Recently my fiance’s mom asked me what I would say to someone who wanted to eat a healthy diet. My first suggestion was to incorporate more whole foods especially vegetables; the greener the better.
Why would I say that? Well the reality is that most people eat brown foods. I see it everyday. Brown meat, brown vegetables (cooked to death!), brown snacks (muffins, cookies, cake, etc). The lack of colour makes me sad, it means the food is overly processed. I almost want to scream “Do you know what your arteries look like? Please EAT SOME KALE!” but of course I am civilized and refrain from such behavior.
Green vegetables are like a gift from the gods. Forget about acai and gogi berries, they have their place as superfoods but give me kale, arugula and swiss chard any day. Actually every day!
Why are greens so darn good?
Chlorophyll: This lovely molecule gives plants that green colour. It also has an eerie resemblance to hemoglobin (minus the iron in the centre). WHAT? You mean evolution is true? That means that chlorophyll cleans our blood, builds our blood and is easily assimilated. If you have some Vitamin C with greens you can get easy absorption of iron too! Poof instant blood, from a plant no less!
Alkalinity: Green veggies and veggies in general make our bodies more alkaline. Why do we want an alkaline body? Well Mr. Curious, the reason is that our blood pH is slightly alkaline. If it changes just slightly then we are dead! No joke, very serious. So our bodies do all kinds of crazy things to keep that pH constant. It leaches (read: steals) calcium from our bones to reduce our pH IF our bodies are too acidic. By the way acidity in the body is caused by coffee, dairy, animal products, flours and any processed foods. No only does an acidic body steal our calcium it makes our bodies a breeding ground for cancer proliferation!!!! Eeek.
Amino acids: Greens contain amino acids. Amino acids are the individual molecules that join together to make a protein. Yes the holy grail…protein. Most people think that eating the long chain molecule of protein (from meat) gives them protein. It does but at a cost. Our body has to break those chains down into amino acids then reconstruct them into the right combo to create the protein WE need. The only way we would not need to break down the protein chain is if we consumed another HUMAN!!! Also, animal proteins are highly acidic in the body! Plants don’t have those long chain proteins but they do have the amino acids. So our body gets the amino acids and can focus on building the protein of our dreams rather than break down a chain and then reconstruct it.
Note you should eat a variety of greens to get all essential amino acids as the complete set is not found in one species of plant. (Full proteins are however found in nuts, seeds, sprouts, nutritional yeast, quinoa, millet, amaranth-which all have EASILY assimilated proteins)
So, the first step in becoming healthier is simple. Eat more green food. Now go buy some kale for goodness sakes 🙂
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