As most of you know I eat a primarily raw food diet. My diet includes a variety of raw fruits, veggies, superfoods, nuts, seeds and sprouts in the form of juices, drinks, smoothies, salads, raw soups and more. It is loaded with enzymes, provides me with an abundance of energy and is simple and delicious!!! It is not for everyone but everyone can benefit by adding more raw foods into their daily diet. Most importantly it is essential to add more greens to your diet. The book “Green For Life,” by Victoria Boutenko will explain why you should eat more greens and it also provides you with delicious simple green smoothie recipes that you and your family can enjoy.
In search of the perfect human diet, Victoria Boutenko compares the standard American diet with the diet of wild chimpanzees. These animals possess an extremely strong natural immunity to AIDS, Hepatitis C, cancer, and other fatal human illnesses. Chimpanzees share an estimated 99.4% of genes with humans, but their diet is dramatically different from ours. The most glaring difference is that chimpanzees consume significantly more green leaves than humans.
The benefits of eating greens:
Green vegetables are the food most missing in modern diets. Learning to eat greens is essential to creating health. When you nourish yourself with greens they naturally crowd out the foods that make you sick. Greens help build your internal rain forest and strengthen blood and respiratory systems. They are especially good for city people who rarely see fields of green in the open countryside. Green is associated with spring, the time of renewal, refreshment and vital energy. In Asian medicine, green is related to liver, emotional stability and creativity.
Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals.
Some of the benefits from eating dark leafy greens are:
strengthened immune system
promotion of healthy intestinal flora
subtle, light and flexible energy
lifted spirit and elimination of depression
improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
clearing of congestion, especially in lungs by reducing mucus
There are so many greens to choose from. Find greens that you love and eat them a lot. When you get bored of your favorites, be adventurous and try greens that you’ve never heard of before. Broccoli is very popular among adults and children. Each stem is like a tree trunk, giving you strong, grounded energy. Rotate between bok choy, nappa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion and other leafy greens. Green cabbage can be included as a green, either as sauerkraut, which provides the body with live enzymes. Then there are arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun and wild greens. These are generally eaten raw or in any creative way you enjoy. Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens are best eaten in moderation because they are high in oxalic acid, which depletes calcium from your bones and teeth, leading to osteoporosis. Cook (if you choose to cook food) these vegetables with something rich like tofu, seeds, nuts, beans, butter, animal products or oil. This will balance the effect of the oxalic acid.
IF you choose to cook food here are a few cooking suggestions:
Try a variety of methods like steaming, boiling, sautéing in oil, water sautéing, pressed salad and waterless cooking. IF you are going to use heat to prepare food the best way is a simple, light steam. Lightly steam greens to save as many enzymes and nutrients as you can. Kale is a great green to steam and then you can blend it with other veggies and an avocado to make a smooth veggie soup. Boiling makes greens plump and relaxed. I recommend boiling for under a minute so that the nutrients in the greens do not get lost in the water. You can also drink the cooking water as a health-giving broth or tea, if you’re using organic greens. Steaming makes greens more fibrous and tight, which is great for people who are trying to lose weight. Raw salad is also a wonderful food. It’s refreshing, cooling, soft and supplies live enzymes.
When most people hear “leafy green vegetables”, they probably think of iceberg lettuce, but the ordinary, pale lettuce in restaurant salads doesn’t have the power-packed goodness of other greens. Get into the habit of adding these leafy green vegetables to your diet as much as possible. Try it out for a month and see how you feel.