by Matthew Monarch, April, 2015
Proprietor, The Raw Food World
Leafy greens are one of the most important foods to eat on a daily basis! Whether you enjoy your greens juiced, in a smoothie, a salad, and entrée or even in a dessert, adding as many of these to your diet will greatly impact and improve your health. If you’re not eating greens on a daily basis, I hope this article will encourage everyone to buy, grow, and eat lots of these powerhouse vegetables.
Leafy greens keeps the mind young & sharp!
Most recently, Rush University Medical Center published a study reporting that eating just one to two servings of greens per day can protect against memory decline that is associated with Alzheimer's and Dementia. The study found that just one to two servings a day provided the person with a cognitive ability 11 years younger! Greens have high amounts of Vitamin K, lutein, beta-carotene and folate that work together to keep the mind sharp! (1)
University of Southern California completed research this year that shows that the lutein found in leafy greens can also protect your heart! The study examined 480 men who had no current diagnosis of heart disease and examined their arteries! The study notice that those with less lutein had more thickening of the arteries. Thickening of the arteries is one of the beginning stages of atherosclerosis. (2)
A 2010 study found in the British Medical Journal completed a study involving over 22,000 participants. They found that those who ate lots of leafy greens were less likely to develop type II diabetes! The study reports that an increase of 1.15 servings per day may decrease your risk of type II diabetes by 14 percent! (3)
Leafy greens are also a great way to protect your bones! We now know that it's not just calcium that protects our bones, but a mixture of calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, potassium and magnesium. Leafy greens are a perfect food to help protect your bones and body from arthritis! Kale provides 550 micrograms of Vitamin K, this is over 680 percent of our daily needs! Leafy greens are not only a good source of Vitamin K but they also provide calcium, potassium and magnesium! (4,5)
Leafy greens protect your bones, eyes, and heart!
A 2006 study reported that those who ate leafy greens may help protect their eyesight! Spinach in particular is abundant in antioxidants and vitamins. Spinach is a good source of lutein and zeaxanathin. These two antioxidants were found to produce a substance that protects the eyes from macular degeneration! (6)
A study published in Nutrition Research compared collard greens with prescription drug Cholestyramine and found that collard greens improved the body’s ability to block cholesterol by 13 percent more than the drug! Romaine lettuce carries high amounts of folic acid and has been found to boost sperm counts and improve fertility!
A Nurses Health Study reported that women who eat one serving of leafy lettuce daily cut their risk of hip fracture by 30 percent! (7)
Eat a variety of greens to get a variety of protection!
Wanting to lose weight or control emotional eating? Spinach contains thylakoids which are shown to help suppress appetite. A long term study from Sweden showed that people who consumed a drink high in thylakoids for breakfast significantly reduced cravings and experienced weight loss. (7)
One cup of beet greens has five grams of fiber! Fiber has been shown to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease! University of Leeds published a study reporting that our risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lowered for every 7 grams of fiber consumed! (7)
Last but not least, do you want youthful, glowing skin? If so, eat lots of watercress! This green contains four times more beta carotene than an apple and 238 percent of your daily recommended Vitamin K dose. These two compounds keep your skin youthful! Not only does it help your skin but watercress is also the richest dietary source of phenylethyl isoiocyanate which helps fight cancer! (7)
A quick way to boost your greens is to juice them! Blending your favorite greens with fruit or carrots will help decrease the bitterness that some greens can provide. Throwing them in a smoothie provides the benefits without missing out on the fiber. A berry smoothie with a handful of your favorite green is a quick way to boost your daily antioxidant levels and will help start your day out on the right foot! However you choose, increasing your greens may provide you a higher quality of life and increased wellness!
Matt Monarch has been at the forefront of the Raw Foods Movement for over 15 years. He has worked with numerous clients, celebrities, nutritionists and doctors over the years, and has studied all of the alternative diets on the market today. He travels worldwide teaching about healthy eating and healing from degenerative diseases. Matt shares many different methods to help people heal, whether they want to follow a strict 100% Raw Food Diet or choose a simple cooked Whole Foods Diet. He runs one of the leading raw food websites, The Raw Food World.
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* RawFoodLife.com does not offer medical advice or "treatments." I believe your body has the inner wisdom to naturally achieve optimal health and heal itself when supported with a diet of whole, live raw foods. If you have any medical conditions or questions, please ask your health professional to review the extensive information & research on the web and this site before making any major lifestyle or dietary changes. Click Here to read more.