Green foods What are they?
Green foods are a type of food that is high in chlorophyll. This category includes the vegetables of the cruciferous, compound, and cucurbit families. (1) Its slightly bitter taste is associated with compounds with numerous health benefits. Green foods can detoxify the liver and improve the digestion process.
Green vegetables are foods high in plant fiber, folic acid, and antioxidants. Classic examples of green foods are kale, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, and broccoli.
While its health benefits differ widely, some aromatic plants (or Lamiaceae) such as mint, basil and rosemary should also be included in the group of green foods.
5 Examples of green foods with proven benefits:
Kale is one of the green food in the cruciferous family. Of its properties and nutritional benefits, its high content of potassium, vitamin K and vegetable fiber stands out. Just as some studies suggest that eating kale is good for improving cardiovascular and kidney health. (1) (2)
One of the properties of broccoli that has been most proven is its action as an anticancer. Its effects are attributed to the well-known vitamin C and other molecules such as glucosamine, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates. (6) This is one of the examples of green foods that should not be missing in the diet.
Spirulina is one of the green foods with more significant benefits for those with disorders in the metabolism of fats. Studies confirm that taking spirulina powder prevents fat deposition in the liver and can lower harmful cholesterol levels. (7)
One of the benefits of avocado is that it increases the level of assimilation of nutrients and antioxidants. In 2005, an Oxford study (3) found that regular consumption increases the absorption of carotenoids by 3 to 5 times. Combining it with other green foods is a way to enhance its benefits.
Sage is one of the green foods in the family of aromatic herbs. Its benefits are to regulate the hormonal imbalances associated with the menstrual cycle and menopause. Topicals based on this plant are used in medicine to treat gingivitis. (8)
List of examples of green vegetables by family:
- Aromatic or Lamiaceae
Benefits of green foods
1. Detoxify the liver
Carrying out diets rich in green vegetables is an effective and alternative method of preventing liver disease. Studies attribute the benefits to hepatoprotective compounds with antioxidant effects. (9)
- Improve cardiovascular health
Green foods are high in potassium content. Increasing the amount of potassium in foods is associated with improving sodium levels. Therefore, cardiovascular health is improved, and the risk of heart attacks and strokes is reduced. Including 100 g of green foods such as kale covers 15% of the daily needs. (3)
- Prevention of type 2 diabetes
Green foods cannot be absent in a diet for type 2 diabetics. Its high fiber content can reduce the glycemic index and improve insulin response. Studies recommend including green vegetables at least two times per day for this goal. (2)
An insufficient amount of vitamin K in the diet is associated with an increased likelihood of bone fractures. (4) Including green foods in your diet is a simple and inexpensive way to improve bone health.
- Prevent certain types of cancer
Green foods provide a large amount of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a compound that the human stomach cannot digest. However, it is capable of binding to carcinogens. Studies (5) recommend including green foods to reduce the chances of certain types of cancer.
- Improve hair and skin health
The amount of vitamin A in green plant foods is high. This micronutrient is essential for hair growth and skin cell regeneration. Studies suggest a close relationship between epithelial tissue health and eating green vegetables. (2)
How to eat green food?
In salads: Green foods are the main ingredients in salads. Combining endive with sesame seed tomatoes, tofu, and coconut oil is an excellent fresh and healthy lunch option.
As a pie filling: Spinach with ricotta and walnut is an exquisite combination as a filling for savory pies. This is an easy and practical way to eat green food to take the next day.
In the form of Snacks: Preparing snacks based on vegetable leaves such as kale is simple. Sauté the leaves in vegetable oil for 3 minutes, and add seasonings: garlic powder, paprika, curry. Then take it to 180 degrees in the oven for 15 minutes, and voila: a crispy snack based on green foods.
Detox shakes: Green foods can be eaten in detox shakes. You need a processor, ice, and some natural sweetener like stevia. It is a classic combination, and it’s cucumber, spinach, mint, and lemon.
Green foods those high in chlorophyll. The vast majority of what we eat are vegetables; the classic examples are lettuce, kale, broccoli, and avocado. The benefits of this type of food are the improvement of liver and skin health and the prevention of chronic diseases such as cancer. Eating raw green vegetables is the best way to maintain their nutritional properties.