Green Veggies For Your Immunity, Blood, Bones And More!

No matter who you are, if you come to me for health coaching, I will probably tell you to eat more greens. Eating more – lots more – greens is one of the things that’s made the most noticeable improvement in my own health, and I want to share some ways they can benefit you, too.

salad greens

A few years ago, I was stretching in a dance class, and I got a terrible foot cramp. If you’ve ever pointed your toe as much as you possibly can, and then found it stuck in that position because of a cramp, you know exactly what I mean! I’ve had this type of cramp in my calves before, too. They’re awful! My dance teacher then said something that has come to my mind again and again. “If you would eat your dark green leafy veggies, you wouldn’t get those cramps.”

Here’s the thing: if you eat a few leaves of spinach in your salad a couple of times a week, or a couple of bites of broccoli show up in your soup, that’s not enough! When I started to listen to Dr. Terry Wahls (whose You Tube video now has a warning label on it, likely because she has become too intimidating for some, with her radical ideas and all), I realized that I needed a lot more green veggies in my diet, and I needed to eat them without fail, every day. I needed to LOVE dark green leafy vegetables – but could I do that?

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

I was so convinced that I should really give it a try that I began to eat greens every day out of sheer discipline, inspired by the potential results. But then, a funny thing happened. I really started to enjoy greens! I have a green smoothie nearly every day. I put greens in salads, soups, casseroles, eggs, juice, and just about everything. In some traditions, green foods are associated with renewal and spring, which makes sense. I felt so great after learning to eat more greens that I actually craved them. And, I have not had a “charlie horse” in a very long time (probably a result of the calcium and magnesium).

Greens are powerful allies in our fight for great health. They have all sorts of minerals, such as calcium (for bone health), magnesium, iron, potassium, and zinc, and vitamins like A,C,E, and K. They are full of fiber, which is great for helping to keep blood sugar stable and intestines in good form. Greens also contain chlorophyll (what gives them that wonderful color), folic acid, micro-nutrients and other things we’ve barely even discovered. They have been credited with better circulation, improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function, stronger immune health, blood purification, cancer prevention, mucous reduction – and the list goes on!

drinking enzyme-packed green juice

drinking enzyme-packed green juice

One caution about eating these wonder foods: don’t get stuck in a rut. Greens have what is known as “anti-nutrients,” such as oxalic acid, which hinders absorption of calcium. Beet greens and spinach are high in oxalic acid. However, lightly steaming or cooking makes that problem go away. That does not mean you should never eat raw greens, but that you should, in my opinion, alternate between raw and cooked greens, and rotate the varieties in your diet. There are so many from which to choose that you’ll never have to eat too much of the same one.

cabbage

cabbage

Think of all the options available to you! Lettuces alone are full of variety. Then there are spinach, Swiss Chard and beet greens, collards and mustards, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, watercress, dandelion, and cabbage. And yes, there are more still! Then there are sprouts and micro-greens, which are surely superfoods. What’s your pleasure? Find out and eat up!

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3 Comments

  1. Ok since I’m posting this then I really have to do it – I’ll have a garden for the 1st time in 4 years! 4 yrs ago I decided to let it go fallow due to an infestation of cut worms and others, hoping it worked. But to be honest, doing organic broccoli, kale, etc is just not worth the microscopic examination of it w/reading glasses before eating it looking for those damned bugs. Any input on how to get around them and if you end up missing them does 5 min. steaming kill anything scary?

    • Hi Lanette! It’s fun to see your new name in writing – congratulations! Well, about your question…you are more of a gardener than I am, so I’d really have to do some research to be able to help you much, I’m sure. As for the steaming – I just wash everything as well as I can (you can add a tiny bit of vinegar to a sink-full of water to help get stuff cleaner) and hope for the best. I’m not sure, but I would think the steaming would take care of a lot, but not necessarily everything. Good question. I do have a gardening board on Pintrest, where I have collected numerous helpful articles, and I’m pretty sure some of them focus on natural pest control. But you can find lots of stuff on the web without my help, I’m sure.

      • Lanette Willie

        Thanks Mollie, you guys need to move to the country & really garden but in the mean time if I have an overabundance this year I’ll call you! It’s always a challenge to be organic but will hope that being fallow for a few years purged that ground a bit. I’m really starting to get back in to the whole idea, unfortunately that soil will need help to the tune of a couple hundred dollars worth of peat amendment, will be worth it!

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