Eating more vegetables can help you increase energy, reduce cravings, and lose weight:)) We also we have a Kaia Green Goddess recipe at the bottom of this article…don’t miss it!
Can you believe that the US Food Guide Pyramid recommends that we eat 3-5 servings of veggies a day (in reality we need more like 1 pd. of fresh veggies everyday), yet studies show that only 22% of Americans do? Experts agree we should be eating up to one, or even two, pounds of veggies each day.
Let’s get motivated to eat our GREENS!
Top 5 reasons why…
Let’s learn how eating more veggies can help you:
- increase energy
- release toxins
- protect yourself against high cholesterol and heart disease
- stabilize blood sugar
- alkalize your blood
- restore the flora in your gut
- and more!
#1: Release those Toxins
Vegetables are loaded with fibrous cellulose, which scrubs the intestinal villi, provides bulk for the stool, and binds toxins for escort out of the body. Without enough cellulose in the digestive tract, bowel movements – and the consequent elimination of toxins – are dramatically compromised.
Cholesterol, along with other toxins, is attached to bile in the liver. Vegetable cellulose attaches to the bile and escorts it, with toxins in tow, out of the body through the stool. Without enough vegetable cellulose in the diet, up to 94% of the bile (with cholesterol and toxins attached) is re-absorbed by the liver and the blood, which raises cholesterol and increases risk of cardiovascular disease.
#2: Your Armor Against Heart Disease
Most Americans gets their cholesterol tested regularly to screen for heart disease, the number one killer of Americans. The cholesterol that is connected with heart disease is called low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, and is often referred to simply as, “the bad cholesterol”.
Cholesterol becomes “bad” through the process of oxidation.
Vegetables are the number one source of antioxidants in the diet, neutralizing the process of oxidation. When vegetable intake is low, antioxidant levels crash, allowing the fats in the blood to oxidize. Low vegetable consumption is directly linked to the oxidation of LDL and, ultimately, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Major protective phytonutrients found in vegetables, including flavonoids and carotenoids, have been shown to reduce heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers.
#3: The Ultimate Low-Calorie, Blood-Sugar Stabilizing Food Group
Vegetables are extremely low in calories. A cup of vegetables averages about 50 calories. By contrast, nuts and seeds can have as many as 750 calories per cup. Moreover, the body uses almost the same amount of energy to chew and digest vegetables as it receives from them, thus, they are called a “free food,” or a food with a very small caloric load.
Breaking down the cellulose fibers in vegetables takes time, which allows the carbohydrates to be released slowly. This helps keep the blood sugar stable. You can see why vegetables are the ultimate low calorie, blood-sugar stabilizing food group.
Vegetables are also low in fat and have zero cholesterol. In fact, 95% of all vegetables have less than one gram of fat per serving. Eating plenty of vegetables stimulates the breakdown of fat already stored in the body, and helps the body burn this fat for energy.
Most experts agree that the diet for optimal health should be 1/3 acidic and 2/3 alkaline. In nature, the winter harvest is a mostly acidic one, high in grains. In the spring and summertime, nature’s bounty of alkalizing fruits and vegetables helps the body naturally detoxify the heavy stores of winter.
Alkalizing the body helps keep the blood healthy and the lymphatic system moving, maintaining a constant natural detox.
Challenge yourself this spring to make two-thirds of your diet alkaline – it is more challenging than you might think!
#5: Nature’s Pro-Biotics
Green vegetables, especially the spring greens, are loaded with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll fertilizes the intestinal villi and aids in the proliferation of the good intestinal bacteria, which are essential for digestion, assimilation, detoxification, and intestinal waste removal. This is a natural way to get the pro-biotic result, without a supplement. In contrast, most pro-biotic supplements do not encourage the growth of your own flora. They work well only while you take them, but the benefits stop when you discontinue taking them.
The production of intestinal flora may be one of the most important factors linked to optimal health. When we take nature’s cue and load our diet with alkalizing veggies in the spring, we naturally restore healthy intestinal flora.
#6: Vitamins and Minerals (That Your Body Doesn’t Make)
Vegetables deliver vitamins that the body does not make, including the water-soluble B-complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin, and choline, as well as Vitamin C. The water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so they must be ingested daily. Without adequate amounts of veggies in the diet, many of these vitamins may become deficient.
Vegetables are also a rich source of the fat-soluble vitamins A and K, and some Vitamin E.
Vegetables are also the primary source of minerals in the diet. For instance, the main source of calcium for humans should not be dairy, but green leafy veggies. As far back as 1936, in a well-publicized report entitled, “Document 264 from the Department of Agriculture”, the 74th Congress stated that, “99% of the American people are deficient in minerals, and a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease.”
That same report from 1936 stated that, “virtually all soils in the United States are mineral deficient.” In 2001, The Journal of Complimentary Medicine pointed out that US and UK Government statistics showed a decline in trace minerals of up to 76% in fruit and vegetables from 1940 to 1991.
Perhaps this makes a case for mineral supplementation, but first and foremost, we must focus on getting as many veggies in our diet as we can!
* Always eat organic when possible.
Top Tip for Getting More Veggies:
Start your day with one of Kaia’s Green Drinks. By adding greens to your am routine you will feel better all day and get all the benefits of the above article:))
The Green Goddess:
1 cucumber, 1 grapefruit, 2 stalks of celery, 1 handful of parsley, 1/2 apple and 1 handful of greens (kale, spinach, dandelion??) add water and ice (optional). Blend or juice and enjoy
Referenced: John Douillard DC | www.lifespa.com