Don’t “Leaf” This Out of Your Diet
Look, it’s really simple.
If you want to look younger and live longer, EAT MORE DARK GREEN LEAVES. How many times have you heard this? And why are you not doing it?
Perhaps it seems too overwhelming to prepare them or perhaps you just don’t realize that eating dark leafy greens can change your body and your health.
Believe it or not, all vegetables are not created equally. Darker green, leafy vegetables pack a higher punch of nutrients than light-colored vegetables. Pop-Eye proved this to us and if you don’t believe him, take a look at some of the facts.
The magic of dark leafy greens lies in their fiber, folate, carotenoids, and flavonoids Fiber, from vegetables, passes through the body without being digested or broken down helping to normalizing bowel movements and make you feel fuller aiding in weight loss.
Folate helps maintain and produce healthy cells. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research carotenoids and flavenoids prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect and repair cells that may be damaged by “free radicals.”
Although downing a can of spinach will not increase your bicep size, research shows that it could do something way more important, by helping prevent and slow the growth of some types of cancer, fight diabetes and ward off heart disease. I would say that these benefits are a good enough reason to start chowing down on the leaves.
Green vegetables also have a noteworthy amount of vitamins A, C, E, and K, making them good for our eyes, blood and bones.
This may surprise you as much as it surprises me when I hear people say they need their milk for calcium. Although we are conditioned to associate calcium with milk, 1 cup of collard greens actually has more calcium than 1 cup of milk.
So leave the cow alone and start to incorporate the green leaves in everyone of your daily meals.
Banana’s may be the poster child for potassium, however 1 cup of spinach contains double the amount of potassium.
What dark leaves are missing, is just as important to your health; calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Spinach is the easiest to identify. However, next time that you are in the supermarket, take a second to get familiar with other members of the family; kale, arugula, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory, swiss chard and any of the numerous types of lettuce. You will never get bored if you try a new one every time you are in the grocery store.
If you are resisting by thinking, “They don’t taste good,” this is not a good enough reason to ban them from your diet. You may be remembering those mushy, squishy peas or overcooked bland canned spinach that you spit out in the grammar school cafeteria. Things are different now that you have grown into a reasoning adult who can look and the facts and make an informed decision to give veggies another chance with new and improved adult taste buds.
Seven Simple Strategies for getting in more greens:
- Prepare by cooking ahead big batches in one day so you’ll have enough for 4-5 days.
- Throw your greens in an omelette.
- Made the salad your main dish and chicken on the side.
- Add extra vegetables to a stir fry.
- Add frozen spinach to your fruit smoothie (you will not taste it)
- Use a collard green or romaine lettuce leaf instead of bread, to wrap up your sandwich.
- Peruse your local Asian Market for the fantastic selection of greens.
What is your favorite dark leafy green and how do you prepare it?
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Do you need help getting greens into your daily meals. Let the Sleeping Naked After 40 Academy teach you how.