Eat your vegetables! A refrain commonly heard around any dinner table where children are seated. As it turns out, it’s good advice that we should all be listening to. The USDA recommends eating three cups of dark green vegetables every day – advice that few people follow. Predictably, many preventable diseases are at epidemic levels in modern society. Eating more greens, including the many superfoods that are green, is essential for improving your health.
Cooking your veggies? Water matters! For better tasting veggies, use alkaline water. It reduces bitterness and brings out the flavor of cooked vegetables. You really can taste the difference!
Green superfood – Nature’s multivitamin supplements
Superfoods are low in calories, and nutrient dense. Think of them as nature’s multivitamins. In fact, if you eat a diet rich in superfoods, it’s likely that you don’t need to take any nutritional supplements at all!
Dark green leafy vegetables have the highest nutrient concentration per calorie of any food you can consume. This means you get a lot of healthy nutrients from dark green leafy vegetables and very little calories.
Each serving of dark green leafy vegetables contains:
- Minerals – Calcium, potassium, magnesium, and trace minerals
- Vitamins – B complex, C E, K
- Phytonutrients – Beta carotene, lutien, zeaxanthin – Antioxidants
- Omega 3 fats
Got Minerals? According to the World Health Organization, your body absorbs minerals from water 30% faster and easier than it does from food! To help ensure that you get the best mineral nutrition possible – every day – make sure to drink ionized alkaline mineral water on an empty stomach, between meals. Alkaline water from a water ionizer also provides an additional antioxidant benefit!
Organic produce has higher antioxidant benefit, less harmful residues
Many people believe that organic produce is better for you than produce grown with chemicals. Buy organic: A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition says they’re right: Organic produce has higher antioxidant levels, and lower concentrations and incidence of pesticide residues than crop grown with chemicals. Fresh produce is the best source of antioxidants on Earth, better than any supplement. So if you want the maximum age-fighting antioxidant benefit possible, buy organic.
Buy local: It’s also important to buy fresh produce, because the antioxidant benefit doesn’t keep. The freshest produce is locally-grown, so make sure you buy locally-grown produce whenever possible!
Important information about Vitamin K
Studies have shown that Vitamin K may be even more important than we currently give it credit for, and most people don’t get enough of it. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, this means that you have to have some fat, such as salad dressing oil, present when you eat leafy greens for your body to be able to absorb vitamin K. Make sure you use salad dressings on your salad, and cook your greens with oil to make the vitamin K in them bioavailable to your body.
Important information for people who form kidney stones
Oxalate-rich foods may increase your risk of forming stones. You should talk to your doctor if you plan to increase your intake of leafy green vegetables, because some of them are high in oxalate. You may wish to limit your intake of the following high-oxalate foods:
Foods rich in oxalate include:
- Swiss chard
- Sweet potatoes
- Soy products
If you are a stone-former, you should talk to your doctor about developing a diet that reduces your chance of forming stones. Then stick to that diet until your doctor tells you otherwise.
Other health conditions that may need to limit oxalate intake: kidney problems, gallbladder problems, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis. Speak with your doctor about developing a diet that’s right for your condition.
Calcium-rich foods are ok unless your doctor advises you otherwise. Also speak with your doctor if you plan on taking calcium supplements. You may even be able to reduce your risk of stone formation by taking calcium supplements with meals, but only your doctor knows for sure.
Kale – The Detox Veggie
Kale has become the superstar of superfoods, and with good reason. Studies have shown that Kale has anti-cancer properties that block cancer cell growth, and increase DNA repair. While it’s certainly not a cure, kale is an important preventative measure. It has massive amounts of vitamin K, a one cup serving of chopped boiled kale contains 1328% of your recommended intake of vitamin K. It also supplies 354% of your needs for vitamin A, so it’s great for protecting your eyesight. Kale contains Vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium as well.
Non-leafy green foods
Green foods that aren’t leafy include vegetables like cucumbers and green beans. Just like their leafy counterparts, green veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals. Vegetables are also packed with fiber -soluble and insoluble – which helps prevent constipation and supports good colon health.
Detox your produce before eating
Unless you eat exclusively organically-grown produce, your veggies will have pesticide residue on them. To neutralize pesticide residue, you need to soak your produce in alkaline water for about 20 minutes. Then you can safely rinse the neutralized residues away. This process is especially important for people with Crohn’s.