Are you interested in being healthier? How about slimmer, smarter, or more beautiful? Well, eat your greens and you’ll be on your way to all of those.
Greens are amazing and here’s why:
1. Weight Control. Leafy greens are extremely low in calories, yet super high in nutrients. Make them the base of your lunch and dinner and weight control can be breeze.
When I had a weight problem years ago and joined weight watchers, I learned that there are some kinds of vegetables that you can eat pounds of and still lose weight. As an over-eater, this was great news to me! While on weight watchers I’d cook two-pound bags of vegetables in a large pot and eat the whole thing. Greens are among the vegetables you can eat in unlimited quantities and still lose weight. Three cups of most kinds of greens contain less than 100 calories. I lost 20 pounds in a few months.
Of course, you can’t add high calorie ingredients like butter and creamy dressings, but you can season with herbs and spices, lemon, and low calories salad dressings.
If you’re trying to lose weight, but unable to master portion control, do consider satiating your need to chew and swallow with hefty helpings of greens as part of your meals.
Try them like this:
RAW: Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or lemon and a little (no more than one tablespoon) olive oil to flavor them. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and crushed pepper.
COOKED: Boil the greens in fat free reduced sodium chicken broth or water and add some chopped garlic and lemon juice. Cook until the leaves are tender.
Serve with broiled, or baked chicken, or fish and a baked sweet potato, or some brown rice.
2. Youthful Skin. Leafy greens like Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chard contain antioxidants including beta carotene, which helps renew and repair your skin.
I was traveling recently and did an experiment. Usually when I take the red-eye from LA to New York and get no sleep, when I arrive, my skin looks sallow and scary. On my last trip, before leaving, I ate a pound of greens that I’d prepared with chopped garlic and a bit of olive oil.
The next morning, instead of looking like the zombie I usually do after an overnight flight, my skin had an amazing healthy glow.
Greens also contain folate, a vital nutrient for DNA repair and lutein, which balances the lipids in the skin, increasing hydration and elasticity. Lutein also protects against sun damage that ages the skin.
3. Clear Skin. While researching a book I wrote about preventing acne, I discovered that leafy greens have clear skin benefits.
The long held belief that diet has no bearing on acne has been debunked. Studies have shown that high glycemic foods do trigger breakouts in some people. High glycemic foods are those that contain refined grains and refined sugars that cause a spike in blood glucose level, which your body tries to lower by producing more insulin and male hormones. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, in turn, blocking pores. Too much sebum in the pores causes the acne bacterium (propionibacterium acnes) to over propagate, inflaming the pore causing a pimple.
Switching to a low-glycemic diet, which includes leafy greens, has proven to be effective. (Other low-glycemic foods that benefit acne include whole grains, fish, and green tea).
Leafy greens are chock full of inflammation fighting ingredients and they also contain lots of fiber, which helps keep blood sugar levels in check.
4. Beauty. Yes, leafy greens (and other high color vegetables) can actually make you prettier. Sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Well, a recent article in the LA Times by Karen Ravn referenced a study done at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland, that sought to find out how many fruits and vegetables a person would have to eat, and for how long before this could be detected in the skin.
According to the article, scientists have long known that the pigments that give vegetables their color, “carotenoids,” accumulate in the skin and give it color, too. Apparently, they enhance our natural coloring and when we see someone whose skin reflects these enhanced carotenoids, they appear healthier and more attractive to our eye.
In the study, they showed undergraduate students sets of pictures; for each set of faces one reflected the look of having ingested about 3.3 servings of high color fruits and vegetables, and one did not. The students deemed the fruit/veggie eaters to be more attractive than the non-high color food eaters. More servings were associated with more attractiveness.
So, eat lots of leafy greens (as well as other high color vegetable and fruits) and you may find yourself getting more compliments than you used to.
To read more amazing benefits of getting in more greens, visit HelloBeautiful today!