The number one thing you can do today to improve your health and boost your energy is eat leafy greens.
Period. End of story. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, Paleo...it doesn't matter. This ONE simple act has powerful implications. If you hang around me long enough, you'll hear that over, and over, and over.
When we think of the color of nature, of life, of peace and serenity...it's green. Not charred brown, or Barilla-blue boxed shape. Or two sides of black with a creamy white center.
There's a reason for that.
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.” Yes...spring.
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.
Greens provide a whole host of valuable nutrients, micronutrients, and phytonutrients such as:
- Vitamins A, C, and K
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 beats milk because it doesn’t put the body into an acidic state the way dairy does. Greens with significant amounts of calcium include cooked beet greens, kale, dandelion greens, collards, parsley, turnip greens, and watercress. (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.)
Other greens to rotate into your diet include spinach, cabbage, mesclun, bok choy, broccoli, and broccoli rabe.
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 cuke (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) or coconut water
~Drink the broth or “tea” that’s leftover in the pan after briefly steaming or boiling your greens. Add a squeeze of lemon to make it a little more tasty.
~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 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 icky-processed foods with these nourishing plant-based options, you’ll be glowing with so much positive energy your friends will be green with envy.
Here is a bonus recipe for collard greens! It's my favorite.
Love + greens,