Remember when you were a kid, sitting at the table, and starving for diner to be served? Your whole family sitting there, you can smell the food, and your mouth would water just from the aroma alone. You waited eagerly for your mom to bring it to the table so you could dive in. And what happened when she finally did? Oh, the meat, the potatoes, the bread, and the …greens?
All mothers know that one sentence. The one that could make your face turn sour. “Eat your greens.” Whether it was squash, spinach, green beans, cabbage, or yes, you know it, kale! No matter how hard you tried to get out of it you had to eat a little before you could leave the table.
Well… guess what? Mom was right! We all know as adults now that the green foods are actually very healthy for us. Most green foods, like spinach and broccoli, contain high amounts of antioxidants in them. They also have a bunch of Vitamin A, C and E, along with other important nutrients like iron and zinc. Antioxidants are a leading factor in protecting your body from viruses. Eating at least three servings of greens each day will provide your body with enough antioxidants to keep you adequately protected.
Green foods, especially those dark leafy ones, hold an abundant amount of water that leaves them highly lacking in calories. In short, you can eat as many of them as you want, without the worry of gaining weight. As a matter of fact, adding them to some of your favorite dishes can help make a fuller meal while still keeping the calories to a minimum.
A small amount of carbohydrates are still available in green foods, although, the carbs that are found in them are “good carbs” that are important for your health. These carbs are called complex carbs, meaning that they are packed with the all-important fiber which helps to keep you full longer. It also grabs a lot of unnecessary things in the body and flushes them out. Fiber also aides in regular bowel movements, which we all know the importance of because, let’s face it, nobody likes constipation.
Many processed foods can raise your blood glucose levels extremely high before they crash back down, sending your system on a roller-coaster ride. It wreaks havoc on your system that can lead to diabetes or several other health issues. Green foods are naturally low in sugars and packed with water and fiber so they actually help regulate your blood sugar levels.
Leafy greens like collards and kale are very rich in calcium. Calcium is what keeps your teeth and bones strong and can help reduce your overall risk for osteoporosis. The Calcium and Potassium that are found in green veggies also play an important role in your muscle function and regulating your blood-pressure levels.
Now, if that’s not enough reason to “eat your greens”, nothing is!