It’s easy being green!
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your diet is to eat leafy green vegetables. There are nearly a thousand different plants that have edible leaves and all of them have the common benefit of being vitamin, mineral, phytochemical and fibre rich.
They can be eaten raw or cooked, with the former providing a greater nutrient density.
The leaf of a plant performs photosynthesis, a process which uses carbon dioxide and water to create carbohydrate and oxygen. These outcomes are essential to all levels of life.
Philloquinone, or vitamin K, is directly involved in photosynthesis and is essential to our blood clotting mechanisms and bone health.
If your goal is to stay lean, then you need leafy greens on your team! They are low in calories and high in fibre which means they will provide sustained energy that is more likely to be burnt than stored.
The micronutrient content of leafy greens is particularly important, as the plant uses these chemicals to protect itself against infection, pollution, predators and the weather. These micronutrients include calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, beta carotene, folate, vitamin K, vitamin C, chlorophyll, lutein and zeaxanthin. When we eat leafy greens we also benefit from the same chemistry.
The outcomes for us includes:
- Reduced cognitive decline
- Decreased bloating
- Improved mood and stress coping
- Stronger bones
- Better blood sugar regulation
- A healthier gut microbiome
- Cancer protection
- Better digestion
- Increased detoxification
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved eye health
So, my challenge to you is to expand your volume and variety of leafy greens.
Here are a few of my favourites to prompt you into action:
- Mustard/Beetroot/Turnip greens
- Leafy herbs (basil, coriander, mint and parsley)
- Bok choy
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