One of the first homework assignments I give to my clients is to eat more dark leafy greens. Why? I could tell you that greens are the #1 food missing in the standard American diet or that they are loaded with essential nutrients that we need to survive and thrive, but they are so much more than that!
Dark leafy greens are vital to our health! Calorie for calorie, dark leafys are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, micronutrients and phytochemicals that help filter out pollutants, strengthen our immune system, help with blood purification, clear congestion, promote a healthy gut, prevent cancer and strengthen our respiratory system. Not to mention, they are brimming with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc – along with vitamins A, Bs, C, E and K, folic acid, protein and chlorophyll.
They are also full of fiber. This is so important, I’m giving it it’s own paragraph! It keeps your systems flowing – goodbye constipation/ diarrhea. Fiber helps make and keep you fuller for longer. This makes it so much easier to resist those mid day or late night munchies. If you’re full, you’re more likely to avoid the temptations that result in impulsive choices. Hello weight loss!
Dark leafys include bok choy, cabbage, watercress, endive, swiss chard, romaine, mustard greens, radish/turnip greens, beet greens, escarole, broccoli rabe, and brussel sprouts. A few of my favorites are broccoli, kale, spinach, arugula and lettuce – all varieties.
I would say that the majority of my clients have never tried more than a couple of these, let alone incorporated them daily. But once they do and recognize how good they feel, they’re hooked!
It’s amazing how they’re so versatile! You can steam them, sauté them with water, boil them, or enjoy them raw. You can throw them in soup, a smoothie, casserole, lasagna, or even as a wrap instead of a tortilla – you can pretty much sneak them in anywhere!
Here are a couple of my all time favorite recipes to help you include dark leafys into your life.
Massaged Kale Salad: http://www.laciegibson.com/massaged-kale-salad-13
Steamed Greens: http://www.laciegibson.com/steamed-greens
How do you get your dose of daily greens?