In the last two weeks many people have been asking me whether kale is bad for our health. Some people have even heard that is can suppress the thyroid and slow down metabolism. To shed some light on the subject of healthy eating, and how to eat greens in particular, I would like to share with you my Z-tips on 5 GREAT GREENS.
First of all why eat greens? Greens are nutritional powerhouses. They are rich in Vitamins A, C, E and K. They also have loads of fiber, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc.
Benefits of eating greens include:
- Blood purification with chlorophyll (the component that makes greens green)
- Cancer prevention
- Improved energy
- Improved circulation
- Stronger immune system
- Improvement of intestinal flora
- Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
- Mucus reduction and clearing up of congestion
Side-effects of eating greens:
- May affect thyroid function IF eaten in excess
- Patients taking blood-thinners should to consult their doctors for proper consumption of greens. You can usually have greens without any problems if you stick to the same times and amounts each day.
Z-Tip: I believe in balance and in having foods in moderation. There is no perfect food on the planet and even the best foods can have a negative side-effects if they are over-used in large of quantities and eaten too often. Just like clothes, variety and bio-individual fit are the two keys to feeling and looking your best.
How to know if Greens are good for you?
Because of our bio-individuality, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to food. Just like we try on clothes, we often need to “try on” greens to see how they make us feel. As a rule of thumb, I suggest going for regular blood tests to find out your thyroid numbers. Then adjust your greens intake accordingly.
KALE. Kale is one of the most nutritionally-dense foods available. It is not particular delicious plain, but is perfect for making chips, blended with fruit smoothies or added to salads and massaged with olive oil or avocado. (Superfood Kale Salad recipe is below)
COLLARD GREENS. Collards share the first place with Kale for their nutritional density. I like to use these leafs instead of tortillas and make wrap sandwiches with them. For example, you can spread hummus onto the dull side of the leaf, add sprouts, avocado, purple cabbage and shredded carrots, then roll everything into a tasty and healthy wrap.
SWISS CHARD. Swiss Chard is another fabulous green nutrient-rich vegetable, but you have to be a little cautious with it as it contains oxalic acid. This particular acid can deplete calcium from bones and teeth, which may lead to osteoporosis. I suggest not eating it raw and instead cooking it with something rich like oil, tofu, seeds, nuts or beans. This will help balance the effect of the oxalic acid.
BOK CHOY. Bok Choy is my favorite green vegetable to juice. It is very close in nutritional density to Kale and Collards, but it has much more liquid in it. When I am in a rush and want to make a quick juice, I put a few Bok Choy leafs through a juicer along with some pineapple and cucumber. You get a great-tasting beverage in minutes and the effects are much better than coffee.
PARSLEY. Parsley is a great herb to accessorize any meal, whether it is a light salad or a hot spaghetti squash. The two main benefits of parsley are its power to support your kidneys and its ability to help you detox from heavy metals. If you find yourself eating a lot of animal protein and/ or if you often eat tuna, I suggest adding parsley to your daily diet.
Couture Green Salad
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 small head romaine hearts, chopped
1 Fuji apple, chopped
5 dates, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
.5 cup sprouted beans such as mung, chickpeas or peas
1/4 cup Goji berries
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Mix all the ingredients together. Add dressing when ready to eat. Without dressing this salad can keep for a few days in the fridge.
3/4 cup lemon juice
1.25 cups extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
3 medjool dates
2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt (or to taste)
1 cup filtered water
Place all dressing ingredients in blender and blend well. For a thinner or thicker sauce adjust the amount of water.
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