Why Add More Greens To Your Diet?

Who’s eating their greens?

Near the end of the Alabama – LSU football game on Nov. 6, Les Miles, LSU Head Coach, was caught chowing down on some of the Tiger Stadium grass.  Asked about it after the game Miles said he does it every game.

Regardless of whether he does it to attain some kind of karmic ”oneness” with the field or for the protein, it can’t be too healthy to be eating grass off a football field that’s likely maintained with all kinds of chemical fertilizers.  It might also be a good idea to wash the grass off before eating it because of possible windborne chemical contamination from nearby industrial plants along the Mississippi River.  How’s he going to flush those toxins out of his body?

Although grass off a football field is clearly not the best source, green plants, especially in their natural state, do provide many valuable nutrients.

Consuming more greens in our diet is a smart thing to do and has many health benefits.  The American Dietetic Association in a paper titled “Eating Plants for Health: From Fiber to Phytochemicals” described the health benefits of eating a more plant-based diet, especially with a simultaneous reduction in the consumption of animal products.  Evidence shows that plant-based diets lead to lower rates of many serious health problems.

Benefits of Eating Greens

Greens are the source of potent antioxidants and support our immune systems.

Greens provide required protein.  Green plants like spinach, watercress, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, turnip greens, and lettuce provide significant amounts of protein.  For instance 49% of spinach is protein.

The fiber provided by green plants is beneficial to our digestive system.

Green plant foods (the darker green, the better) contain high levels of the nutrients and enzymes necessary for our body to function.  They contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron as well as vitamins C,E,K, and many of the B vitamins.

Eating green plant foods helps balance our pH.  Many of the foods we eat are acidic which can lead to health issues.  Neutralizing foods like greens assist in keeping our body’s pH at a healthier level.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, important to many of our body’s functions, especially brain function are provided by some dark greens.

Greens provide a variety of phytonutrients including lutein, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin.  They protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems.

Chlorophyll in green plants acts as a blood detoxifier.

Most plants contain phytosterols, but some green plants such as legumes have greater concentrations.  Consuming phystosterols in foods and in supplement form may help control cholesterol levels and may also aid in joint health and in boosting our immune system.

If you do take vitamin mineral supplements, plant – processed supplements are best because they contain phytochemicals and are more fully assimilated and utilized by our bodies.  Plan-processed indicates that the ingredients in thesesupplements are derived from plants, not from synthetic chemicals, rocks or dirt.  I.E. Some supplements are advertised as all natural and organic but get their iron or various other minerals from ground up rocks.  While it’s technically correct to say that rocks are natural and organic, the human body has a hard job in assimilating ground up rocks and dirt regardless of how small they’re ground up.

Ways of Eating Greens

There are several ways to add greens to our daily diet.  Eating greens raw or with minimal processing and heating is best. 

They can be eaten in a variety of salads of course or as part of a ”veggie” platter with a tasty dip.

A very popular way of adding more greens to our diet is through juicing.  With masticating juicers, like the Champion Juicer, virtually all the beneficial plant nutrients are extracted for consumption in the juice.

Greens can be added to smoothies mixed up in a blender.  Strawberries or bananas can be added to provide a delicious and more palatable taste.

You can find many recipes that allow you to include greens in your diet.

The Ultimate Benefit of Eating Greens

Eating greens has many benefits, and if we add greens to our diet we can live a longer more productive life.

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