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Going Green Inside and Out

Go Green inside as well as outside. Making sure our environment stays green is undoubtedly a necessary goal, but you know that staying green inside is even healthier. Eating green living foods is natural for the human body. Consumption of green leafy vegetables provides nutrition for our bodies, fiber for our digestive system, and a sustainable environment to live in.

Our bodies depend on enzymes, vitamins, and minerals for detoxification and metabolism. Many of these nutrients we cannot make on our own and must intake them from our diet. Green leafy vegetables are loaded with antioxidants such as lutein, chlorophyll, Vitamins A, E, K, and F. They protect vitamins and enzymes from being destroyed by toxins introduced into our bodies from the environment and those we create as byproducts of metabolism. Natural sulfur from green cruciferous vegetables like Kale and Brussels sprouts also help our body make glucosamine sulfate to improve joint function.

Besides nutrition, green leafy vegetables are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. In addition to fiber’s cardio-protective function, it can have a positive effect on blood sugar management in diabetes as well. The soluble fiber dissolves in water and creates a soft, gel-like consistency that slows carbohydrates from the intestinal tract. Fiber intake also helps keep the bowel healthy. Good bacteria in the bowel can break down fiber into food. This process also provides fuel for the intestine lining, helping it heal and repair itself.

Recent evidence suggests that the American diet is way too high in concentrated proteins like meat and too low in complex carbohydrates like greens. This inversely proportional diet sets up the digestive system for stagnation and putrification of proteins. Focusing on increasing the intake of greens and reducing the intake of animal proteins minimizes the dependency on farmland used for cattle. Reducing toxic byproducts of cattle, overgrazing, and the vast area needed to raise cattle will help sustain a healthy ecosystem and soil.

Increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables doesn’t have to be complicated. Try placing a few handfuls of the following vegetables mentioned below into your blender with one to two cups of filtered water. Add in a ½ cup of your favorite fruit and blend away. Arugula, beet greens (tops), Bok choy, broccoli flower, celery, chard, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive, escarole, kale, mustard greens, parsley, radish tops, romaine, spinach, or watercress are just a few of some excellent greens full of nutrition and fiber to green up your inside and outside.

Stuart S. Shipe, R.Ph., D.A.O.M.

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