A Sakara PSA: Eating Your Greens Is An Absolute Must
Leafy greens. You can find them squeezed into just about everything nowadays — smoothies, juices, muffins, cocktails even (we're looking at you, Dimes wheatgrass margarita), but there's so much more than the occasional indulgence of a massaged kale salad or random bowl of mixed greens every time you need a quick nutrient boost. Here at Sakara, we believe in an abundance of greens at every lunch and dinner (and maybe even breakfast every now and again...) But the thing is, we all know we should eating said abundance of greens but do we really know why?
With so much noise in the health and wellness world, it can be hard to remember why everyone actually started adding spinach to their smoothies in the first place.
Below, we've broken down the need-to-know facts about why you should 'go green' as a little refresher:
- Greens are high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K.
- The high level of vitamin K plays an important role in the production of osteocalcin, a protein essential for bone health.
- Each green is packed with fiber, folic acid and life-giving chlorophyll.
- They boost immune function, improve circulation, purify the blood, provide steady energy, ease feelings of depression, improve liver, kidney and gallbladder function, clear congestion and help reduce inflammation.
- Greens are low on the glycemic index — adios blood sugar spikes and hormone imbalances!
- Rich in phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene green leafy vegetables help promote healthy vision.
- Greens help to reduce bad cholesterol present in the blood.
- Greens are rich in folate and contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids — we're talking serious brain food.
- Quercetin, a bioflavonoid found in leafy green vegetables, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and displays unique anticancer properties.
- Immune cells essential for intestinal health, are found in the digestive system and protect the body from 'bad' bacteria in the intestine. The proteins in green leaves play a role in producing these cells. So, that microbiome that we keep talking so much about? Yeah, your greens are keeping it healthy and strong.
- Green leafy vegetables reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. And guess what? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one killer of Americans.
- High greens consumption can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Among diabetics, they can also lower HbA1c levels, decreasing the risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
- Last but not least, greens hold the top 10 spots on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index, which ranks the nutrient value of foods on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed.
Bonus fact: the color green is associated with life, vitality and renewal. In the words of our beloved Mark Hyman, "It seems you can't outsmart Mother Nature..."