Peppermint

In the midst of all the indulgence and decadence this time of year, it's comforting to know there are some very real health benefits to some of the most common flavors of the season. Between candy canes and Christmas bark, peppermint is giving cinnamon a run for its money as standout spice of the holiday season. And we're thankful for that, considering the new research and amazing benefits including the following:

Green Tea

Green tea is particularly rich in health-promoting flavonoids (which account for 30% of the dry weight of a leaf), including catechins and their derivatives. The most abundant catechin in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is thought to play a pivotal role in the green tea's anticancer and antioxidant effects. Catechins should be considered right alongside of the better-known antioxidants like vitamins E and C as potent free radical scavengers and health-supportive for this reason.

Limes

The lime is the sweeter cousin of the lemon with a distinctive flavor that’s reminiscent of the Caribbean. Have you ever wondered why a person, especially a sailor from Britain, used to be called a Limey? In 1493, the passion for this fruit began to spread. British explorers dominated the world trade routes with their steady supply of limes from the West Indies. When many ships fell to scurvy (a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C), the British survived because of their constant supply of this diminutive citrus. Limes are good for women’s health.

Rutabaga

Rutabagas, occasionally known as yellow turnips, give rise to your veggie intake for the entire day, which can be between 2 and 3 cups, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The plant, a mixture of a turnip along with a cabbage, originated from Russia however grows through the entire United States. Rutabagas provide health benefits because of their important nutrient content.

Summer Squash

No category of health benefits from summer squash is better researched than the category of antioxidant benefits. As an excellent source of manganese and a very good source of vitamin C. summer squash provides us with a great combination of conventional antioxidant nutrients. But it also contains an unusual amount of other antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zexanthin. These antioxidants are especially helpful in antioxidant protection of the eye, including protection against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Strawberries

Given their unique combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, it's not surprising to see strong research support for strawberry health benefits in three major areas: (1) cardiovascular support and prevention of cardiovascular diseases (2) improved regulation of blood sugar, with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, and (3) prevention of certain cancer types including breast, cervical, colon, and esophageal cancer. In this section, we'll review the outstanding research-based benefits of strawberries in each area. 

Celery

Celery is an important food source of conventional antioxidant nutrients, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. But its "claim to fame" in terms of antioxidant nutrients may very well be its phytonutrients. Many of these phytonutrients fall into the category of phenolic antioxidants and have been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Below is a representative list of the phenolic antioxidants found in celery. 

Vitamin B3

Certain vitamins are powerful at burning body fat in the body. Niacin or nicotinic acid (B3) is a powerful vitamin that we can’t perform well without. It also helps to lower cholesterol and support healthy blood sugar levels. A slight, non-clinical deficiency can lead to fatigue, poor concentration, anxiety, depression, and restlessness. It is difficult to get too much of this vitamin, however, if you do, it will lead to flushing, skin issues, and digestive challenges. If it is long-term overdose it can lead to liver damage, diabetes, and even birth defects.

Kiwi

Kiwifruit can offer a great deal more than an exotic tropical flair in your fruit salad. These emerald delights contain numerous phytonutrients as well as well known vitamins and minerals that promote your health. 

Garlic

Garlic is well known as a natural health remedy that has long been used to treat various ailments. It is extremely easy to source in most countries and can be consumed cooked or fresh. It is most easily included in your food or can be eaten on its own. You don’t need to limit yourself to fresh garlic either. Garlic powder or dried garlic flakes are just as effective and super easy to keep in the cupboard for everyday use. 

It is recommended that adults consume no more than one clove two or three times a day and those children have one quarter to one half a clove, once or twice a day.

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Known as America’s Health Coach, MD, Dr. Asa Andrew is host of one of the fastest growing radio and television programs in North America designed to transform your health and your life. Dr. Asa is a health, nutrition, and fitness contributor to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and FOX and has appeared on many shows including Good Morning America and The 700 Club. As a lifestyle physician to many professional athletes and celebrities, he is an internationally sought after speaker for many Fortune 500 Companies with his engaging message of looking better, feeling younger, and living longer. In addition to his media companies, the he has founded Diagnosis HOPE, a non-profit organization that encourages lifestyle, health, and wellness education to individuals and communities dedicated to diagnosing hope one person at a time.

Being in practice close to twenty years emphasizing nutrition, lifestyle, and exercise medicine, Dr. Asa Andrew has pioneered a renowned lifestyle medicine-based wellness center which is dedicated to the ongoing research of evidence-based methods for improving overall lifestyle, combating the negative effects of unhealthy choices, and empowering people to live extraordinary lives. In addition to developing clinical methods, he dedicates his efforts to full-time educational media with his best-selling books, television projects, nationally syndicated radio show, live events, and coaching systems.