Aloe Vera- would be at the top of my list. I grow my own and I believe it has great health benefits; it is believed to have many therapeutic uses and has been used to heal, soften, and moisturize the skin. Aloe Vera gel has also been used for minor burns and wounds. It has been taken internally to help with constipation, diarrhea, and intestinal problems like heartburn and ulcers.

Apricots- are an excellent source of vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C; they are also a good source of fiber and potassium. The beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.This helps to protect the eyes and keep the skin, hair, gums, and other glands healthy. Apricots also help build strong bones and teeth. Vitamin A helps to fight infection and builds a strong immunity system. Apricots contain vitamin C and lycopene which may help lower the risk of certain cancers. The fiber in apricots may help maintain blood sugar levels in normal healthy people. Fiber may help constipation, which in turn may help reduce the risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids, and are low in calories.

Artichokes- are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folate and vitamin K and are a good source of magnesium, potassium,phosphorous and copper. The vitamin C may inhibit the development of asthmatic symptoms.The potassium in artichokes help reduce urinary calcium excretion, which appears to lower the risk of kidney stone’s.

Basil- Basil appears to exhibit antimicrobial activity and may provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. Basil is a good source of beta- carotene, making it a powerful antioxidant; which helps to prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream which could be a factor in conditions like Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, along with asthma. Magnesium has been known to help muscles and blood vessels to relax, which improves blood flow.

Dried figs- are excellent sources of fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese and vitamin K and a good source of iron and phosphorous. The fiber in dried figs helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Dried fruits are more nutrient dense than fresh fruits and can also help prevent occasional constipation.

Eggplant- is an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. And is a good source of protein, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. The skin of the eggplant may help protect cell membranes from damage. And may act as an anticancer and antiviral agent. Potassium helps your muscles and nerves function properly and help to support healthy blood pressure and the vitamin C gives structure to bones, Cartilage, muscle and blood vessels, which may help the body to heal wounds and resist infection and helps absorb iron.

I have used dried figs in smoothies and other recipes to give them a sweet taste in place of using sugar. Eggplant taste great as an Italian dish; just slice it with skin on, dip it in egg, then dip in Parmesan cheese ( low or no fat ) spread low sugar spaghetti sauce on them and put in 425 oven for about 20 min, or until starting to turn brown on top. You can also add eggplant chopped in chunks to your favorite soups. And aloe Vera is great in your smoothies, just cut about 1/2 inch off and drop it in the blender along with your strawberries, blueberries, banana and ginger.

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