Abundant with sodium and red meat, the current American diet can often lack green vegetables. Learning to prepare and eat these seasonal vegetables is the first step toward nourishing the body and creating sustained health. Naturally delicious and endlessly versatile, greens strengthen the blood and respiratory system. They are a cleaning food offering vitality and renewed energy.

Greens are packed saturated in vitamins and nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and Vitamins A,C,E and K. They are also a great supply of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and a number of other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals. Blood purification, improved circulation, strengthened immunity, improved mood and light energy, cleared congestion and reduced amount of mucus are among the benefits of eating dark leafy greens.

There are so many types of leafy vegetables easily available in supermarkets or health food stores that the palate may never tire of them. Venture from ordinary iceberg lettuce which doesn't have the nutrients of other greens and try the numerous types of dark leafy greens. Just like any food in your daily diet, it is very important to eat a number of vegetables to be able to reap most of the benefits and give your system the chance to absorb the nutrients.

Broccoli is really a common green vegetable but traditionally, the term "leafy greens" describes any person in the cabbage family whose leaves don't form a tight head. Some of the most common greens include kale, collards, spinach, turnip and mustard greens. Experiment with different greens and when you find the ones you like, eat them daily. Choose locally grown, organic greens when possible. Be sure that the leaves are deep in color and show no signs of wilting, yellowing or browning.

Kale: There are many types of kale each having a distinctive taste from bitter and peppery to sweet and delicate. Kale tends to really have a deep green or purple leaf that is dense and curly or embossed. Small the leaves, the more tender the texture and milder the flavor the kale will have.

Collard Greens: The broad, blue-green leaf and the mild taste distinguish collard greens from kale. Choose collards that are deep green throughout and un-wilted. Chill them in the refrigerator unwashed and wrapped in a damp paper towel. The sooner they're eaten, the less bitter they will taste.

Turnip Greens: The leaves of the turnip plant, turnip greens are smaller and tenderer than collards and have a slightly bitter taste. Usually available with their roots intact, they must be crisp and dark green in color. Turnip greens store for about four days in the refrigerator once taken from the main and stored separately in a plastic bag.

Mustard Greens: Rarely green but more frequently red or deep purple in color, mustard greens have a distinctive pungent taste. Their texture can differ from flat to wrinkled and the leaves tend to be jagged. Spinach: A delicate green, spinach includes a sweet taste when eaten raw and becomes more acidic when cooked. There are numerous types of spinach like savoy, smooth-leaf, semi-savoy and baby spinach all with unique textures. Swiss Chard: The wide, green leaves of the plant fan from a tall, hearty stalk which is available in a number of colors like red, white, yellow and orange. Swiss chard tastes slightly bitter and salty. Both the stems and leaves are edible.

Beet Greens: From the same family as spinach and chard, beet greens tend toward a bitter taste. The leaves are crisp and crunchy and become soft when cooked. So that they don't pull moisture from the main, remove the greens from the main before storing.

While spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens pack a healthy punch, these greens must be eaten in moderation. High in oxalic acid, they can deplete calcium from bones and teeth leading to osteoporosis. To balance the aftereffect of the oxalic acid, it is recommended to cook or consume the greens with rich ingredients such as for instance tofu, seeds, nuts, beans, oil or animal products.

 

Published by Peter Garlow