Onhealthmeup.com - The health benefits of green food cannot be over-emphasized. Most green food is a complete food, with all the macro vitamins and minerals, many of the trace minerals are high in protein and contain omega 3. Not only that, but all this is in perfect balance so your body knows exactly how to digest and utilize it.
Many people understand the value of the super green supplements, such as blue-green algae. And these are undoubtedly the most health beneficial supplements to take. But you can also get most of your daily requirements from eating a large number of greens daily.
The common greens available in the grocery stores are silverbeet, spinach, kale, and collard. New choices coming in include tatsoi, Warrigal, lambs quarters and others. But there are many in your garden, that you don't have to buy and are quite safe to eat as long as you don't use chemicals in the garden.
Dandelions, as with all greens, are very rich in macro minerals and vitamins. It supports organ health (especially kidney and liver). Dandelion has been used in ancient cultures for its health benefits, since the dawn of time. (My horses always look healthier during the dandelion season, on which they graze heavily.)
Gotu Kola, also known as Asian pennywort, is rich in minerals and vitamins, as you would expect. This perennial plant has been used by ancient cultures in Asia to heal wounds and burns, to improve mental clarity, to bring calm, to improve digestion, to revitalize nerve cells, to improve respiratory problems, to reduce varicose veins and more.
Nasturtium was once considered a weed, along with dandelion and other beneficial plants. Not only are the leaves rich in minerals and vitamins, they improve the immune system. The flowers always improve the appearance (and nutrient value) of a salad dish.
Other beneficial greens, often thought of as weeds, including clover, stinging nettle, wild radish, wild mustard, purslane, plantain, chickweed, yellow dock, Malva, and lovage. There are countless more, depending on what grows in your area.
Herbs are also a green food and their addition to your dishes not only improves the taste but adds nutrition. Dill, parsley, cilantro, bergamot, mint, fennel, basil, shiso, stevia all add extra quality to your health.
All greens contain alkaloids, which gives them a bitter taste to a greater or lesser extent. These alkaloids protect the plant from being over-eaten by grazers or pickers, and so ensuring their survival. In small amounts, they do you no harm. But if you consume a lot of the same plant for any length of time, they can start to harm. The key is to vary the greens, to rotate on a daily basis, not to consume the same one type every day.
Then there are the medicinal herbs, which need to be eaten in moderation, as they have higher levels of alkaloids. These include milk thistle, salsify, sweet cicely, hosta, horsetail, ginkgo, calendula, aloe, borage, comfrey, hollyhock, oca and more.
In ancient, and not so ancient, times, people would forage in the wild for their food. This included foraging for herbs and greens. In a safe, chemical-free environment this provides you with variety, health benefits, and freshness.
Health benefits of green food
Using a wide variety of these foods is the best way to ensure that you're consuming enough of them so that you can take advantage of the following benefits:
Hefty Source of Antioxidants
Most green foods, such as spinach and broccoli, are considered super foods because they contain a high amount of antioxidants in them. Plenty of vitamin A, C and E can be found in most green foods, in addition to other important nutrients such as iron and zinc. Antioxidants play a major role in protecting your body from viruses so they're important to health. Eating at least three servings of greens each and every day will provide your body with enough antioxidants to keep you protected.
Low in Calories
Green foods, especially dark leafy ones, contain a large amount of water which in turn leaves them extremely depleted of calories. This means that you can eat as many of them as you possibly can, and you don't have to worry about gaining any weight. In fact, adding these foods to your favorite dishes like enchiladas, soups, casseroles, and pasta can help bulk up the meal while keeping the calories under control so you can eat more of your favorite foods without a jump in calorie intake.
Great Source of Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are special chemicals found in green foods that have a good effect on the body after they are consumed. These properties help to boost your immune system, and they help protect you against cellular damage. In order to get a wide range of these nutrients, it's important to switch up the foods you eat from day to day.
Just about Carb Free
Although there are a small number of carbohydrates available in green foods, the carbs that are found in the food are important for your health. These particular carbs are complex, so they are packed with much-needed fiber which helps to keep you full longer throughout the day. Fiber also helps to grab pollutants and other unnecessary things within the body and dispose of them before they are absorbed. The fiber also plays a vital role in regular bowel movements.
Easy on Your Glucose Levels
Many foods that are consumed in today's world are processed, and therefore play a role in raising blood glucose levels extremely high before they come crashing back down again. This process can really wreak havoc on your system, and may even lead to diabetes. However, green foods are very low in sugars and because they're packed with fiber and water, they actually help to regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
The best way to consume greens is raw. This is most palatable in a green smoothie. However, lightly steamed greens daily are better than no greens at all.
By appreciating the benefits of green food, it easily becomes part of your daily diet.