We seem to yearn for speed in every aspect of our lives. We’re antsy about faster web connectivity, faster cars, get through this line at the store faster, get that project finished faster, and lose weight faster, and so on. When it comes to improving your overall health and quickly increasing energy levels, one of my first recommendations is get your greens. Here are my top four reasons why getting your greens speeds up your wellness journey.
- Greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods to fuel and nourish your body. They are full of a virtual alphabet of vitamins, minerals and even protein. You might not expect it, but greens can provide high quantities of calcium, iron, alpha lipoic acid, magnesium, folate, and many more. Your body needs fuel at the cellular level to function optimally. That fuel comes in the form of nutrients you take in through food and greens are a key source.
- Greens help keep your gut healthy. They are rich in digestive and antioxidant enzymes, which make them perfectly digestible. Many of the foods we commonly eat never get fully digested; instead they sit in the bowels to rot, become toxic and block nutrient absorption. The enzymes, fiber, potassium and cell salts in greens naturally help toxins release from the gut for elimination and help the gut expand and contract to move waste on out. When the intestines are cleaned out, they are able to do their job properly and absorb nutrients.
- Greens support a healthy immune system because of the two points mentioned above. Immune system function is managed by a healthy nervous system. The nervous system gets its messages based on our chemistry. The key to our chemistry is the nutrition our body is able to absorb through the gut. A healthy gut absorbs nutrients, breeds healthy bacteria and communicates well with the nervous system, keeping the right balance of chemicals in the body for the health of neurotransmitters that regulate the immune system. Eat greens and you doubly improve your immune system by creating a healthy gut and then providing dense nutrition to be absorbed.
- Greens alkalize the body. The typical American diet is highly acidic. An overly acidic body is linked to the development of a number of illnesses and diseases, including cancer. Eating green leafy vegetables balances the acidity and alkaline levels in the body. Ideally, the blood needs a pH level of 7.4—higher than 7 is alkaline, and lower is acidic. Greens alkalizing the gut also help regulate the passage of glucose, thus aiding in the regulation of blood sugar. I highly recommend you check out the book The pH Miracle book series by Shelley Redford Young and Robert O. Young, Ph.D.
Your healthy habit challenge for this month is to get more greens. Here are a few ideas for how to make that happen:
- Start your day with green smoothies or juice.
- Get at least one salad in your diet each day, full of greens and lots of color from other veggies. Be sure to limit the dressing.
- Try new greens and taste the difference. Explore the produce section of your grocer or the harvest at your farmers’ market. Try different kinds of lettuce, chard, kale, mache, beet greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, etc. Search the internet for recipes or just include them in juice or smoothies.
You can learn more about greens and get great recipes in Wellness on a Shoestring: Seven Habits for a Healthy Life. That’s your healthy habit assignment for this month! Go for the greens and get 4G speed for improving your well-being. I encourage you to journal throughout the month about the small changes you make and the big shifts you feel.