It is no secret that Dark Green leafy vegetables offer riches of health benefits. In case you need some inspiration to incorporate more greens into your diet, here’s why you should eat more greens.
Nutritious juices from the leafy greens help replenish the liquid in the system. Juices from the greens and their fibers also keep the digestive tract clean. Chlorophyll found in plant directly traps the toxins and help the body to get rid of them quite effortlessly.
2. Reduced risk of diseases
Packed with vital nutrients such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium and Vitamins A, K, B1 and B2, Dark leafy greens help to meet the nutritional requirements for optimal health. They reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease due to rich folic acid content. Studies have shown incorporating one serving of leafy green vegetables every day lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11%. They have also shown to reduce the risk of diabetes to 9%.
High level of Vitamin K also helps the body to produce osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is an important protein for bone health and Leafy greens have also shown to decrease 45% risk of hip fracture in middle-aged women. High magnesium content and low glycemic index also help in type 2 diabetes.
3. Edible sunscreen
The carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin present in the dark, leafy greens provide UV protection at the cellular levels. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of these carotenoids make you love the sun without any worry. The leafy greens also add nourishment to the skin and bring more glow. These carotenoids also protect against cataract and age-related macular degeneration.
4. Boost Your enzymes
Lack of enzymes restricts proper digestion of the food eaten and ingestion of the nutrients present in them. Fresh greens, especially when eaten raw, boost the enzymes your body needs. These too, promote detoxification at a cellular level and keep you full of vital energy.
5. Protect your Gut
The high fiber content in plants helps the gut microbes to improve various gut metabolic activities like PH balance, gut permeability, immune balance, bowel movements and so forth.
6. Greens are your weight loss food
Low in calories and packed with nutrients and other active compounds, Leafy greens are trusted fat-burning food. They also contain nitrites which convert the fat storing cells to fat burning cells.
7. Anti-aging agents
Leafy greens are Nature’s anti-aging agents. High concentration of vitamin K, folate, Beta-carotene and Lutein in the greens increase antioxidants, enhances brain protection, provides cellular support and anti-inflammatory benefits. In a study carried out at Rush University Medical Center, a significant decrease was noted in the amount of cognitive decline for the participants consuming a higher amount of greens. The greens are also rich in essential fatty acid which contribute to anti-aging.
However, if overcooked, the greens lose their nutritional content. It is better to blanch, steam, stir fry them lightly to get the most benefit from eating them. It is best to keep the leaf parts whole. Tough stems should be sliced into bite-sized pieces and cooked until tender to avoid abdominal discomfort. Also, it is important to wash them thoroughly as Leafy greens contain a large amount of pesticide if not grown organically. Choose green, fresh, moist leaves while purchasing them.
Here is a simple recipe which serves as an instant energy booster:-
Prana Daal (Serves 3)
Organic spinach: 1 bunch
Mung Daal: 1 cup
Fresh Lemon juice: ½ teaspoon
Turmeric: ½ teaspoon
Cumin powder: A pinch
Coriander powder: A pinch
Ground ginger: a pinch
Black Salt: to taste
Water: 3 cups
Add water to a pan. Cook the daal with all the spices except lemon juice and black salt.
Clean the spinach thoroughly and steam on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
Blend the daal and spinach for a few seconds, just enough to distribute the spinach throughout the daal without turning it into liquid.
Sprinkle fresh lemon juice and black salt.
Serve with rice or roti.
Do you like eating greens? What are your favorite recipes with them? Do share in the comment box below.