Green is associated with spring, time of renewal, refreshing, vital energy. In oriental medicine green is related to liver, emotional stability, creativity.
Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, 120 -190 mg per cup. They’re also high in magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and a power house for Vitamin A, C, E and K. They are also crammed high with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micro-nutrients and phyto-chemicals.
Some of the benefits from eating dark leafy greens are:
- blood purifier
- cancer prevention
- immune strengthener
- promotes healthy intestinal flora
- improves liver, gall bladder and kidney function
- lifts the spirit, fights depression
- clears congestion, especially in lungs, reduces mucus
- improves circulation
Eat greens you like. There are so many to choose from. Just wash them and cut them into pieces as large or small as you like.
Broccoli is a favorite. Each stem is like a tree trunk, giving you strong grounded energy. For subtle, light and flexible energy rotate between bok choy, nappa, Chinese cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion and other leafy greens.
Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens are best eaten in moderation. They contain oxalic acid which depletes calcium from your bones and teeth leading to osteoporosis. Eat them with something rich like tofu, seeds, nuts, beans and oil to balance the effect.
Green cabbage can be included as a green, either as sauerkraut, or cooked in with sweet vegetables. When you cut cabbage open it looks like brain tissue, must make you smart in some way.
And then there are arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun and wild greens. These are generally eaten raw or any creative way you enjoy.
Experiment with a variety of cooking methods like steam, boil, sauté, water sauté, pressed salad, or waterless cooking.
Boiling makes greens plump and relaxed. Drink the cooking water as a broth or a tea.
Steaming makes greens more fibrous and tight; great for people trying to lose weight.
Of course raw salad is also good, but not all the time. Heating the greens helps soften the cell walls making the nutrients more available for your body to absorb. Also, the cooking helps eliminate parasites that may be in or on the food.
Make plenty at a time. Green vegetables are the food most missing in modern diets. It helps build your internal rain forest and strengthen blood and respiratory systems; especially good for city people who rarely see fields of green.
Eat plain, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice, dressing, or with whatever makes it taste good for you, just try to eat your greens once or twice a day. You can even have some for breakfast if you like.
Almost Boiled Kale
1 bunch kale–washed thoroughly.
Pull the leaves off the stems by hand.
Slice the stems finely, chop the leaves coarsely.
Pour 2 inches of water into a pot and bring to a boil.
Add the kale (stems first, then leaves).
Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 2 – 3 minutes, uncovered, until the kale is bright green.
By not boiling the kale, some essential enzymes are saved.
Preparation time: 3 minutes; Cooking time: 3 minutes
Option 1: Top with a squeeze of lemon, some flax seed oil or your favorite salad dressing.
Option 2: Add some grated carrots or grated radish for extra color and flavor.
Option 3: For extra flavor and warmth, sauté with a teaspoon of sesame oil or olive oil after
cooking. This is especially in the cold winter months.
Note: Eat half the greens at this meal. Save the rest for your next meal, by running it under cold water to stop the cooking process. This will maintain freshness, so the vegetables don’t turn brown. Lemon must be added just before eating, otherwise its acidic quality will turn the greens brown.