How many times have you heard someone say you should eat leafy green vegetables? Do you know why it’s important? Do you know what these amazing vegetables can do for your health? I do, and I want to share it with you! At the heart of my practice is the idea that food is the most important tool we have to keep ourselves healthy. When we consciously choose foods that provide essential nutrients and minerals, we are giving ourselves the best chance at keeping our bodies healthy and strong. So often when patients follow my dietary recommendations they come back to tell me how much more energy they have, how their aches and pains have diminished, how their mood has improved, and how much better they feel overall. And as an added bonus, they often lose unwanted weight that’s been following them around for years! I can’t talk about eating healthy without bringing up leafy greens. They’re full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and can help ward off a wide range of health issues. Greens can aid in weight loss and help slow down the aging process. And they help process chlorophyll which assists in production of red blood cells and boosts energy levels. That’s a lot of great reasons to increase your intake! One 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal found that eating one and a half extra servings of green leafy vegetables could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 14%. Another showed a significant decrease in cognitive decline over five years in older adults who ate larger amounts of green leafy vegetables. Other research has shown that leafy greens can inhibit the growth of some types of cancer, reduce the risk of glaucoma by 20% or more, and play a big role in gut health due an unusual sugar molecule they contain. It may seem tough to get so many leafy greens into your daily menu, but it can be much easier than you think. Sure, you need to eat a lot to get the benefits, but there are so many delicious choices that you shouldn’t worry about getting bored. You don’t have to resort to the same old salads day after day. Try adding greens to soups, smoothies, and stir fry, or add a side of greens to your meal. Look beyond spinach, leaf lettuce, and romaine and try some kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, bok choy or watercress. There are plenty of fantastic recipes out there to keep you motivated.... I'll post one soon!
Yours in health, Maria Lucey, Nutritionist and Health coach 0438 112 050