NUTRITION: YOU HAVE TO EAT YOUR GREENS, BUT WHY?
Leafy greens. You can find them squeezed into just about everything nowadays — smoothies, juices, muffins, cocktails even, but there's SO MUCH MORE than the occasional indulgence of a massaged kale salad or random bowl of mixed greens every time you need a quick nutrient boost. I believe in an abundance of greens at every lunch and dinner (and maybe even breakfast every now and again...) But the thing is, we all know we should be eating said abundance of greens, but do we really know why? I always, always talk about greens, my love for them, and how I eat them on the daily, but today I want to talk about the WHY. Why should you be eating them, how are they going to benefit you, and why I will continue to sing their praises until the end of time.
With so much noise in the health and wellness world, it can be hard to remember why everyone actually started adding spinach to their smoothies in the first place.
Below, I've broken down the need-to-know facts about why you should 'go green' as a little refresher:
- Greens are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.
- The high level of vitamin K plays an important role in the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health.
- Each green is packed with fiber, folic acid and life-giving chlorophyll.
- They boost immune function, improve circulation, purify the blood, provide steady energy, ease feelings of depression, improve liver, kidney and gallbladder function, clear congestion and help reduce inflammation.
- Greens are super hydrating which we know is critical for beautiful skin and A+ digestion.
- Greens are low on the glycemic index — adios blood sugar spikes and hormone imbalances!
- Rich in phytochemicals, such as lutein, and beta-carotene green leafy vegetables help promote healthy vision.
- Greens help to reduce bad cholesterol present in the blood.
- Greens are rich in folate and contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids — we're talking serious brain food.
- Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in leafy green vegetables, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and displays unique anticancer properties.
- Immune cells essential for intestinal health, are found in the digestive system and protect the body from 'bad' bacteria in the body. The proteins in green leaves play a role in producing these cells. So, that microbiome that we keep talking so much about? Yeah, your greens are keeping it healthy and strong.
- Green leafy vegetables reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- High greens consumption can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Last but not least, greens hold the top 10 spots on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, which ranks the nutrient value of foods on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.
Bonus fact: the color green is associated with life, vitality and renewal. In the words of our beloved Mark Hyman, "It seems you can't outsmart Mother Nature..." Greens truly are a life force. They are liquid sunshine, no other food can have a greater difference of your body, mind and soul than greens.
I hope this inspires you to add a littttttle more greens to your life :)
HAPPY MONDAY ALL,