Eat Your Greens!

Green vegetables are underrated. 

Maybe it stems from childhood and the fact that we weren’t allowed to leave the table until we’d eaten our greens. Perhaps it’s the stigma that greens are something you ought to eat but they are tasteless & boring so it’s a chore - I'd rather have sweet potato fries as my daily veg please! Or actually, if just boiled or cooked in the wrong way, green veg can be a bit limp and slimy. In a nutshell - people don’t really like greens.

But green vegetables are actually a superfood! Put the acai berries aside - eating leafy greens every day is possibly the thing you are missing if you are dealing with a lousy immune system, struggling with weight loss or feel like you just haven’t got the glow.

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SCIENCE

There is a reason why as children our parents tried to force greens on us - the nutrients are key to healthy growth but they are just as important when we are adults! Greens are an excellent source of fibre plus many vitamins & minerals. If you do not eat greens then you may be missing some of these micronutrients which are essential for many major functions in the body such as:

  • Growth, development and maintenance
  • Releasing energy from food
  • Protecting & supporting our immune system as antioxidants
  • Regulating the metabolism
  • Providing structure to body tissue (bones/teeth/blood cells etc)
  • Helping to support the body carry out its functions including those of the brain & muscles

…..the list does go on!

HOW 

Greens are inexpensive and easy to eat - some you don’t need to cook to consume but if you do then it’s just a case of boiling quickly (heat for too long and they start to lose their nutrients), steaming or microwaving. However, nowadays more and more it seems it’s easier to reach for fast, ready made food that is all protein, fat or grains, with no source of any vegetables or salad - let alone greens which are perhaps one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat.

Here are ways to make them interesting & include them in your diet:

  • BREAKFAST: Raw spinach leaves dressed with olive oil & balsamic vinegar with your eggs
  • LUNCH: Raw kale rubbed with olive oil to soften, add to rocket & raw baby spinach, pine nuts plus a source of protein for a delicious salad
  • DINNER: Spiralize courgette into courgetti, fry in coconut oil and eat in place of spaghetti with your bolognese
  • SNACK: Stir fry green veg (sugar snaps/pak choi/purple sprouting/kale etc) with chilli & garlic in coconut oil and a little soy sauce

BENEFITS

If you aren’t eating greens, this is perhaps one of the main things you can do to benefit your health right now. I try to eat greens with every meal Monday-Friday at least and I  cannot remember the last time I was ill with flu or a bad cold (touch wood!). They are also low in calories, so if you’re trying to lose weight they can be a great way to fill up. Check people like Jamie Oliver’s websites for exciting recipes (his sprouts & bacon dish is one of my favs!) and get creative! Change your view of greens - increase them in your daily diet and reap the rewards!