If you struggle with getting enough leafy greens in your diet, you might want to reconsider. Cancer protection, mood enhancement and cardiovascular protection are just some of the few reasons why you need to eat your greens.
In fact, only about 25% of Americans eat 3 or more servings of vegetables every day, which is incredibly low, and could account for why there is so much disease and illness this day in age.
Eating your greens doesn’t have to be scary – in fact, you can easily hide them in smoothies, and raw soups, as well as make some pretty tasty green juices that wouldn’t even make you think twice that they contained leafy greens! Creating luxurious salads is another way to help get those greens in.
I found that after going raw, and doing a variety of juice cleanses and water fasts that I now crave greens and can’t go a day without eating them. Before then, I used to hate greens and couldn’t stand the thought of creating dinner out of a salad. When you get rid of processed foods and clean out your body through cleanses and diet, you are also ridding yourself of parasites, which also have a way of “controlling” your mind and body to not want to eat greens, because greens to parasites are toxic, and will kill them (so the parasites are controlling us to create a sort of protective mechanism against their death).
Here are 10 reasons why you need to eat your greens!
1. Reduce Inflammation
Leafy greens are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids, which are crucial in any inflammation-fighting diet. Greens are also incredibly alkaline, and help neutralize the acids in your body.
2. Improve Skin Appearance
The high vitamin and mineral content of greens help support the health of our skin. The phytonutrient lutein is abundant in dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards, parsley beet greens and endive, and helps to minimize and prevent wrinkles. Greens also promote cell regeneration, and thus slow the effects of aging.
3. Natural Deodorizer
Thanks to the hefty chlorophyll content in greens, our bodies can benefit by being naturally deodorized after a large salad, green juice or smoothie. Chlorophyll, the compound that makes our greens, green, is one of the best natural deodorizers on the planet, as it possess strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that completely diminish bad breath and body odour.
4. Heal The Digestive Tract
Aside from the high fibre content, which is essential for colon health, leafy greens also play a role in controlling immune cells vital to a healthy digestive tract, according to this study. Basically, “bad” bacteria is kept out of the intestine by a type of immune cell called innate lymphoid cells. T-bet, a gene that produces these innate lymphoid cells is activated in response to signals from food, specifically from proteins found in dark leafy greens like kale. This, in turn, helps prevent inflammatory disease, food allergies and bowel cancer!
5. Improve Red Blood Cell Health
Chlorophyll is structurally similar, in the molecular sense, to that of red blood cells. The only difference is that chlorophyll contains a magnesium molecule at its centre, while blood contains an iron molecule – and that’s it! When we consume green juices, salads, or smoothies, these blood-thirsty chlorophyll molecules help increase nutrient delivery and oxygenation to the cells of our body. Some of the best blood cleansers are parsley, kale, chlorella, dandelion greens, dill and cilantro!
6. Ward Off Depression
Leafy greens are an excellent source of B vitamins, which help our brain produce chemicals that affect our mood for the better. For example, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B9 (folic acid) assist in the production of serotonin (the “happy” chemical), which will ward off depression and improve mood. I always feel incredibly mellow and happy after consuming greens – I can’t imagine my life without them! I usually start my day with a green juice, then later a fruit meal with a side of greens (or a green smoothie), and finished with a large green salad. I eat greens at every meal.
7. Cardiovascular protection
The high folate concentration in leafy greens can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Not to mention, the higher calcium levels in greens like collards and kale, and potassium (present in high levels in nearly all leafy greens) can aid in blood-pressure management. And because greens are high in fibre, they slow the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals (helpful for diabetics), and can also help lower cholesterol levels.
8. Bone Strengthening
Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese are all major contributors in the maintenance of bone health, and thankfully, leafy greens are abundant in all of these minerals. A diet rich in greens is your best bet in preventing against osteoporosis and other bone-related fractures that might otherwise result from a poor diet devoid of the colour green.
9. Strengthen The Immune System
The digestive tract is where our immune health begins, so if your digestive system isn’t functioning properly, it is also probably true that you are prone to getting sick all the time. Seeing as how leafy greens help control immune cells vital to a healthy digestive tract (see above), we can see how crucial it is that we consume these plants in order to steer away colds, flus and other illnesses. Leafy greens are also a wonderful source of antioxidants, helping to fight off free radicals and defend against cancer cell growth.
10. Enhance Brain Function
Again, the trusty B vitamins come to the rescue with their incredibly brain-enhancing abilities. If you want to power your brain function, eat a bunch of leafy greens! They will promote healthy blood flow to the brain, allowing nutrients to arrive to your brain faster, and improve your decision-making capabilities. The antioxidants in greens also help combat the neurodegenerative effects of free radicals, and can prevent against diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.