Greens: The number one food missing in modern diets…
We are now well into Spring here in Sydney and the weather is certainly heating up. The days are longer with the light lasting until about 7pm, which is wonderful because it means we tend to fit more into our days. We’re often out and about a lot more, running around to different events, dining out more and celebrating lots of events as we approach the festive season, which can be a lot of fun, but it also takes its toll on our bodies.
As a result, it’s easy to let our health and eating patterns fall a little by the way side. It’s undeniable that there are many foods we could be eating more of and less of but there is one food that stands out above the rest, so much so that it is the number one food lacking in modern diets. Any guesses?
Greens! Gorgeous, glorious greens!
Green is associated with spring, the time of renewal, refreshment and vital energy. In Traditional Chinese medicine, green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity.
What are the benefits of green vegetables?
How long is a piece of string? The nutritional and health benefits of greens are as abundant as the number of greens there to choose from.
- Leafy green vegetables are high-alkaline foods, which help to replenish our alkaline mineral stores and continue to filter out pollutants.
- Greens help to strengthen the blood and respiratory system.
- They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.
- They are loaded with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.
More proven and possible benefits of consuming dark leafy greens are:
- Blood purification, Cancer prevention, Improved circulation, Strengthened immune system, Promotion of healthy intestinal flora, Promotion of subtle, light and flexible energy, Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function, and cleared congestion, especially in lungs buy reducing mucus
Types of greens:
Broccoli, kale, bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion, rocket, endive, chicory, lettuce, and mesclun. Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens are best eaten in moderation because they are high in oxalic acid, which inhibits the absorption of the calcium these foods contain.
Whilst I recommend buying organic greens over non-organic, the number one priority is to get greens into your diet daily, rather than eating none at all.
How you can incorporate them into your diet?
There’s a variety of methods to try:
Steaming – This makes greens more fibrous and tight, which helps you feel fuller, longer. This is a great method to help curb your appetite for those trying to lose weight
Boiling – Boiling helps greens plump and relax. Boil for under a minute so that nutrients do not get lost in the water. You can also drink the cooking water as a health-giving broth or tea if you’re using organic greens.
Sautéing – Speed and flavour are the main benefits here. Place a small amount of healthy fat (preferably coconut oil) in a pan and add your small size vegetable pieces to ensure they cook quickly and evenly.
Raw – Raw greens are refreshing, cooling and supplies live enzymes. Use them in your favourite salad, smoothie or simply eat on their own.
Colour me happy. Go add some beautiful vibrant greens into your day and feel the difference in your body, energy levels and overall wellbeing.
What’s your favourite green vegetable and method of eating them?