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Eat Your Greens

Aug 17, 2007
Does eating greens mean being healthy? Actually, yes. Green foods has long been known to add to your health both by boosting your immune system and energy, cleansing your blood, enhancing colon health, and adding highly nutritious value to your meal.

Choosing greens can be the challenge since there are so many varieties to choose from depending on the season. Leafy greens are abundant in the summer, but all throughout the year there are green choices.

Do not be scared to try something new and even something foreign. As long as it is leafy and green you can eat it in a salad. Some leaves need a little cooking, some are great just as they come.

Greens come in a variety of green nuances. Some are yellow, white, some red or purple. Often you will find that the darker the leafy greens, the more texture they have, and the more bitter they are. These often need a little cooking such as blanching, sauteeing, stir-frying, or just toss them in with the hot food to wilt them. Depending on how dense the leaf is, it will need more or less cooking.

When you try the different leaves you can find quite an exciting mixture of tastes as well. Leafy greens vary from mild to spicy, bitter to peppery. Others are sweet or buttery in taste. Textures vary such as curly, flat, crispy, or soft. They all create quite an interesting and tasty mixture in a summer salad.

Greens and their nourishing facts:
Greens are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C. The darker the leaves, the more vitamin A. Many greens, such as spinach, kale, and collards are known for their mineral content, especially iron, calcium, magnesium, as well as folate, riboflavin, B2 and vitamin K. Leafy greens are very rich in antioxidants. The carotenoids and beta-carotene, and the tocopherols, vitamin E.

Being Green:
Baby greens are called so because they are harvested young. This is not the same sad story as for the calf or lamb though. The plant will keep growing and produce even more leaves, either more baby greens or become the full-grown version. An example is baby arugula versus the full-grown leaf of arugula. The taste is different but the origin is the same. When several different baby greens are mixed together it becomes a mesclun salad, which is the French word for mixed.

The leaves you most often find in mesclun salads are lettuce, arugula, spinach, endive, and radicchio. To be more adventurous you can add some of the greens that you might recognize as weeds, namely dandelion, which is a very powerful, and bitter green leaf. The mesclun salad leaves require no cooking, some do prefer the dandelion cooked though.

Also, you can add some edible flowers for color. And yes, they can be eaten, hence their name.
Other members of the green family come from the cabbage family. Here you find greens that are mostly eaten cooked, collards, kale, turnip, and mustard greens. Other greens include beet greens, turnip greens, and again as a cooked green, the dandelions.

When you eat cabbage raw it detoxifies the stomach and upper colon, which improves digestion. Do chew well though and get used to it little by little or you may end up with less of a social life. Green food, leafy greens, salad, or mesclun, whatever you call it, just go for it.

So eat your greens, they are good for you, there are plenty to choose from, and they taste good!
About the Author
Nourishment Consultant Jeanette Bronee from the Path for Life SelfNourishment Center, supports people in change. She is a resource, inspiration and support as you modify your choices, lifestyle patterns, body mind perception, and self nourishment habits.. Visit us at my website which is at http://www.pathforlife.com
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