Isn’t it wonderful that nature provides for us the things we need to stay health and adapt to the seasons? Spring, for example, is the perfect time for fresh greens. It’s their season and the season that is most associated with their cleansing effects and our detoxification organ, the liver. Their color is also associated with Spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy.
Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free. Members of this family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.
They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid (derived from the word foliage), chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals.
You may be surprised to know that greens are also high in protein, relatively speaking. In Joel Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live, he outlines the protein and nutritional content in 100 calories of sirloin steak versus that of broccoli, romaine lettuce, and kale.
Food - Protein (g)Sirloin - 5.4
Broccoli - 11.2
Romaine lettuce - 11.6
Kale - 9.5
Of course you would have to eat 15 – 30 times in weight the amount of vegetables to get the same amount of protein in the meat, but this is a good thing because loading up on vegetables will help fill us up and keep our digestion running smoothly.
So eat them raw in salads, sauté them, add them to soups, stews, and smoothies, and juice them. Get them any way you can think of this time of year and you’ll be doing your body good!
What’s your favorite green vegetable and how do you like to prepare it??
Picture of beautiful dinosaur kale courtesy of Bonnie Rogers.