Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Greens and more greens

As most people know I am a big advocate of healthy diet. In fact, most of my patients get a basic Naturopathic food revamp when they see me. As I grown in my practice I am learning less is more. The hardest part of my job is convincing people that food IS medicine! The more we bring things back to the basics the quicker people heal. You don't need a tonne of supplements or herbs... just a few key foods such as green vegetables. I have found by increasing dark leafy greens common complaints such as chronic pain, PMS, mood disorders and hormone balance can be improved tremendously. DARK LEAFY GREENS.... they more you get the better! Most people eat minimal amounts of spinach and think they are satisfying this requirement. However, spinach is usually genetically modified, and doesn't have a lot of fiber in it. It is not my favorite considering all the other greens... Collard greens, bok choy, swiss chard, mustard and turnip greens... and KALE (yes my favorite)! Variety is key.... the different type of greens provide diff vitamins and minerals. I rarely prescribe a multi vitamin, using dark leafy greens as a perfect substitute. Some properties of dark leafy greens:

Weight management (who gets fat off of salad?), Reduces mood disorders such as anxiety, depression and PMS, High in dietary more constipation :), Rich in folic acid and vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, Lowers cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, High magnesium content helps with diabetes and high blood pressure (again), High in antioxidants which prevent cancer

I liked this description from this website. It explains the tastes of dark leafy greens, as most people are just use to the genetically modified sweeter tasting greens.

"Green, leafy vegetables provide a great variety of colors from the bluish-green of kale to the bright green of spinach. Leafy greens run the whole gamut of flavors, from sweet to bitter, from peppery to earthy. Young plants generally have small, tender leaves and a mild flavor. Many mature plants have tougher leaves and stronger flavors. Collards, Swiss chard, bok choy, and spinach provide a mild flavor while arugula, mizuna and mustard greens provide a peppery flavor. Bok choy is best known for use in stir-fries, since it remains crisp, even when cooked to a tender stage. One should always choose crisp leaves with a fresh vibrant green color. Yellowing is a sign of age and indicates that the greens may have an off flavor."

The best thing you can do is increase your greens, chop it up small and throw it in pasta, stew, mix it in different salads. Find any way to increase your intake of natures medicine for optimal health.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Rena -- I love using it as you suggest, chopping it up and adding to food I am already making. Love <3