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Eating “The Greens”: The Benefits of Green Foods

Posted Dec 02 2012 3:21pm

Wrapping up the "Eating the Rainbow" series, having looked at The Reds, The Yellows, The Oranges and The Purples, let's "bring it on home", in a big splash, with the "The Greens".

My mom is mesmerized by my conversion with green food. As a kid, I no less than hated them, not disliked, but literally hated them. Now, the color green represents life, health, and Mother Nature's trademark color, and all that it brings to health and wellness.

I'm not really sure when the transformation took place, but here I am. Even as I type this blogpost, I am drinking a smoothie, and although a "fruity" tasting treat, it still contains broccoli, green kale, fennel, and cucumbers.

So I say, be dynamic, be innovative, and embrace "The Greens". At the bottom of the post I have a recipe for the cool summer Green Drink, Cucumber Mint Lime Aqua Fresca.

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Mother Nature's Gifts from "The Greens"
Chlorophyll, Apigenin and Luteolin, Catechins, Isothiocyanates


Chlorophyll
Good Sources: watercress, leeks, arugula, parsley
Benefits: Present in virtually every green plant food (even pistachios!), this may decrease the risk of liver cancer.
Cooking Tip: Leeks are milder than onions; thinly sliced, they make a delicious addition to salads.


Apigenin and Luteolin
Good Sources: celery, parsley
Benefits: This pair's neuroprotective properties may fight diseases like Alzheimer's.
Cooking Tip: Add parsley to salads. Sliced celery, plain yogurt, and lemon juice make a simple dip.


Catechins
Good Source: green tea
Benefits: Studies show green tea is a fierce fighter of prostate cancer.
Cooking Tip: Blend brewed green tea with frozen berries and honey for a smoothie.


Isothiocyanates
Good Sources: Kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli Benefits: Found in cruciferous vegetables, these help purge the body of potential carcinogens.
Cooking Tip: Raw foods offer the most potent supply. For a no-cook side, marinate thinly sliced brussels sprouts in olive oil and lemon juice and toss with sliced apple.

Cucumber Mint Lime Aqua Fresca

1 lb of cucumbers (about 2 good sized cucumbers), ends trimmed, but peel still on, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup lime juice from fresh limes (from about 1 pound of limes, or 5 to 10 limes, depending on how juicy they are)

1 1/4 cup packed (spearmint) mint leaves (about a large handful), woody stems removed

1/2 cup Ultimate Sweetener Birch Tree Xylitol or Soliga Honey
Approximately 1 1/4 cup of water

Put ingredients in blender, add enough water to fill 3/4 of blender. Hold the lid on the blender and purée until smooth. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the purée through it, pressing against the sieve with a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid out as possible.

Fill a large pitcher halfway with ice cubes. Add the juice. Serve with sprigs of mint and slices of lime.

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Just a cool track called "Color Green" by the South African artist Jonathan Butler. Just put here to celebrate my love of green foods.

Take a listen if you feel like it, if not thanks for stopping by.

~stay healthy~

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You might also like

"The Purples"
 

"The Reds"

 

 

"The Oranges"

 

 

"The Yellows"

 

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check out all my articles in "Eat Smart", the science of food (click here or on the photo below)

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