Should You Go Green?! (by Trisha at Cincinnati Fit Body Bootcamp)

I read this very informative article a few days ago and wanted to share it with you.  Written by Trisha at the Cincinnati Fit Body Bootcamp website, it list the best leafy greens  for your diet.

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I know we’ve all heard we need to eat more vegetable, but just why are they so very important to our health and why are green veggies so important? They really are more than that sprig of parsley decorating the side of your plate and they sometimes get a bad rap.  Greens are sometimes bitter and others are sometimes sweet, even pungent.

But  did you know that green leafy vegetables are among the most nutrient dense foods available — high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. Each one is packed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other phytochemicals and micronutrients. When eaten raw, you get the added benefit of live enzymes needed for improved digestion and nutrient absorption.

Consider the following 10 reasons why green leafy vegetables should be the power players in your daily diet:

1. Boosts immune function
2. High in vitamins known to prevent cancer
3. Improves circulation
4. Purifies the blood
5. Provides steady energy
6. May ease feelings of depression
7. Promotes healthy intestinal flora
8. Improves liver, kidney and gallbladder function
9. Clears congestion, especially in the lungs
10. Helps reduce inflammation

While most people would have a hard time naming more than two or three green leafy vegetables, there are many possible choices. For greater adventures in dining and added health benefits, consider adding the following often overlooked greens:

Broccoli
Bok choy
Napa cabbage
Kale
Collards
Watercress
Mustard greens
Broccoli rabe
Dandelion greens

The following greens are eaten raw:

Arugula
Endive
Chicory
Lettuce
Mesclun wild greens

The following should be eaten in moderation due to high oxalic acid content:

Spinach
Swiss chard
Beet greens

(Note: If cooked with something rich like tofu, beans, butter, nuts, or oil, the oxalic acid will balance out.)

There are a variety of way to cook greens. Steaming, boiling and sauteing in oil or water are some of the methods you could choose. If boiling your leafy vegetables, less than a minute is sufficient time — anything longer will detract from the nutrient value. Vegetables that are steamed will be more fibrous and tight.

So let’s remember our friend Popeye and take a second glance at the lonely assorted greens in the produce department of our grocery store.  Be adventurous and try adding more to your daily meal plans. Greens really are the food of life and as many of you know I believe vegetables should take up to half of your plate.

Try them, eat them daily, and learn to love them!!! Your body will thank you.

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