Why you need to eat your greens

Your mother may have told you when you were young to eat your greens and she was right. Green vegetables are full of health promoting nutrients to keep you feeling vibrant and full of energy. Including more plant based meals by upping our vegetable intake can do wonders for our health and wellbeing and can go a long way in helping to prevent age related disease. Include at least seven servings of different coloured vegetables daily including two to three serves of greens.

Plants absorb energy from the rays of the sun by converting sunlight, water and carbon dioxide trapping it in the green pigment which we know as chlorophyll. This provides energy for cell respiration and growth. Chlorophyll found in plants has a similar chemical composition to the haemoglobin that is found in our red blood cells which is responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. Eating greens not only provides us with fibre and nutrients greens help us to feel revitalised and full of energy.

Health benefits of eating greens

  • Green vegetables are full of health promoting nutrients such as beta carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium and calcium. These nutrients help to keep our immune system strong, manage stress levels and are a good source of minerals for strong bones.

  • Leafy green vegetables are low in calories, contain small amounts of dietary protein and they are high in dietary fibre. Fibre provides necessary roughage for healthy gut, heart, liver and hormone function.

  • Alkalising greens. Our body needs to maintain very strict pH levels for optimum wellbeing. If we eat too many acid producing foods such as red meat, a high protein diet, coffee, sugar and salt and this can create acid load in the system. To compensate for the increase acid load the body will draw on alkaline minerals such as calcium to keep the pH stable which can affect bone health and deplete important nutrients. Greens help to reduce acid load and keep the body in harmony and well-being.

  • Energise the body. When we are stressed we can become nutrient depleted particularly in nutrients such as vitamin C and magnesium which can lead us to feeling tired and devitalised. Greens such as broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts are rich in these energy boosting nutrients which help to keep us feeling revitalised.

  • Up your B’s. Green leafy veggies are rich in folate, the natural form of folic acid. Folate is essential for good health and wellbeing particularly healthy cell production, brain function and heart health. Greens such as spinach and broccoli also contain vitamin B6 and important vitamin needed for carbohydrate and protein metabolism and hormone balance. Riboflavin or vitamin B2 found in asparagus, green leafy vegetables and broccoli helps with energy production and a glowing healthy skin. Low riboflavin can often be seen as dry cracks at the corners of the mouth or red, sore lips.

The benefits of increasing plant based foods particularly fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet cannot be underestimated. If you are making any dramatic changes to your diet, are taking any medication such as blood thinning medication or have any underlying health concerns it is always recommended to seek professional advice prior to making any changes.

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