What it means to eat your greens…| Eating Well

Well as St Patricks day is now behind us, most people feel spring has really begun, of course with the brighter evenings a little more sunlight, green comes alive after the dormant winter, despite the fact it is still so cold.

My little niece of 18 months has three words, Go, go, go!!! She is always buzzing around with energy and loves hers greens too which is fantastic. Unfortunately not many can say they buzz around with energy all day long, well one reason may be because you simply do not eat enough GREENs in your diet. Think green to go.

Green is for vitality, Vibrancy and lots of energy. When the sun shines, the plants absorb the energy from the sun and trap it in pigments in the form of chlorophyll, this is the green pigment which gives green plants their colour. So the more you eat greens the more energy you will have and the healthier you will be.

Green fruit, vegetables and salads are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, folic acid, fibre and calcium. These keep the body strong and healthy. Leafy green vegetables are typically low in calories, low in fat, high in protein, high in dietary fibre, high in iron and calcium. They are also very high in phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are natural compounds found in plant foods, which works with nutrients and dietary fibre to protect you against disease. The calcium found in green vegetables is very easily absorbed and utilised by the body so no need to worry about your consumption of dairy products. If you cannot tolerate dairy produce or choose not to eat it, increase your daily intake of greens to ensure you get sufficient calcium into the system.

Add some of these to your daily diet. Broccoli is really excellent, kale, lettuce, bok choy, courgette, Brussels sprouts, spinach, asparagus, celery, cucumbers, cabbage, artichoke (also great for boosting and reducing burden on your liver), kiwi, limes, green bell pepper…..What others can you think of?

Aim to eat some of these raw at least a couple of times a week. Cooking destroys nature’s enzymes so you lose a lot of the natural goodness upon cooking. They can make a really fresh tasting, crunchy snack. If you do not like to eat them, then juice them with a little apple or pineapple for that sweeter twist.

Another way to be greener is to add some green sprouts and herbs to your diet such as alfalfa, parsley, thyme, basil, sage, rosemary, chives..An ideal way to garnish dishes. In their raw state they will be bursting with nutrients and stimulate enzyme production in the digestive tract which is essential for maintaining healthy digestion.

Cooking in as little water as possible and for the shortest length of time is the best way to maintain vitamin and mineral content. Buy your greens as fresh as possible when they are at their optimum nutrient level. If they are wilting, soft or look aged, they will not taste great and will be of poorer nutritional value to you. Get started today… the healthy ‘green’ way! Remember green is to go!