Did your grandmother ever tell you to “eat your greens?” Consuming your daily intake of greens is a wise choice indeed. Yes, grandma was always right! Greens are among the healthiest foods we can eat. Green fruits and vegetables are rich in folate which protects against strokes, heart attacks, and cancer, and vitamin K which is essential for blood and bone health. Greens also contain high amounts of fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium, isoflavones, isothiocyanates, and lutein while being low in carbohydrates, sodium, and cholesterol. Here are five benefits to eating green fruits and vegetables and the best ones to choose from.
Green foods benefit us by:
Preventing heart disease.
A 2021 study concluded that eating one cup of leafy greens each day lowers our risk for heart disease. People who eat these nitrate-rich foods tend to have lower blood pressure, too. Dr. Catherine Bondonno, who headed up this study recommends smoothies as a great way to get these greens into your diet. Ginny recommends them, too!
Managing blood sugar.
Leafy greens and green vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients which can help you to minimize blood sugar spikes during a meal. Filled with lots of nutritional fiber, these greens help to fill you up. Consider adding arugula to your pasta. This way you can reduce the amount of pasta while still filling up.
Reducing the risk of cancer.
Leafy greens and green vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and cancer-fighting nutrients. For example, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and arugula contain sulforaphane which helps to prevent cancer cells by making cells less susceptible to carcinogens. The American Cancer Society has been recommending cruciferous vegetables for breast cancer patients since the 1980s. However, cruciferous vegetables also lower rates of pancreatic and colon cancers.
Keeping your skin young and healthy.
Kale and avocados are two greens that help keep your skin elastic. When I started eating a smoothie with rich greens daily, I got more comments about the beauty of my skin on my face. It was a natural side effect I had not anticipated. Many times, we’re afraid we’ll look like the Wicked Witch of the West in the “Wizard of Oz” if we eat a lot of greens. But fear not, it will only make your skin healthier and more vibrant.
Improving brain function.
After losing my father to Alzheimer’s disease, keeping my brain healthy and sharp is one of my goals as I age. Leafy greens are a part of the MIND diet which is designed to help people reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. The MIND diet combines the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet which are both heavily plant-based. Recent research has found that those eating 1.3 servings of leafy greens daily for five years experienced cognitive improvement likened to 11 years younger. Put me down for that!
Here are some of the healthiest green fruits and vegetables:
Microgreens and Sprouts
Herbs such as Parsley and Basil
For these reasons and many more such as slowing down the aging process, this gal eats several servings of greens each day. These greens also alkalize our bodies so they can work as God intended. When I first came home each week with 2-3 large tubs of dark, leafy greens from the grocery store weekly, I noticed positive changes within a few weeks. And I don’t have any green warts growing on my nose yet! These five benefits are reason enough to increase your daily intake of green fruits and vegetables. I don’t want to be one of the 69 percent of Americans who are not eating enough greens.
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs, and Second Place in both Selah Awards for Memoirs and Director’s Choice Award for Nonfiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. It recently received the Christian Authors Network’s (CAN) Gold Award for Excellence in Marketing for reaching 62.5 million people with a message of cancer prevention and survival. It was written with commentary from an oncologist and was featured on CBN’s Healthy Living Show, Atlanta Live, and CTN’s Homekeepers along with over 75 media outlets. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.