The Health and Beauty Benefits of Green Vegetables
"Chlorophyll is as important as sunlight! No life is possible without sunshine, and no life is possible without chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is liquefied sun energy. Consuming as much chlorophyll as possible is like bathing our inner organs in sunshine" - Victoria Boutenko
Scientists are just starting to grasp the healing and skin glowing benefits of green food, and what they’re discovering will leave you craving an oversized-bowl of kale and broccoli.
A year ago, if my husband suggest we have hot home-made vegemite scrolls smothered in my favourite vegan melted cheese for breakfast, I would have devoured three of them before Elvis + Harriet [one passively aggressive wombat + one sweet souled wombat] devoured a small cube of sweet potato each.
You want to see my wombats? I know you do! They are super cute. [they are in the wild now where they belong - but scroll down to the bottom of this blog post and their they will be]
However, today when I get asked what I would like for breakfast what comes out of my mouth surprises me: “Why don't we have a big green smoothie bowl instead?” or "a tofu scramble with lots of wilted greens?"
Over the past year, I’ve changed. Once a bread and carbs lover, I’m now a green veggie seeker. I have become the kind of person who eats spinach for breakfast and offers over-excited facts about how life changing greens are to any poor person who may look slightly interested in what I have to say.
If there was a church for "green lovers and believers" I would be there.
Today I want to talk about something I am super passionate about. Can you guess what it may be? Thats right - lets talk about beautiful green vegetables.
I am not kidding when I tell you that green vegetables have healed me emotionally, mentally and physically. They have nourished my mind and stabilised my moods, giving me glowing skin, and off the radar impressive health [even the doctor commented how healthy my body was for my age].
Greens are something that are super easy to incorporate into our life and the effects that they bring are truly life-changing.
I know it sounds really out there, but greens are both the miracle cure and wonder drug that humanity is seeking. They heal and bring balance to the mind, body and soul.
If you are someone who hates their greens, stay with me, I will teach you ways to incorporate greens, so you won’t even taste them.
And if you think this is going to be boring and you feel like skipping out to go have a burger and fries – please stay with me – as greens are the key to everything that you want to fix in your life and I am going to show you why and then back it up with science.
Now I am not saying ditch the capsicum or carrot, because it is common knowledge that eating a colourful array of all vegetables and fruits are amazing for the body, however greens have been shown to have a richer source of nutrients.
Green tastes like life, feels like energy, looks like peacefulness, smells like earth’s love, sounds like vibrant health (your body listens well). Eat your greens, go wild for greens, play in green, weave green into your colorful daily existence! ~Terri Guillemets
Eating a diet high in green vegetables has been proven to:
- Prevent and heal most diseases: Green vegetables contain anti-inflammatory properties thanks to their abundance of antioxidants and polyphenols. These disease-fighting compounds balance the chemical structure of our body which then gives the body the strength to fight inflammation and disease. When our bodies are chemically balanced the majority of diseases cannot survive in the body. Therefore many types of cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, thyroid issues and so forth become extremely rare. There is an abundance of research to show the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, especially greens. Here is one to get you started.
- Great for the heart: A detailed analysis of 95 studies of the connection between various fruits and vegetables and disease, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, found that leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables were linked to a lowered risk of death from heart disease.
- Reduces cancer risk: One of the most promising benefits of greens may be their ability to help prevent cancer. Greens protect your cells from oxidative damage, which is what leads to mutations and cancer growth. Plus, inflammation and cancer have been strongly linked, so the anti-inflammatory nature of leafy greens keeps normal cells from transforming into tumor cells and inhibits tumor cell survival. Studies specifically link cruciferous vegetables–including broccoli, arugula, and kale–to lower risk of colorectal, pancreatic, ovarian, and bladder cancers.
- Natural detoxifier: Greens are expert detoxifiers, thanks to chlorophyll–the pigment that makes greens…green! Chlorophyll-rich foods such as spirulina, chlorella, parsley, and alfalfa bind to heavy metals and toxins in your blood and carry them out of your body. Chlorophyll also helps cleanse your liver to support your body’s natural ability to detox, and improves immune function to keep toxins from collecting in your body in the first place!
- Gives you beautiful skin: Greens have been shown to renew and repair the skin. The vitamin E, folate and beta-carotene found in greens protects skin cells from free radical damage, are vital nutrients for DNA repair, and help produce and maintain new cells.
- Great for fighting acne: Greens are high in vitamin A, which can help combat acne by slowing down the production of sebum. This skin-loving nutrient also helps flush out toxins and strengthens the skin’s protective tissue.
- Slows down ageing: Greens are rich in lutein, a powerful antioxidant which boosts hydration levels, helps to improve elasticity and protects against sun damage. Also, the vitamin C found in many green leafy vegetables helps the body produce collagen, a key factor in maintaining healthy skin and hair as you age.
