Food Focus: Greens

Leafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun’s light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green

cabbage, spinach and broccoli. Parsley, which most people think of just as a garnish, actually helps curb appetite and it a stellar source of Vitamin K!

How do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Their color is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy.

In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.

Leafy greens are the vegetables most missing from the American diet, and many of us never learned how to prepare them. Each time you go to the market, pick up a new green to try. Soon you’ll find your favorites and wonder how you ever lived without them.

Sources & Additional Reading:

Institute for Integrative Nutrition, March 2011.

Rosenthal, Joshua. "Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness", February 2014.

http://www.eatthis.com, June 2017.

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© 2020 by Jes Royston, Nationally Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach