Why Include Greens in Your Diet?
One the best things you can do for your health is include plenty of green leafy vegetables in your diet. Rich in important vitamins, minerals and health promoting antioxidants, these nutritional powerhouses
are one of the most nutrient dense foods around.
Consuming green leafy vegetables regularly as part of a healthy well-balanced diet will help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye conditions, osteoporosis and even type-2 diabetes.
Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of B vitamins, including, folate, B6 and B12. Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables can help lower homocysteine levels in the body, a natural compound found in the body that can contribute to clogged arteries and heart disease if it reaches high levels. The body uses folate, and vitamins B12 and B6, to keep homocysteine levels under control.
Green leafy vegetables contain carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, that act as powerful antioxidants that protect against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, as well as having cancer-protective properties. Antioxidants such as these, act by neutralizing damaging free radicals before they harm the body.
Green leafy vegetables are also rich in calcium, needed for strong healthy bones. A cup of dandelion greens contain more calcium than ½ cup of milk. There are some varieties however, such as swiss chard, collards, spinach and beet greens that should not be relied on for their calcium content as they contain high levels of oxalates, compounds that block calcium absorption.
Many green leafy vegetables, especially spinach and swiss chard, are good sources of iron, used to produce red blood cells and transport oxygen around the body. Green leafy vegetables are also an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps regulate blood clotting, and may help protect the body against osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and inflammatory diseases.
For your dose of greens try Synergy Natural Super Greens.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Guy - Art of Healing
Lisa Guy is a highly qualified Sydney based naturopath and author, with 10 years of clinical experience. Lisa runs a busy naturopathic clinic in Double Bay called ‘Art of Healing’. Lisa is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellbeing, through good wholesome foods, nutritional supplementation, healing herbs and homeopathic remedies. Being a mum of two, Lisa has a particular interest in supporting women through pregnancy and beyond, and for children’s health and nutrition. Lisa is also the author of ‘My Goodness: all you need to know about children’s health and nutrition’, ‘Heal Yourself’, and ‘Pregnancy Essentials’. Lisa is an avid health writer, being the resident nutritionist for Body and Soul magazine, and regularly writing for a number of health and natural parenting magazines and websites.http://www.artofhealing.com.au
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