• 27Aug

    young-spinachThe benefits of eating greens are plentiful. In fact, this entire site is all about the benefits of incorporating more dark leafy greens into your diet. When you make eating greens a regular part of your healthy lifestyle, you will have more energy, be more alert, and you will ward off the harmful effects of the toxic environment we live in which cause cancer and disease.

    One of the great benefits of eating greens is the effect it has on building and maintaining healthy bones. The myth that is out there in the media and even in the medical field is that you simply need to increase your intake of calcium. But think about this: we’ve been told for decades to increase our calcium intake and the incidence of osteoporosis, especially in older women, continues to rise. Clearly, calcium intake alone isn’t the only answer. Yes, it is part of the equation, but you also need vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and about 20 other nutrients all working together to replace lost calcium in your bones. Just increasing calcium intake may not help you at all if your body can’t use it.

    Leafy greens, especially the dark leafy greens, are not only high in absorbable calcium, they also contain most of the other essential nutrients needed for your body to put that calcium to work. Coupled with a good exercise program (tailored to your body’s needs) and some healthy exposure to the sun, most women (and men too) can reverse the process of osteoporosis and regain healthy, strong bones. See this article in Women to Women about the calcium myth for all the technical details.

    Besides all the nutritive benefits of eating greens, greens also are packed with fiber and chlorophyll. This provides a daily cleansing of your digestive tract and will make you as regular as clock works.

    But please, don’t assume you can just start eating more salad to get all these health benefits. It won’t help, and could actually turn you and your body off from greens. You need to make sure that you break down the leafy greens to the cellular level, penetrating the outer cell walls to unlock all the wonderful benefits. You can do this with your teeth by chewing each bite 100-200 times until it is as thin as liquid. But since most of us don’t have the time or patience to do that, you will want to use a high-speed blender like the Vitamix or Blendtec to thoroughly masticate your greens.

    If you can handle the taste, you can blend up your favorite greens with some water and enjoy. But most of us have palates that simply can’t handle the strong taste of straight greens. That’s why I advocate green smoothies for healthy living. In addition to getting all the health benefits of greens, you also get the wonderful antioxidant properties of the fruit you add. Plus, if you follow my recommendations, you will always be adding some type of healthy fat and protein to your green smoothies to make them a complete, balanced meal. You can actually live on green smoothies alone! Of course, most of us enjoy other foods and I strongly suggest that you just start off with a green smoothie every morning for breakfast. Then just eat sensibly for your other meals. You will be utterly amazed at the wonderful health benefits that will accrue to you just by incorporating this one simple, delicious step into your life.