It is well-known and well-documented that healthy, green vegetables play a big part in a healthy diet. Whether you are trying to change your eating habits into a more healthy lifestyle or trying to diet to lose weight, incorporating vegetables, particularly green ones, has long been known to be a sound way to do so.
Green foods nourish our bodies in so many ways. They’re filled with live enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll, and potent, disease-fighting phytochemicals. That may sound like a lot of chemistry but here’s what it means to you and me,” said by Judy Stone, CN, MSW and author of “Take Two Apples and Call Me In The Morning.” “If you eat a variety of green foods, both cooked and raw, you’ll have more energy, fewer sugar cravings, more disease protection (including cancer), and a body that can regularly get rid of the toxins we take in (or produce internally) every day.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends green vegetables as part of a healthy diet. However, they also recommend adding a dose of color, such as peppers, tomatoes, fruits and more, to keep a good balance in your diet.
“Broccoli, and broccoli sprouts, cabbage, kale, collard greens, and brussel sprouts, all contain compounds, which in a variety of human and animal studies have shown reduction in cancer risk,” said Stone. “Kale, collards, broccoli and bok choy are all terrific sources of calcium, adding on average, 250mg per cup to your diet. For my clients who are trying to kick the sugar habit, I advise eating 1-2 cups of cooked kale, collards or broccoli daily. These vegetables are so mineral dense that they help balance the body, which in turn reduces the sugar cravings.”
The reason that green foods are so healthy is because of chlorophyll, the component that turns the foods green, according to Stone. She says it is perfect for detoxifying the blood and bowel and helps to pull toxins out of the body.
“Toxins are produced internally as an intermediate step in the metabolism of food; if you take any medication even higher levels of toxic breakdown products occur. We also take in toxins in the air-pollution, fumes given off by things such as dry cleaning chemicals in clothes, formaldehyde in new carpeting or furniture, or the chemicals that make up most household cleaning products,” said Stone. “These toxins can build up and lodge in tissues and organs, which can lead to any number of different symptoms ranging from aches and pains and headaches, to thyroid dysfunction So it’s essential that your daily diet support your body in consistently getting rid of these poisons. Green vegetables are an especially potent way to assist detoxification.”
The USDA recommends using their food pyramid, which can be found at www.mypyramid.gov to get the best results a balanced and healthy diet. It has a listing of the different food categories and how many servings of each contribute to a healthy, balanced diet, which used in combination with exercise, contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle.