Green! We here it in everything, and commonly these days it is simply a marketing ploy to get us further into trusting chemicals. But my Green for today is the color of your vegetables.
Dr. Jay Furhman wrote “Eat To Live” from the perspective that you should hierarchy your food choices from most valuable to least valuable. I can open up a specific discussion along these lines as it relate to fats, proteins, carbohydrate… And specific nutrient content as well.
Pre-emptive: a wide variety in your diet is wise, the micro-nutrients present in different foods will provide unique boosts to your health, so don’t take anything I say here to mean eat only Kale for the rest of your life!
So that aside, eat Kale for the rest of your life! The nutrient density of Kale is so high, that it puts just about every other vegetable to shame. Well Collards, Bok Choy and Spinach are close enough to save face. But a head of broccoli, green beans, romaine lettuce… Embarrassed by their relative ineffective delivery of nutrients. Again, don’t forget their is value in diversity, but be sure to include those top four everyday.
So why green? The best way to simply classify nutrient rich foods, is by the darkness in the leaf. So compare the deep green of a collard green to the green of romaine, and there you have it. Slice open a cucumber and realize that there is little nutrient density, but talk about a natural way to deliver hydration, and the cucumber rocks. By nature of the classification, most vegetables are green.
But what of those that aren’t? Is there value? And the answer is yes. Tomatoes were classified as the healthiest vegetable available for human consumption a few years back by a special diet consortium. Primarily for their lycopene, a Strong antioxidant that has been shown to help in the reduction of many diseases. Forgive the fact that tomatoes are fruits, the good news is that most sugar addicts don’t get there by eating too many tomatoes.
Of course I had some fun at the expense of broccoli earlier, a known ant cancer agent, and n my office known to many of you as one of the best sources of indole-3-carbonyl, perhaps the most important detoxifying agent for women with estrogen sensitive menstrual symptoms, or those at breast cancer risk. So don’t shirk the broccoli next time you are in line at sweet tomatoes.
In addition the red coloration of anthocyanin found in many berries, Eggplant, red cabbage, the stems fired kale, etc. Has a history of questionable health benefit. The Linus Pauling Institute suggested years ago that there was no value to this antioxidant artery festoon. A symposium in 2007 suggests that these antioxidants are likely suppressing cancer, inflammatory disease and slowing aging.
So, first off, GO GREEN, then diversity and mix it up. Lastly go big… When it comes to veggies, research suggests that you won’t get a diminishing return on consumption until after 13 servings a day. So don’t be shy on this low carbohydrate high nutrient food group.
Be blessed by the knowledge that you don’t have a choice whether or not to eat greens, you simply have to. -Dr. E