- Feeds your mind and balances your emotional well-being: Greens are a wonder drug when it comes to healing the majority of mental illness, including anxiety and depression. Just like our skin and hair - our brain is a living functioning system [very complex system] that needs nourishing. The average western diet does not feed our body enough nutrients, therefore just like our skin gets affected so does our brain. There is extensive research showing that leafy greens improve brain health by up to 53% including reducing risk to Alzheimer's disease.
- Energises your entire body: Eating green vegetables, particularly those with green leaves, is like eating sunshine. Green vegetables are a good source of antioxidants and contain a number of different vitamins and minerals needed for efficient intrinsic energy production. They also contain non-haem (vegetarian) iron, a critical mineral for effective oxygenation. Great oxygen delivery to the cells and tissues of the body is critical for great energy
- And my all-time favourite one: Greens contain chlorophyl, a life-giving, living energy that runs through the stem of raw green vegetables which naturally raises your vibration, gratitude and connection to all life.
Can you imagine healing everything that is wrong in your life by just increasing your green intake? Well, just as the research proves - greens are the answer to everything you need.
As humans we could survive and almost thrive by just eating greens [especially raw greens]. Think to some of the most powerful and strongest animals in the world that survive off just greens, a small handful include gorillas, horses, hippopotamuses and elephants.
When we think of health, we think green. When we think of nature, we think green. Green is a colour associated with the healthy aspects of life, yet when it comes to eating them they seem to be low on the priority list for majority of people.
When people ask me about my green juicing and salad eating, often I hear the all too common excuse “They taste too healthy” “they are boring” “they don’t taste very nice” or it’s “rabbit food”.
Innately we know consuming greens is one of the best things we can do for our wellbeing, yet we refuse to listen to the wisdom of our own body.
Take a moment to think about what makes up a healthy diet? Let me guess – you don't even have to take a moment to think about the answer as your mind is already rattling off water, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes [and for any meat-eaters – grass-fed organic meats].
Also, were green vegetables one of the first things that came to your mind? Interesting isn’t it?
There is no denying that our bodies know what we should be eating. So; what is all the rest of the food that we are eating doing in our body? And why on earth are so many of us being sucked into the latest fad diet or wasting our hard-earned money on health supplements and exotic superfoods [yes, I have been there also].
The standard western diet does not give our body the nutrients it needs to do its job optimally. It does not include enough vegetables – especially dark leafy greens, fruits and good fats. Instead it consists of empty carbohydrates, refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine, diet sodas and alcohol.
Not only are these foods nutritionally poor they also cause toxicity in the body, stripping the body of any little nutrients it does have. Because our bodies are so starved for nutrients, when we do eat something healthy like a morning smoothie bowl, lunchtime salad or salmon with green vegetables, any nutrients that may be present in these healthier options get stripped away once we reach for our afternoon coffee, wine or salty cheese + crackers.
Most of us eat a high carb, high salt, high refined diet with very little vegetables. To truly get an understanding of how malnourished our western diet is, let’s take a quick moment to review the average standard western diet.
Breakfast: Toast with coffee, a breakfast wrap, a bagel, a whey based milky protein shake or a bowl of sugary cereal topped with sweetened yoghurt.
Lunch: Generally consists of something we buy at a local café or at our workplace cafeteria. To often it looks a little like a cheese and deli meat bagel, hot chips and burger, a toasted sandwich, a tomato-based pasta dish, a curry with rice [usually all sugar sauce with little veg] and on the healthier days we may choose a tuna salad that is overdressed in a creamy processed dressing.
Dinner: For most people, dinner on average consists of either lasagne, a pasta dish, some kind of meat and mash, a chinese take-out and if it is “healthy night” it may be some lightly steamed greens with a piece of fish.
Don't forget about the snacks! Then in between the main meals is probably a coffee or two and some kind of sweet or salty snack. On a good day, there may be a piece of fruit in there?
Looking at this average diet, most of you would agree that there are very little nutrients to be found in this average refined diet. The average person who eats the average western diet is nutrient starved and getting nowhere near the amount of fruits, vegetables and healthy fats our body needs to heal and repair itself.
I think you would be in agree-ance with me that it is quite obvious how our bodies are so malnourished on the standard western diet that is carb heavy.
The take away from todays blog - TRY + INCREASE THE GREENS.
Have more green smoothies, salads and green juices. And if you really don't like greens then put lots of mango and bananas in the smoothies - they do a wonderful job at masking the bitter taste. Looking for free smoothie inspiration - download my free green smoothie recipe book.
Over time your tastebuds will change and your palette will adjust. And guess what? Something miraculous may even happen - you may start to actually love and crave the greens.
So, whether you’re looking for energy, vitality, happiness, stability, health or a little dose of inspiration, green vegetables never disappoint in serving up the goodness.
It's quite miraculous really that a humble stem of kale has the power to nourish your spirit, give you more energy, reduce your stress, help ease mental suffering as well as help you look and feel better than you ever have before!