When we hear the advice, “Eat your veggies,” we often think of classic dinnertime side dishes like carrots, broccoli, peas, and green beans. Leafy greens, on the other hand, are often written off as boring and lesser—the base of a salad in which all the other ingredients are much more interesting. Really, leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, mâche, and watercress deserve accolades for the power they hold to restore your health. Far from blasé, salad greens are vegetable royalty.
One common misunderstanding is that eaten raw, these greens, labeled “roughage” are difficult to digest. On the contrary, leafy greens are practically predigested and therefore require very little work on the part of your digestive system. What does occur is that these leaves scrub and massage the linings of your stomach, small intestine, and colon, loosening old, trapped yeast, mold, and other types of fungus, along with debris and pockets of waste matter, so they can be carried out, making elimination very productive. Discomfort from eating raw salads is usually due to sensitive nerves or inflammation in the intestinal tract, or the simple sensation of fiber doing its job to “sweep out the chimney.” If this describes you, add butter leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and/or spinach to your daily diet in small amounts.
Over time, leafy greens are wonderful healers of intestinal disorders. They help create a more alkaline stomach composition by raising beneficial hydrochloric acid levels, which in turn kills off the unproductive bacteria that create the bad acids responsible for GERD and other forms of acid reflux. One of the specific types of bacteria that leafy greens reduce is H. pylori, which is often responsible for stomach ulcers.
Leafy greens create true alkalinity in the body systems, especially the lymphatic, which can become the most acidic system due to a barrage of chemicals, acids, plastics, pesticides, heavy metals, and pathogens constantly entering the lymphatic passages. Medical communities are unaware that alkalinity of the blood, organs, endocrine system, reproductive system, and central nervous system hinges completely on the lymphatic system being alkaline. Leafy greens help to expel, purge, and drain the lymphatic system of these toxins so that it can remain alkaline. This is where these greens really have a critical role in our healing process.
Leafy greens also hold precious and vital mineral salts, partially composed of a group of cofactors associated with sodium, such as trace bioavailable iodine, chromium, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, potassium, silica, manganese, and molybdenum, which are critical for neurotransmitter and neuron support, and are also the fundamental basis of building electrolytes. On top of which, leafy greens are high in enzymes, vitamin A, B vitamins such as folic acid, healing alkaloids (plant compounds that fight disease), micronutrients for restoring the endocrine system, and forms of chlorophyll and carotenes that are specific to these vegetables. This unique group of nutrients works together to feed all organs and body systems, making leafy greens a foundation of our health. Leafy greens are antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-mold—and great for staving off every one of the Unforgiving Four. While they don’t have carbohydrates to sustain our energy, they cover the other side of the equation necessary to keep us alive, and to stave off disease and chronic illness.
If you worry about getting enough protein, fret no more. Leafy greens have the most bio-available and assimilable proteins you can find, readily available for your body to take up. Leafy greens help reverse all protein-related diseases, such as gout, kidney disease, kidney stones and gallstones, gallbladder disease, hepatitis C, lymphedema, connective tissue damage, osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and heart disease, which all arise from protein sources that are not breaking down or assimilating, and are instead causing deterioration of the body.
The next time you hear someone refer to a salad as “rabbit food,” remember what you’ve just read. Leafy greens are anything but a joke.
If you have any of the following conditions, try bringing leafy greens into your life:
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), thyroid disease, celiac disease, diverticulitis, gallbladder disease, gallstones, gout, kidney disease, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), kidney stones, peptic ulcers, heart disease, H. pylori infection, hepatitis C, osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, low reproductive system battery, lymphedema, dyspepsia, skin disorders (including eczema and psoriasis), nodules on bones and glands, mold exposure, endocrine disorders, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, acne, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, infertility, Lyme disease, thyroid cancer, migraines, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), diabetes, hypoglycemia, Epstein- Barr virus (EBV)/mononucleosis, shingles
If you have any of the following symptoms, try bringing leafy greens into your life:
Heartburn, acidosis, iron deficiency, constipation, mineral deficiencies, trace mineral deficiencies, swelling, fluid retention, inflamed liver, weakened kidneys, low hydrochloric acid, stomach upset, muscle cramps, food allergies, spasms, bone loss, receding gums, stagnant liver, joint pain, inflammation, weight gain, menopause symptoms, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, hormonal imbalances, acid reflux, dry skin, scaly skin, calcifications, low platelet count, abdominal cramping, arrhythmia, heart palpitations, balance issues, blisters, body aches, brain fog, cavities, chest tightness, dandruff, dizziness, earwax buildup, enamel loss, jaw pain, knee pain
When your body is filled with toxins on a physical level, it can lead to toxic buildup on an emotional level. So many people feel stuck, stagnant, confined, lost, or otherwise held back in life. Leafy greens are a way forward. Just as they flush out physical debris, they loosen stored-up toxic emotions and guide them out of your life. Adding more leafy greens to your diet can be an incredibly freeing experience, helping you to feel clean and clear again—your rightful state of being.
How many times have you missed a window of opportunity? Time can slip by so fast, and before we know it, the birthday wishes we’re sending a friend are belated, or we’re getting to the beach when the tide is too high to enjoy it. Leafy greens teach us to seize the moment. Their short shelf life means that the earlier we eat them after they’re picked, the better they are for our health. Getting in tune with this awakens us to the other fleeting moments of life— the other opportunities to nourish ourselves on every level if only we have the presence of mind to recognize what’s in front of us.
* Create a schedule for leafy greens, so that you feature a different green in your salad (or other meal) each day of the week. This can be a fun way to ensure that you’re getting variation for maximum nutritional benefits.
* If you find raw greens too difficult to chew, try selecting one to juice along with cucumbers or celery.
* For another nutritious green drink, blend spinach with fresh-squeezed orange juice.
* Try growing your own greens. This will not only give you the chance to take advantage of their powerful natural probiotics (see the chapter “Adaptation” for more on these elevated biotics); it will also mean that they grow specifically for your benefit, as though your name becomes written into each leaf.
* When growing your own greens, try to pick some at an early phase of development. Eating them at this stage prepares your body to receive even more of the greens’ benefits later on, when they become full-grown.
* Lettuce leaves make great alternatives to tortillas. Try filling them with your desired ingredients for taco- or burrito-style roll-ups.
* If you avoid avocado because you dislike the texture, try making guacamole with an ample amount of chopped mâche and a tablespoon of raw honey. This will alter the texture at the same time that it adds the greens’ nutty flavor and the honey’s sweetness to the dish, changing your avocado experience. Over time, eating this special guacamole will alter your avocado aversion, leading you to enjoy avocado on its own.
LEAFY GREEN SALAD WITH LEMON DRESSING
This simple salad is full of flavor and perfect for lunch at work. Just keep the dressing separate until right before eating, and you can enjoy a delicious, vibrant lunch right at your desk. Make sure to look for raw pistachios if you can. They’re tender and absolutely perfect alongside the sweetness of the strawberry and the brightness of the lemon.
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons raw honey
8 cups leafy greens
2 cups sliced strawberries
1⁄2 cup unsalted raw pistachios
For the dressing, blend the lemon juice, olive oil, and honey until smooth. Toss the leafy greens with the dressing in a large bowl until the greens are evenly coated. Divide the salad into individual bowls. Top with the strawberries and pistachios.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
Excerpt from the #1 New York Times bestselling book Life-Changing Foods
This item posted: 23-May-2018
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