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Why are greens so important for your health?

We all know that if a food is green, then usually it is healthy right? But what is it that makes these foods so good for us, and how can you add more of them into your diet?

Green juices and green powders are all the rage at the moment, and it is because these greens are high in nutrients such as fibre, phytochemicals (e.g. chlorophyll), calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K to name a few.

Fibre is important for digestive health and is prominent in green vegetables. It is recommended that adult males consume 30g/day and females consume 25g/day of fibre.

Phytochemicals are active compounds found in plants that provide colour, flavour, and aroma. Chlorophyll is an example of a phytochemical; it is the green pigment found in plants. Chlorophyll is well known for its ability to neutralise body odours and act as a natural internal deodorant, as well as its antibacterial properties.

Calcium is also found in green leafy vegetables and is well known to help support bone health, muscular health and the central nervous system.

Folate is a B vitamin that is essential for cell health and fetal development.

Iron is essential for oxygenating blood and carrying it through the body.

Magnesium is required for many body functions including DNA and RNA production, as well as roles in muscular and skeletal health.

Potassium acts as an electrolyte, working with sodium to regulate heart rate and blood volume.

Vitamin A supports eye health and the immune system.

Vitamin C is important for immune health as it is a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells against oxidative damage and is useful for skin health.

Vitamin K assists with blood clotting and the prevention of excessive bleeding.

Examples of ‘greens’:

  • Spinach
  • Bock choy
  • Broccoli
  • Spirulina
  • Wheatgrass
  • Barley grass

With so many essential nutrients found in just one food group, you can see why consuming greens in abundance is in everyone’s’ best interest! However, greens don’t usually taste good…

How to add more veggies into your diet without just eating salad:

  • Smoothies or juices – Sneakily, adding extra green veggies into your smoothies or juices are a great way to consume more nutrients without much effort at all. It is also easy to hide their bitter taste by adding fruits to increase the sweetness of your healthy beverage.
  • Add extra veggies to meals such as curries and pastas – green leafy veggies usually cook down to nothing, so adding an abundance of these to your meals is a great way to increase your intake, the sauce of the meal will also disguise their taste!

 


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