THANK GOD FOR GREENS + WHY THEY ARE SO GOOD FOR YOU
- mustard greens
- Endive, chicory
- Swiss/Ruby chard
- Beet greens
- Blood purification
- Cancer prevention
- Improved circulation
- Strengthened immune system
- Promotion of healthy intestinal flora
- Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
- Cleared congestion, especially in lungs by reducing mucus
- Better skin and more energy
Pretty sweet deal, right? You eat greens = happy, health body.
A benefit, in particular that stayed with me since studying at Integrative Nutrition was the insight that greens have an energetic impact on us, not just physical.
And I do agree with that, whole-heartedly. Just the other night I was feeling flat (and hungry and tired) and my instinct was to reach for something a little heavy. I remembered this information about greens so went and made a crunchy green bean salad with steamed kale and by the end of the meal not only was I satiated but my mood had lifted.
So, the next question is, how to cook and enjoy greens?
My favourite way is to steam greens. This is an important step which helps break down any oxalic acid (spinach, silverbeet, chard, kale are all high in this acid which deplete calcium from your bones/system). Add in a squeeze of lemon juice all over, add in a dash of olive oil or butter and enjoy it as it is, in a salad or as an addition to something else.
If you want to add greens like silverbeet and kale into your smoothies be mindful of oxalic acid. A little bit of greenage (unsteamed etc) isn’t going to kill you, but if you are doing it on a regular basis this is my tip. Either quickly steam the kale in a colander over a pot. Sounds laborious but it takes 2 minutes. Or my other trick, whilst preparing the rest of the smoothie tear up your greens into a bowl and squeeze ALOT of lemon juice over them into a bowl. This helps to break down the oxalic acid too.
Now, you can also saute your greens in a fry pan in coconut oil, ghee or butter. Or a super quick boil – less than a minute – will really soften and relax your greens.
Keen to be green? Here’s an easy recipe to try that came from Integrative Nutrition:
- 1 bunch ruby/rainbow chard, finely chopped
- 1/2 package tofu or tempeh cut into bite-size cubes and baked
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded coarsely
- 2-3 carrots, grated
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 2-3 cloves garlic (pressed or chopped)
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup walnut oil
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
- Cut off stems of the chard and slice small, then chop leaves thinly, creating narrow strips.
- Blend all dressing ingredients and mix well. The dressing will last for a few days in the refrigerator.
- Mix all salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing. Serve.