What is the most commonly missing food in modern diets? Greens. Learning how to incorporate greens into your diet is essential for optimum health, healthy immune system function, and strengthening the blood and respiratory system. Greens also help to filter out pollutants and are a high-alkaline food, which neutralizes acidic conditions inside of our bodies. The colour green is associated with spring, refreshment, and renewal. In Chinese medicine, green is related to the liver, creativity, and emotional stability.
Nutritionally, greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are one the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. Let’s not forget about all the fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll, and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. I do recommend choosing organic, however eating non-organic greens is much better than eating no greens at all.
Benefits of Dark Leafy Greens
- Blood purification
- Cancer prevention
- Improved circulation
- Promotion of subtle, light and flexible energy
- Improved liver, gall bladder, and kidney function
- Strengthened immune system
- Cleared congestion, especially in lungs, by reducing mucus
- Promotion of healthy intestinal flora
There are so many different types of greens available all year round, be adventurous, try new greens you haven’t tried before. Common greens include include bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, and dandelion. Arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun, and wild greens are generally eaten raw, but can be consumed in any creative way you enjoy. Spinach, swiss chard, and beet greens are high in oxalic acid, which inhibits the absorption of the calcium to some degree, so make sure you eat them in moderation, however they still have the same benefits as all greens. Rotate a variety of fresh greens into your diet to achieve the most benefits.
There are lots of ways to cook greens, like steaming, boiling, sautéing in oil, water sautéing, waterless cooking, or lightly pickling (as in a pressed salad). If you want your greens to be plump and relax, boil them. Boil for under a minute to avoid losing nutrients in the water. You can also drink this cooking water as a health-promoting broth or tea if you’re using organic greens. Steaming makes greens more fibrous and tight, which helps you feel fuller, longer. This is a great way to help curb your appetite for those trying to lose a few extra pounds. A raw salad is also a convenient preparation for greens, and it’s so quick and easy. Raw greens have a refreshing, cooling effect on the body, and supplies live enzymes to help heal your gut.
Would you like help incorporating more greens into your diet? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary health history consultation with me today——or pass this offer on to someone you care about!
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