Organic Avenue is now serving up a healthy array of fresh menu items. We talked to their culinary experts about how to improve digestion, just in time for the holidays!
If you haven’t yet heard, Organic Avenue, one of the city’s favorite green juice destinations, is now serving up a menu of seriously delicious and nutritious alternatives to your typical grab-and-gos. Soups, salads, sandwiches and even desserts have now made their way into the health-conscious establishments across NYC, and when we learned about the impressive healing properties some of the new recipes have to offer, we had to learn more.
At Organic Avenue, every item on the menu is carefully crafted to maximize both flavor and nutritional benefits for the body. Since the holidays are in full-swing, we were particularly impressed to learn that many of the meals actually aid in digestion – something we could all benefit from this time of the year.
Below, Organic Avenue’s Director of Culinary Development, Michele Di Pietro and Assistant Training Manager/Digestive Health Extraordinaire, Ryan Neller, reveal exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating this holiday season; and shell out some expert advice to get your body functioning in peak condition just in time for the new year.
On the ultimate ingredient that helps digestion…
“Our shot of pure ginger juice is the perfect boost to any fruit or green juice for optimal digestion and nutrient assimilation. You can even down a Ginger Shot on its own 20 minutes before a meal to ensure digestive success. Ginger is a powerful digestive aid due to its active compounds, gingerol and shogaol, which stimulate the flow of saliva, bile and gastric secretions through the digestive tract.”
On what foods are the most common poor digestion culprits…
“Carbonated beverages (aside from fresh kombucha) hinder digestion big time. Soda, champagne, beer, tonic water, etc. create excess gas pressure in the body—leading to bloat and discomfort. Dairy products are extremely mucous-forming and clog the digestive tract—avoid whenever possible. If you’re a milk and cheese lover, there are many nutrient-dense nut and seed alternatives that the body can easily process.”
On pairing ingredients to improve absorption…
“One of our favorite pairings is a leafy green, such as kale or spinach, with a vitamin C-rich fruit or veggie, like lemon or red bell pepper. Leafy greens are rich in non-heme iron, which aids in the production of red bloods cells that circulate oxygen throughout the body. This form of iron is best absorbed into the system when consumed in tandem with vitamin C. Easy ways to create this synergy at home are to add lemon juice to your salad dressing, or to blend spinach into your fruit smoothie. When you pop into an Organic Avenue store, make sure to try our best-selling Lite Weight Smoothie, which does just that.”
On healthy holiday swaps…
“If you’re going to indulge in alcoholic beverages, definitely swap the champagne and beer for organic, sulfate-free wine or triple-distilled vodka. Carbonation equals gas and bloating. When you’re surveying the spread of appetizers, skip the chips—and dip with crudité instead. Bonus points for the hosts who serve guacamole or hummus instead of dairy-based dips.”
On the one ingredient to AVOID this holiday season…
“It may be difficult to avoid completely, but it is possible to limit consumption of refined, white sugar during holiday festivities. Steer clear of those dinner rolls and layer cakes. Instead, load up the majority of your plate with salad and cooked veggie sides, and allow yourself to enjoy the one or two indulgences you truly love.
We believe that dessert is essential during the holidays, so bring your own healthy treat for everyone to enjoy. Some of our favorites are brownies made with whole grain flour and coconut sugar, or gluten-free cookies made with coconut flour and dark chocolate chips. There are many simple and delicious healthy recipes in the blogosphere to experiment with, or you could always bring a bundle of OA Chocolate Mousse for all to share, and possibly get hooked on!”
What are your favorite foods to eat that promote proper digestion? To check out the delicious-ness that Organic Avenue is serving up, click here.
Noelle Chehab is the Senior Writer of Spa Week Daily.