Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Glory of Dark Leafy Greens!

I spent my weekend in New York at a nutrition conference, listening to renowned doctors and researchers talking about health, food, and wellness, and the resounding message was simple: we should all be eating vastly more dark leafy greens.

Dark leafy greens are the most missing ingredient in the western diet, and they are the food with the highest nutritional value. Unveiling a recent in-depth study on the nutrient value of foods per calorie, Dr. Joel Fuhrman revealed that greens such as kale and swiss chard rate 100 on a nutrient-to-calorie scale, while fruits are at 45, and refined grains, such as pasta, are a 2.

Our bodies are designed to combat disease, not permit disease. Eating green vegetables repairs DNA and lowers the risk of cancer. In fact, studies have shown that if you eat dark green leafy vegetables, mushrooms (any variety, including white button) and green tea EVERY day, you reduce your risk of breast cancer by 89%. Add in onions, berries, beans, and seeds, and you have achieved the most across the board cancer-fighting diet. 

If they are cancer-fighting, that means they are also cancer COMBATTING for your cancer patient. From the cabbage family, leafy greens increase antioxidant defense mechanisms in the body, and improve the body's ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful chemicals and hormones. Good for fighting cancer, and for fighting your chemo, too!

Today, a few simple ideas, and a recipe, for how to add more dark green leafy vegetables to your diet every day.

-Here's a great way to eat kale raw. Cut it into a chiffonade or thin slices, pour over a little olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, and massage for a minute. It turns the kale soft and delicate, and makes it much more delicious raw!

Add a few sprouts and dressing, and, voila! Delicious health on a plate!

-Take your massaged kale, sprinkle with a little dressing, and serve it under a bed of eggs for breakfast.
-Add your massaged kale to a salad with mixed greens, spinach, romaine.
-Throw your massaged kale into a bean salad, or a frittata.
-Another idea, for the un-massaged version: green smoothies galore! See the green smoothie recipe from the first blog (August 2011)

A delicious, green & musroomy recipe, from "Appetite for Reduction" by Isa Chandra-Moscowitz.

Garlicky Mushrooms & Kale

1 tsp. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. sea salt
8 ounces ANY mushroom (crimini & button are both good)
1 pound kale, course stems removed, leaves sliced or torn
a few pinches of pepper

-Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.
-Sauté garlic in olive oil, 2 min.
-Add mushrooms and sprinkle on salt, cook 5-7 min, stirring often.
-Add kale and pepper, sauté for 10 more min. Add splashed of water if pan is too dry.
-Enjoy immediately!

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