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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Greens: The ultimate super food

Saturday, October 29, 2016
A selection of greensDon’t miss out on this great super nutrient! It will help your brain function better, assist your digestion to break down protein in food, support your bone marrow in producing healthier red and white blood cells. Help prevent cell mutations. You need lots of this nutrient, and twice as much during pregnancy. Surely, you’d think, something this powerful must be expensive, hard to access? Put your wallet down - it’s actually a simple nutrient, folate, which is most abundant in green leafy vegetables.

Like many of the nutrients our bodies rely on, folate comes in many different forms. It’s one of the B-group of vitamins, which are classified as ‘water soluble’. That means your liver will store a small backup supply but we really need to top up our supplies every day. Your intestinal microbes will contribute a little to your folate supply, but this is a fraction of what you can achieve with eating leafy green vegetables.

Like many aspects of a nutritious diet, it’s easy to think you’re eating more of the healthy stuff than you actually are. Perhaps that’s because consuming folate-rich foods is going to take time and effort. Salad greens have to be washed and arranged on a plate, then adorned with a dressing. Steamed greens have to be washed, cooked, the pot scrubbed. And leafy greens have a limited shelf life in your fridge before disintegrating into gooey green gunk. Perhaps this is why people can find it hard to eat enough greens; it’s one of the foods you just have to keep buying, washing, preparing and presenting to eat.

Want to know how much greens you’re eating now? Open the door of your fridge. Got some salad greens there? Some fresh leafy greens too, like silverbeet or kale? And they’re fresh? Then you’re doing well. If your fridge is devoid of greens then maybe your health could use a greens boost.

Here’s some tips to make it happen: a daily lunchtime salad helps. In the evening, cover half your dinner plate in freshly steamed green veg. Make it interesting: Drizzle a delicious dressing over your salad. There’s no rule against adding dressing or a topping to steamed greens. Select a variety of greens rather than just one, and select with the seasons so you’re eating a constantly changing array. 

You’ll get plenty in return for your effort; Eat your greens regularly and the health payoffs from this superfood are immense.

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy 'Helping Kids Enjoy Vegetables' here

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