A few years ago, I probably wouldn't have dreamed of saying this... but today kale is one of my favorite foods. The more I eat it, the more my body craves it. It's as if it didn't know what it was missing before! It's not surprising though; Kale is the superfood of superfoods. It is a powerhouse of nutrition, yet sadly it and its dark leafy green family are one of the #1 foods missing from the modern american diet.
Learning to cook and eat dark greens like kale is essential to creating health. First off, when you nourish yourself with greens, you will naturally crowd out the foods that make you sick. Greens help build your internal rain forest and strengthen the blood and respiratory systems. They are especially good for city people who rarely see fields of green in open countryside. Green is associated with spring, the time of renewal, refreshment and vital energy. In Asian medicine, green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity.
Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals.
Some of the benefits from eating dark leafy greens are:
Strengthened immune system
Promotion of healthy intestinal flora
Promotion of subtle, light and flexible energy
Lifted spirit and elimination of depression
Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
Cleared congestion, especially in lungs by reducing mucus
There are so many greens to choose from. When you get bored with your favorites, be adventurous and try greens that you’ve never heard of before. Broccoli is very popular among adults and children. Each stem is like a tree trunk, giving you strong, grounding energy. Rotate between bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion and other leafy greens. Green cabbage is great in the form of sauerkraut or raw. Arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun and wild greens are generally eaten raw, but can be consumed in any creative way you enjoy.
Be aware! Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens are best eaten in moderation because they are high in oxalic acid, which depletes calcium from bones and teeth, and may lead to osteoporosis. Cook these vegetables with something rich like seeds, nuts, beans, butter, animal products or oil. This will balance the effect of the oxalic acid.
Drop the iceberg and get on the wagon! Dark leafy greens are where it's at. Maybe soon you'll be listing kale as one of your favorite foods too. By the way, the more I ate greens, the more my taste buds changed, as if they got cleaner. I noticed the taste of my foods better, had less sugar cravings, and felt satisfied simply by eating greens.
Unsure how to prepare/cook greens? Check out the RECIPES section of my website for some delicious dark leafy green recipes!