, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, some B vitamins, C, E, and the phytonutrient quercetin. Apples are best purchased in organic varieties to avoid pesticide intake. Enjoy sweeter apples in summer, saving sour apples for the winter season. Apples even help to clean the teeth, making them the perfect picnic food!

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