Why Leafy Greens are Essential for Your Health
The number one thing you can do today to improve your health and boost your energy is eat leafy greens. This simple act has powerful implications.
In his book, Integrative Nutrition, author Joshua Rosenthal describes it this way: “Greens help build our internal rainforest and strengthen our circulatory and respiratory system.” He goes on to say that the color green aligns with spring, “a time of renewal, refreshment, and vital energy.”
Indeed, the list of beneficial properties offered by greens is long and includes everything from improving circulation and liver function to strengthening the immune system, clearing congestion, and promoting healthy gut flora.
Nutrients in Leafy Greens
Greens provide a whole host of valuable nutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients such as:
- Vitamins A, C, and K
Most noteworthy, chlorophyll (found in all green vegetables) is a powerful blood builder akin to liquid oxygen! If you are trying to get pregnant, you can benefit from the high folate content in greens. And if you need to increase your calcium intake, leafy greens are better than milk because it doesn’t put the body into an acidic state the way dairy does.
Leafy Greens to Add to Your Diet
Leafy greens with significant amounts of calcium include:
- Cooked beet greens
- Dandelion greens
- Turnip greens
*An interesting aside: the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who said “let food be thy medicine,” relied so heavily on the healing powers of watercress that he built his first hospital next to a stream so he could grow it.
Furthermore, other greens to rotate into your diet on a regular basis include:
- Bok choy
- Broccoli rabe
Tips for Eating More Leafy Greens
Here are some easy ways to eat more greens:
- Drink them in the morning! Start off your day with an alkalizing green smoothie by mixing the following ingredients in a high-speed blender:
- Handful watercress, kale, or Swiss chard
- Handful parsley or cilantro
- 1-2 stalks organic celery
- 1/2 cucumber (peeled)
- 1 organic apple (peeled and cored)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger (peeled)
- Filtered water (amount depends on desired thickness)
- Drink the broth or “tea” that’s leftover in the pan after briefly steaming or boiling your greens.
- Grow your own greens either in a container on your porch, in a raised garden bed in your yard, or in a community garden. Alternatively, seek out fresh greens at the farmer’s market or join a community sponsored agriculture (CSA) to ensure regular delivery of them!
- Get into the habit of having a simple raw mixed greens or kale salad with lunch and dinner.
- Add such green algae superfood supplements as spirulina and chlorella to your daily routine for an added dose of disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Once you crowd out other foods with these nourishing plant-based options, you’ll be glowing with so much positive energy your friends will be green with envy!
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