How much do greens really benefit me?

How much do greens really benefit me?

When I was a little girl, my dad loved to garden.  Every Friday afternoon he would get out in the garden.  It was a great stress management tool. 

My dad always spoke good things about green leafy vegetables.  I don't remember my parents saying, "eat your greens." I do remember my dad saying, "Hmmm, I love those greens" or "Are there any more greens?"

We just all knew my dad liked them.  I like my dad.  So, I thought I should like greens too.

Do you ever wonder whether it is actually worth it to eat your greens?  I mean, really, does it matter that much?

Do your children shove them off to one side, sneak it into the garbage, or wish you never mentioned "greens"?  Then, you feel like a bad mom to say, "eat a little of this, then you can have more of that."  Yes, I've wondered that myself.

Remember, we ALL do quick math in our minds unknowingly. 

This is a gain for me = DO IT
This is a loss for me = NO, I won't do it

This concept works for so many things in our life.  So, let's see if eating greens is a gain or loss.

If you want first-class health, you need to eat first-class foods.  We should eat 80-90% of our calories from first-class foods.  What are first-class foods?

First-class foods include:

  • Vegetables
  • Beans/legumes
  • Fruits
  • Unrefined whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Vegetables, especially leafy greens are first on the list with the most nutrient-dense of all plant foods.  That is a big gain

I like that...even just a few bites do us great good.

So what ARE the BENEFITS of leafy greens?

  • Most nutrient-dense!
  • Rich in dietary fiber (For one, this keeps your gut moving.)
  • High in calcium (Ever wondered where cows get all their calcium for milk?)
  • High in magnesium
  • High in vitamins & minerals
  • Abundant in phytonutrients (helps prevent damage to cells in your body)
  • Provide you with optimal energy
  • Help you feel best
  • Help protect you against diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a host of other diseases.  That is a huge gain!

Now when I'm thinking eating greens may be a loss because I just don't feel like it, I can tell my brain the truth.  I can tell the reactive part of my brain, the amygdala, "you've done your job of letting me know your feelings, now get back in your corner.  Frontal Lobe (my control center) is taking over." 

Eating my greens is a gain.  I'm doing it!

P.S. First-class food info gleaned from Dr. Wes Youngberg in his book "Hello Healthy."