A healthy mind and body are possible because of a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you are eating a healthy, balanced diet but leading a sedentary lifestyle, then you cannot expect to have a quality life. Similarly, if you have an active lifestyle, where you exercise regularly and get a good share of sunlight and oxygen, but your diet is nutrition deficient. You will crash sooner or later with one disease or another.
Modern living does not allow a balanced diet. This is the reason that people today are deficient in essential minerals and vitamins.
We can only get the required amount of essential nutrients if we take a balanced diet. A balanced diet means you are getting your share of the nutrients necessary for optimal functioning of the body. It includes fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy in specific amounts daily. Humans are omnivores and require a variety of food to stay healthy. However, in this article, we are only going to look into why greens, i.e., vegetables, should always be included in your diet.
Vegetables and fruits are often known as antioxidant powerhouses. Antioxidants are compounds that help the body fight free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms in the body that cause damage to the body by causing different kinds of illnesses. These free radicals interfere with the function of proteins and DNA, leading to various diseases. The formation of free radicals is inevitable because they are formed as a result of oxidation reactions in the body. However, nature has a way to get rid of these damaging components, and that is the inclusion of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Some of the major antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
Having an antioxidant-rich diet will prevent the body from falling prey to diseases such as cancer. Furthermore, including greens in your diet boosts your immunity by providing the body with essential vitamins. The following greens are considered as antioxidant powerhouses; Broccoli, green peppers, kale, collard greens, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, snow peas, chard, mustard greens, and turnip greens. You can also source these antioxidants by making smoothies of vegetables and fruits. If you want to add extra punch to your smoothie by making it an antioxidant powerhouse, then add a scoop of Opportuniteas wheatgrass powder to your glass of smoothie.
Aids Digestion and Prevents Chronic Diseases
Vegetables contain fiber that plays an instrumental role in the optimal functioning of the body. Fiber aids digestion and prevents complications like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Whenever you stop your daily greens intake, you will notice that you start suffering from complications. Studies have also shown that having a high fiber diet lowers the cholesterol level, and thus, the risk of heart disease is decreased. Having a regular high fiber diet will also reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer.
Artichokes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, kale, beet greens, Swiss chard, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery root, beets are some of the vegetables that have a high fiber content. Including these vegetables to your diet will be extremely beneficial for you, as mentioned earlier.
Salads, especially green salads, are known to be effective in weight loss. The reason behind this is the low caloric content of the green salad. Having a salad before a meal will prevent you from consuming too many calories. Salads induce the feeling of satiety such that you already feel full before consuming your regular high-calorie meal. One must keep in mind that adding dressings high in fat content won’t aid in weight loss even if you are having a huge serving of salad with a small serving of a meal.
You do not want to interfere with the effect of greens by adding dressings that will increase the caloric content. Toss up a salad of your favorite greens that can be eaten either raw or boiled. If you are not fond of greens alone but wish to reduce the caloric content, you can add a small portion of lean protein to your salad.
Source of Healthy Fats
The human body is incapable of producing essential fatty acids, and they can only be sourced through diet. Without fats, the human body is incapable of utilizing certain vitamins that are known as fat-soluble vitamins. In addition to this, fats are essential for proper brain development, eyesight, and maintaining healthy skin. Fats that comprise of glycerol and fatty acids come off as both good fats and bad fats.
We just described what good fats do, so what about bad fats? Bad fats that include saturated and trans fat are the cause of some health complications. These are responsible for raising blood cholesterol levels that, in turn, clog the arteries, thus impairing the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart and brain.
We now know that fats are essential for optimal body function, but certain fats should be avoided to prevent health complications. Dark green vegetables are a great source of healthy fats. Most of your daily calories should come from fats, and this means the good fats, not the bad fats. One of the best sources of healthy fats is avocado. You can eat it raw, make it into a puree and use as a spread or add it to your smoothie. Green olives are another source of healthy fats. You can add the olives to your salad or drizzle extra virgin olive oil over your salad as a dressing. Broccoli and kale are some other sources of healthy fats. However, the fat content is much lower in these than avocados and olives.
The Final Word
You must not take your green intake lightly. There is still time to take control of your life by choosing a healthy way of living. The key is to start by incorporating small portions of green salads to your meals. With time you can increase your portions as you develop the taste buds.
This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.