Do Your Body Good By Adding More Green Veggies to Your Diet
By RAINBEAU MARS
"You are what you eat." Few people are strangers to this axiom or to the fact that processed, packaged foods loaded with preservatives and chemicals are mainstays on our tables. So it's no surprise that we feel the sluggishness of being fried, pasteurized and unnatural.
A diet rich in dark-green and leafy vegetables has long been a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, yet many people still fail to eat enough veggies. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to incorporate more greens into your diet.
Why is a predominantly plant-based diet more compatible with our bodies?
According to a study of the gorilla genome published in National Geographic, it seems humans are more closely related to our primarily vegetarian ape friends than previously believed.
Even more telling: Gorillas in captivity and fed diets of grains, starch and sugars suffer from the same health issues as humans, such as heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease claims one in four lives annually and is attributed as the number-one cause of death in American men and women.
All leafy green vegetables pack potent phytonutrients. They are great sources of vitamins B, C, E and K and rich in minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium. They're also loaded with antioxidants, which help prevent inflammatory diseases, lower cholesterol, decrease the risk of heart disease, slow cellular degeneration and support cancer prevention.
Here are some delicious ways to add green veggies to your diet:
Juices and Smoothies
Green juices and smoothies are an excellent way to get your greens. Try juicing dandelion greens, spinach, celery, cucumber and lime. Start your day with a smoothie with kale, pineapple, goji and blueberries.
Soups and Salads
Greens with larger, tougher leaves like kale, chard, collard or mustard greens can be added into your favorite soup. Experiment with a wide variety of greens in your salads for new textures, colors and flavors. Massaging tougher greens like kale with a little bit of virgin olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice helps "cook" the leaves without heat and makes them easier to digest.
Sandwiches and Wraps
Add greens to your sandwiches and wraps, or use the larger-leaf varieties like Swiss chard and collard greens instead of a tortilla: Just slice off the back of the stem so it will roll more easily.
Entrees and Stir-Fries
You can also lightly steam your greens as a beautiful addition to any entree, or stir-fry bok choy, spinach or chard in coconut oil with onions or ginger and add to your veggies, pilaf or noodle dishes.
Try these easy ways to get your daily dose of greens and you'll reap the health benefits.
Readers -- Do you try to eat several servings of vegetables every day? How do you incorporate greens into your diet? What are your favorite veggies and how do you eat them? Do you have any tips for eating a plant-based diet on the go? Leave us a comment below and let us know!
From her birth in a teepee under a double rainbow to her rise on the big screen, this actor, author and innovator has spread her inspiring story around the world. Rainbeau has a natural ability to lead people on a journey to a greener, healthier lifestyle. In her online program and book, The 21-Day SuperStar Cleanse, she shares nurturing practices and recipes to let go of addictions and habitual negative programming.