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The Food Growing, Cooking, Preserving & Healing Self-Sufficiency Adventure

Eat Your Greens! Here Are 10 Reasons Why

There are many great reasons for eating more leafy greensIn our house we love leafy greens so much that we grow microgreens year-round in our kitchen, as well as many types of leafy greens in our outdoor gardens in the summer. They are delicious additions to sandwiches, salads noodle bowls and all kinds of meals. We all know we should eat more greens but perhaps the following information and research will provide the incentive needed to actually eat more. Here are some great benefits - beyond the fact they taste great - of eating more greens:

Male Sexual Health: Many leafy greens, and beet greens in particular, are good sources of the mineral zinc. According to a study published in the Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences researchers found that moderate doses of zinc enhanced male sexual health, including a reduced likelihood of premature ejaculation, increased ability to maintain sexual activity for longer periods of time, and improved testosterone levels.

May Help to Alleviate Heart Palpitations: Leafy greens are among the best food sources of the mineral potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps to regulate heartbeat and nerve signals. Sadly, due to the high amount of sodium in most peoples’ diets and the fact that sodium displaces potassium, it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in America, with some estimates around 98% of the population being deficient. Addressing this deficiency may help to reduce heart palpitations.

May Help with Eye Health: Leafy greens are powerhouses of lutein, with beet greens being among the best source, containing over 275 micrograms of lutein, which is a critical nutrient to maintain eye health and vision, and in the prevention of eye conditions. When it comes to eye health few foods can compare to leafy greens like collards, kale, and spinach. That’s because they contain a wide variety of eye-protecting and eye-healing nutrients, some of which include: alpha-carotene, alpha lipoic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, lutein, and zeaxanthin.  

Help Protect Against Heart Disease: If you’re suffering from heart disease you’ll want to load up on your favorite greens, including: kale, lettuce, parsley, and spinach. That’s because research in the journal Atherosclerosis found that some vegetables are better than others in preventing condition. Vegetables with a high lutein content, like leafy greens, were particularly beneficial in reducing heart disease and in treating the condition after it has formed. Leafy greens are high in many nutrients, including the B-complex vitamins, including vitamin B6, B12, and folate—all of which are essential for normal homocysteine levels.  Homocysteine is a type of protein that is produced by the body and found in the blood, ideally in low levels. High homocysteine levels is a factor for heart disease so it’s wise to keep them low by eating more leafy greens. Additionally, leafy greens are high in the nutrient lutein. Research in the journal Atherosclerosis found vegetables high in lutein were particularly beneficial in reducing heart disease but even treating the condition after it has formed.

Osteoporosis Protection: Veggies like kale and spinach contain high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation and boost bone health.

Cancer Fighters: Leafy greens have many anti-cancer compounds, some of which include: alpha-carotene, alpha lipoic acid, beta-carotene, lutein, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Dandelion greens, in particular are potent cancer fighters. While not unusual in traditional Italian diets, few people in North America eat dandelion greens. But, for those fighting cancer you might want to reconsider in light of the research published in Nature Chemistry which found that dandelion greens offer hope in the treatment of this dreaded illness. The researchers identified a substance called JPC11 which appears to interfere with cancer cells' ability to divide rapidly--a process necessary to the survival of cancer in the body.

Diabetes Aid: Ground-breaking published in Endocrine Journal found that a vitamin A deficiency may actually be at the root of diabetes. The scientists found that vitamin A is essential for the proper functioning of the beta cells of the pancreas. The beta cells are responsible for producing insulin, which in turn helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Leafy greens contain beta carotene, the precursors of vitamin A.

Liver Healers: Leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses that are good for almost everything so it will probably come as no surprise that they are also good for liver health. According to a study published in the medical journal Lipids in Health and Disease, eating more leafy greens has been found to improve the liver’s fatty acid profile, which not only offers liver health benefits and may reduce the risk of a fatty liver, but may also reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lymphatic System Cleansers: Leafy greens like arugula, spinach, and kale are good for almost everything so it will probably come as no surprise that they are also excellent lymphatic system cleansers. They contain many vital vitamins and minerals that boost your lymphatic system’s ability to keep your tissues clean and healthy. Be sure to eat a couple of cups of fresh greens daily.

Weight Loss Booster: If weight loss had a color, surely it would be green. That’s because leafy greens are power-packed with nutrients that help maintain a healthy metabolism. Whether you add spring mix, spinach, kale, mustard greens, or another type of leafy vegetable to your diet, they are all excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants that alleviate inflammation, which has been linked to weight gain and obesity.  And, if you eat them in microgreen form, you will boost up your nutrient consumption even more.

Michelle

Food Fix The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome DiseaseDr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, RNCP, ROHP, is an international best-selling & 21-time published book author, and a celebrity nutritionist. Check out her latest e-book: FOOD FIX: The Most Powerful Healing Foods and How to Use Them to Overcome Disease, available now for immediate download. Her work has been featured in Woman's World, First for Women, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, WebMD, Reviews.com, and Thrive Global. Learn more about her work at DrMichelleCook.com.    

 

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