Clothing color trends come and go, but when it comes to good nutrition, one color is always in style… Dark Green. I’m sure you’ve heard the mantra “eat your greens” since you were a child, and mom was right. Dark leafy greens provide an abdance of nutrients to our cells to keep them healthy and happy and help fight off disease and illness. Just what’s so great about the one food group that kids turn away from without even the smallest bite making it to their mouth? Everything is the short answer. The long answer goes something like this:
Traditionally greens 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. Some of the possible benefits of consuming dark leafy vegetables are: blood purification, cancer prevention,improved circulation, strengthened immune system, promotion of healthy intestinal flora, improved gall bladder, kidney and liver function.
There is a wide variety of greens to choose from, broccoli being one of the most popular (and full of calcium!). Others to consider include bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collard greens, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, arugula and darker leaf lettuces. Spinach, swiss chard and beet greens are best eaten in moderation as they are high in oxalic acid which inhibits calcium absorption. Choose organic whenever possible, but eating non-organic greens is better than not eating them at all.
Greens strengthen the blood and respiratory system. Leafy greens are high-alkaline foods which may be beneficial to people exposed to higher amounts of pollution in urban areas. Green vegetables will help to replenish our alkaline mineral stores and continue to filter out pollutants. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity.
Keep Dark Greens on your plate and you’ll be in style any time of the year. Your body will thank you.