Daily gift of life.

Daily gift of life.

GREENS ARE A LIFE FORCE

Every life cycle begins with plant life. Plants have the unique ability to use the energy from the sun to create nutrition and life force. It therefore follows, that including green plants in your diet would be a good choice for providing a more direct source of vital nutrients.

As a young person, I used to tell myself silly things like. Only goats eat leaves. At that time, I had no understanding of the real benefits of food, and how important nutrients are to the daily functioning of our organs, hormones and the prevention of diseases and ailments.

Maybe wisdom comes with age, maybe it is instilled by God for a particular purpose. Perhaps, one just gets tired of not being well and seeks to make their body better. There was a time when the greenest thing I ate was avocado. Cucumber salad was a regular part of our diet, but we peeled the skin off. We had no idea that we were feeding the pigs and the sheep, the most nutritious part of the cucumber

NUTRITIONAL CONTENT

Dark leafy greens such as KALE AND SPINACH, provide a wealth of HEALTH BENEFITS, and more nutrients than most people are aware of. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, parsley and other “greens” abound with vitamins and minerals. The list is so extensive and widely known, that I will let you look them up on your own.

We are aware of the importance of vitamins, but it is sometimes challenging to include them in our diet on a daily basis. It is necessary to consume water soluble vitamins daily since they cannot be stored in the body. Vitamins C and most B vitamins are water soluble, and will be eliminated once they are not used. Other vitamins are fat soluble and can therefore be stored in fat and the liver, and released when needed.   These include vitamin A, D, E, K.  Some minerals that are plentiful in dark leafy greens include calcium, potassium, copper manganese and iron.

PARSLEY

Most of my life I used parsley as a garnish. It was what you added at the end of a preparation to add some color to improve the appearance of a dish. Parsley is now known to rival the nutritional benefits of kale, and some consider it to be more potent for some nutrients. Parsley boosts your immune system and is also good for your eyes. It contains an ample supply of folate which contributes significantly towards having healthy blood, and also supports your brain function .

We mentioned before that it is necessary to replenish our Vitamin C on a daily basis. Including parsley in your daily diet ensures that you will not be lacking in this vital nutrient .Parsley is also a key nutrient for maintaining the health of your adrenal glands . As a side-note: unhealthy adrenals lead to a plethora of ailments and other diseases. But that is enough of a discussion for another article.

Parsley is actually a more potent source of Vitamin K than other foods. Vitamin K helps your blood to clot properly and plays a role in bone mineralization.

Consuming parsley on a regular basis will take care of about twenty five percent of your daily requirements of iron. Iron is essential for taking oxygen to your tissues and collecting and getting rid of carbon dioxide .

Parsley is an excellent source of Fluorine. Fluorine is the main nutrient for maintaining healthy bones and teeth enamel. It is so vital, that it is chemically produced and added to food by various names. But natural sources are always better. Natural sources of fluorine include salt water fish such as salmon and mackerel.

DANDELIONS

In addition to the more popular greens, there are some others that can be researched and considered. Most of us know dandelions as those pesky weeds that ruin out lawns and keep us busy getting rid of them. In fact, dandelion leaves provide a wealth of potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. They also contain plenty of vitamins A, C, E, K and also some B complex vitamins. Dandelion greens are also an excellent herbal treatment for inflammation and water retention.

GET YOUR GREENS ON

Green Juice staples.

Green Juice staples.

Over the years, I have experimented with various combinations of liquid “greens”.

Do you remember the juicing era, where everyone ran out and bought a juicer?  This was my routine for a while, until I discovered that my body needed that fiber that was going in the trash. . Isn’t it funny? The good people who sold you the juicer, knew that the fiber was useful, so they suggested ways in which you could use the residue. They even provided recipes for you to use the nutrients left over from juicing.  After a few times of storing the fiber residue from juicing and ending up throwing it in the trash, I just threw it in the trash from the get go. Now, if the only benefit that was derived from blending your “green” was the additional fiber , it would be worth it. Fiber slows the absorption of sugars and allows your body to better utilize them rather than storing them as fat. Fiber also greatly enhances elimination. Without adequate fiber, waste matter remains in the body and toxins are released into the body causing all kinds of problems.  So it is better to use the fiber in your greens.

I subsequently went through a few other alternatives. Store bought expensive smoothies, and powdered greens preparations worked for a while until I discovered that gluten was not my friend. And the one I used was enhanced with brown rice protein. One good thing about the commercially prepared blends, is that they contain greens that would be more of a challenge to include in fresh preparations.Things such as wheat grass, spirulina and chlorella.  I recently found a green juice preparation at Trader Joe’s that include these, and use it as the liquid component for my home made greens smoothie.

Of course everyone is free to include whatever greens they think are beneficial to their particular situation, and are readily available. There was a time, when I used to juice bell peppers. And now I include dandelion greens, as well as Chinese bitter melon in small quantities. Small quantities,  because neither of the two are pleasant tasting, even though they have tremendous health benefits.

I have a friend that puts everything that is good for you in his blend. Things like cayenne pepper, avocado, coconut water, ginger, and oregano, in addition to the more popular greens. It really is a personal thing but some greens have specific benefits that should cater to your individual needs. For example, celery will lower your blood pressure if you have hypertension, so if you don’t, then don’t include it. Bitter melon is good for high blood glucose, so only use it, if you have a problem in that area.

ITS EASIER THAN YOU THINK

There is no right or wrong way to drink greens. If you are a person who thinks that they don’t have the time to blend greens, then look for a prepared blend at your local health food store. There are various combinations in drink or powdered form, but I believe it is better to have the fresh raw, living, greens .

I am very close to a family that once thought I was strange drinking greens.  And one by one, as they tried it, they not only liked the taste, but noticed that they felt better during the day after drinking green smoothies in the morning. The thirteen year old now look forward to a morning green smoothie.

I can hear some people say. “That sounds good, but I don’t have time to do that in the mornings” Or “I am too tired in the evening after work to do that”. Or maybe “I am so hungry that green stuff is not going to do it”.

Here is a suggestion to make it easier to have your green smoothie early in the morning. Prepare your greens on the weekend, and store them in the freezer. Wash and chop the kale, spinach and parsley. Chopping them make it easier to mix them evenly. Then put them in a large zip-lock bag and put them in the freezer. In the morning, grab a couple of handfuls and put in a blender. Quickly chop some celery, cucumber, and a fruit (or two) of your choice. Put enough liquid to blend. If you don’t have a healthy juice, use water. Sugary liquids will spoil the process. The whole thing takes less than five minutes. Many commercial establishments now sell green smoothies in the morning for between five and eight dollars. Making your own, you can personalize it and it is less expensive.

Maybe you’re thinking that you need to have one of those fancy machines you see advertised on television to make a  green smoothie. You know! The bullets, and the rockets, and all kinds of power equipment. If you have one; fine! Go ahead and use it. If you don’t, a simple blender works just as well. A personal blender from walmart or target costs in the region of fifteen dollars, and  is big enough to make enough green smoothie for two persons.  Just make sure you add enough liquid to get it going.

Feeding your body some healthy greens on a daily basis, will certainly pay off. Feeding your body the nutrients it needs for optimum performance will show a noticeable difference in a few days. Make the effort. Some-where down the road , in the future, you will be happy that you did.

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