You’ve been told to eat your greens for as long as you can remember, so read on to find out exactly why, plus what to choose and how much you really need to be consuming each day.
Green vegetables are the most nutritious carbohydrates on the planet. Here’s just a couple of reasons why you should be including them with every meal:
- Nutrient density
Green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses. They are particularly high in our B vitamins, which are essential for everything from energy to myelin sheath (the fatty insulation around your nerves) production. Greens also contain vitamin A precursors, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which enhance both immune function and eye health. Significantly, leafy greens are particularly high in vitamin K, which plays a powerful role in intestinal function and as well as heart and brain health.
Greens are packed with vitamin C, a highly potent antioxidant known for its’ immune, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties.
Phytonutrients possess antibiotic and antioxidant properties, which act to facilitate toxin removal (i.e. nature’s detox), improve brain function, enhance immune regulation and strengthen the blood vessels of the cardiovascular system.
You’ve been told for decades that you need to consume wholegrains for optimal fibre intake and therefore digestive function and long-term colon health. The truth is that more often than not, vegetables contain more fibre than your standard serve of grains. If you fill your plate with protein, good fats and greens, you will be nourished and satiated. Grain industry funded research is hardly going to support increased broccoli consumption though, so you’re going to have to trust me on this one; eat your greens.
What should I eat?
Here’s our top ten, based on nutrient density, our number one priority:
- Chinese cabbage
- Beet green
- Leaf lettuce
- Romaine lettuce
- Collard green
How much should I eat?
Aim for three cups of leafy greens per day*. For breakfast, add them to your smoothie or omelette. Lunch and dinner should be easy.
Do I need to buy organic?
The unfortunate reality is that any fruit or vegetable without a skin should be purchased organic. Your second best option is to soak your fruit and vegetables for five minutes in one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and adequate filtered water before consuming. It’s also a great habit to get into even for organic produce, as you never really know what’s been crawling on and who’s been touching what you choose to buy.
What is your favourite way to eat greens? Share with us below!
*This is on top of your coloured and sulfur-rich vegetable (i.e. from the mushroom and onion families) intake per day.