Guess what foods get the prize for containing the highest concentration of nutrients?
Dark green leafy vegetables!
These treasures of nature are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and they even contain a small amount of Omega-3 fats. They also provide us with fiber, when eaten in sufficient amounts daily.
Their high level of Vitamin K alone carries a big punch for human health. This important nutrient is necessary to our bodies for blood-clotting (so we don’t bleed to death) and may also help to protect us against osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, inflammatory conditions, and diabetes.
Other vitamins in dark green leaves are C, E, and many of the B complex. Minerals include iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The host of phytonutrients found in these vegetables are still being discovered, but we do know some of them, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These all carry specific, multiple benefits, like protecting our cells from damage, for example.
If you’re like me, you’re saying something like, “OK, that’s all well and good, but HOW do I get several CUPS of these things down my throat every week? I don’t even like the taste of them!”
Good news – we have several options here.
1) The ones you tolerate best can be steamed or sauteed. Swiss chard is wonderful when the whole bunch of washed leaves is rolled together, sliced into thin ribbons, and added for just a few minutes to the pan after you have sauteed a few garlic cloves in a little butter or olive oil. Quick and easy!
2) Raw is best! Salads are good for deep green lettuces, spinach and other greens, mixed with lots of colorful raw veggies and a dressing made from olive oil with lemon juice or vinegar.
3) It’s hard to get enough, though, unless you eat humongous salads every day. So, how about a tasty green drink for breakfast or lunch? This is faster to make than a salad, and provides your required amount of deep leafy green vegetables – especially if you have it several times per week.
We gave you a recipe for St. Patrick’s Day, but you can vary it by omitting the carob, adding other greens and using a little fruit. This drink can be the perfect camouflage for the deep leafy greens you don’t fancy – such as turnip greens or collards or kale. I promise – you won’t taste them!
Try this (with all organic ingredients):
1 small Persian cucumber, cut in thirds
handful of spinach or kale
a few leaves of other greens, your choice
several mint leaves and parsley sprigs
small chunk of green cabbage
2 fresh or frozen strawberries
2 frozen (organic) mango chunks
generous handful of frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. SP complete powder
3/4 cup water
Place in Vitamix or blender in the order given. Whizz on high until smooth. Interestingly, this drink may start out purple from the blueberries, but it will turn green within a few minutes. Whatever the color, it is delicious!
Be sure to get YOUR name in our box for the drawing on April 30th! Only those who refer someone new to us in April are eligible, so your chances of winning are high. First prize is a $50 Visa gift card! Second prize – a free full-hour massage from Elvira.
As always, your comments and questions are most welcome. Email us back, or call us at (562) 861-3896.