Food Focus: Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables with dark green leaves, including members of the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, many Asian greens, kale, rocket and spinach, are rich in anti-oxidants, bioflavonoids and the B vitamins. Green leafy vegetables are extremely good for your health and consuming them regularly will help you stop sugar cravings.
It is highly recommended that we eat at least 5 servings of vegetables daily. A serving is half a cup of raw or cooked vegetables, a cup of leafy salad vegetables or a half-cup of vegetable juice. Green vegetables are extremely alkalising to the body and so help us negate some of the more acidic foods and drinks we consume like coffee, dairy products, meat, sugar and processed foods.
Vegetables are low in fat and low in kilojoules. They are also rich in various phytoIchemicals that provide protection from disease. Soluble and insoluble fibre in vegetables keeps bowel function regular and therefore reduces the colon’s exposure to toxins. Fibre also helps to reduce cholesterol and lowers the risk of colon cancer.
Eating green leafy vegetables raw maintains their nutrient and enzyme content. Enzymes help us better digest the foods we eat, so the more raw vegetables we eat the healthier we are (as long as our digestive system is working well. Sometimes a compromised digestive system means we find it harder to digest raw foods and so lightly steaming vegetables in this instance can help us break them down better). Having a side salad with your meals is one way of increasing these low calorie, high fibre and nutrient rich foods.
For more recipes that include dark green leafy vegetables and the importance of introducing them into your diet have a look at my Online Road to Wellness and Weight Loss program. In this program I cover what foods we should be looking at increasing in our diets and what foods we are often better without. These foods will help us improve our energy levels and lose weight the healthy way.