Did you know that greens are the most missing food group in the modern American diet? It’s true! Eating greens will help to build your internal rain forest and protect your body from viruses. Here are 10 more reasons to eat greens on a consistent basis:
1. Greens help to purify the blood.
2. Greens help prevent cancers.
3. Greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc.
4. They are packed full of micronutrients and phytochemicals.
5. Greens contain vitamins A, C, E and K.
6. They help to strengthen the immune system.
7. Eating plenty of greens will help improve circulation in the body.
8. Greens contain fiber that the body needs to function optimally.
9. They also contain folic acid and chlorophyll.
10. Eating green vegetables helps life the spirit and eliminates depression.
What Are Greens?
There are many types of green vegetables to choose from. Find some that you enjoy eating and eat them often! Dark leafy greens include broccoli, kale, bok choy, napa cabbage, collards, mustard greens, watercress, broccoli rabe, dandelion, arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard & beet greens.
How to Cook Greens
1. Wash greens well to remove any dirt or sand.
2. Remove the stems if they’re thick. Don’t toss them; chop them into bite-sized pieces. You can cook them later or eat them with the greens. (They’ll take a little longer to cook, so start them first.)
3. Boil the greens for 3 to 5 minutes in salted water, or until just tender. (Add the stems a few minutes before the leaves.)
4. Steam the greens for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Braise greens by heating a little olive oil over medium heat. Add some minced garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the greens, along with the water that clings to their leaves from washing. Sauté the greens until they’re slightly wilted, then cover and braise until tender (just a few minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
6. Pair greens with beans such as chick peas (garbanzo beans) or white beans. The beans make for a hearty dish and mellow out the taste of the greens.
7. Spruce up greens with diced tomato and a dash of lemon juice or hot pepper sauce.