The Power of Green Foods
The following excerpt is from an article in Energy Times magazine, written by Lisa James.
THE POWER OF GREEN FOODS
Meet some of nature's greatest nutritional superstars.
While going green may be the latest environmental trend, it is an idea that stretches back to antiquity in terms of personal health. Traditional medicine practitioners around the world have always turned to green plants for their ability to cleanse, detoxify, and heal.
Sadly, many people in our modern age, including many children, are not as well acquainted with green foods as they should be. "Most American children still eat no greens, ever," says nutrition educator Robyn Openshaw, author of The Green Smoothies Diet (Ulysses Press). That's a shame; as Openshaw points out, green foods are rich sources of protein, calcium, fiber, chlorophyll and disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Here are green foods you should include in your diet:
Spinach is a common leafy green best known for its iron content (thanks Popeye), contains other minerals, vitamins A, C, E and K (along with several B vitamins) and lutein, which supports eye health.
Seaweed, which includes many marine plants, including dulse, kelp and rockweed, contains iodine, a mineral crucial for a healthy thyroid (the body's master energy controller); it is also rich in protein and minerals.
Barley Grass is the early vegetative growth phase of a common cereal grain. Barley grass contains vitamins B12, C and E, along with minerals and enzymes; it helps fight inflammation.
Wheat Grass, a cereal grain in an early growth phase supplies abundant chlorophyll and is used as a blood tonic.
Alfalfa, a member of the pea family, contains protein, chlorophyll, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, along with a number of vitamins; long used as a blood purifier and anti-ulcer remedy; acts as a mild laxative and diuretic.
Sprouts are seeds, such as chickpeas, mung beans and alfalfa, that have been germinated and are a rich source of protein (including essential amino acids), fiber and plant enzymes.
The Brassica Family include broccoli and its cousins: cabbage, kale, etc., contain cancer fighting substances known as indoles; members of the family provide various nutrients, including vitamins C and K, iron and zinc.
Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, supplies complete protein along with essential fatty acids, beta-carotene, numerous minerals and vitamins B, C, D and E; and is frequently used as an energy booster.
Chlorella, a single-celled green algae, long used as a blood cleanser, has been found to help the body break down toxins while boosting immune functions.