Thursday, October 15, 2009

Remember to Eat Your Greens!

Everyone is crazy about “Going Green” to save the environment today.  But “Going Green” is not just for our environment…Going Green inside is just as important for your health!

No one can refute, the foundation of great health is great nutrition…And the best way to fight disease, is to prevent it.

In the beginning of time, our ancient ancestors ate up to six pounds of green leaves per day.  Imagine them walking along from one place to another, just picking and eating leaves as they went. Can you imagine eating a grocery bag full of greens each and every day? Very few of us even eat the minimum USDA recommendations of 3 cups of dark green vegetables per week. And yet, these vegetables deliver a bounty of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Why are Greens so good for you?

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.

Vitamin K:
  •  Regulates blood clotting
  •  Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
  •  May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques    
  • May be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis
  • May help prevent diabetes
So, what now?  Eat a grocery bag full of greens everyday?

The reality is, it’s nearly impossible to eat a grocery bag full of green produce per day, but there are options for the consumer:  Fresh Juicing Greens is a terrific method of preserving all the natural goodness of greens, but most people find this inconvenient and very expensive.  My preferred method of getting my greens is in quality powder form, such as BOKU Superfood.  BOKU Superfood is rich in natural greens, but also much much more.  It also saves me money because it is basically $1 per serving. 

No matter what method you choose, make sure all your greens are certified organic! 

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