Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you know they are wonderful for your health. Have greens in some form at least twice a day and keep the doctor away. Why are greens an absolute must for your health? Bored with the same old spinach or methi and want to try something new? Check out this article to know more.
What are greens?
The edible leaves of various plants like spinach, herbs like dhania and methi or leaves of vegetables like radish, beetroot, cauliflower etc all fall under the category of leafy greens.
Do you know about the wonder pigment chlorophyll?
Greens get their colour from a natural pigment called chlorophyll. Did you know the protein hemoglobin in our blood which gives it the red colour and chlorophyll have a very similar chemical structure? The green of chlorophyll aids the red of blood bringing us super health.
Why eat greens?
GREENS FOR NATURAL WATER - Greens are high in water content. Also being full of fibre, they prevent constipation and keep all your internal organs in perfect condition. Greens have the power to clean the digestive tract, build up healthy cells, and detoxify the liver - among many of its super powers.
GREENS FOR MINERALS - Greens are powerhouses of minerals. Plants being the primary producers of all life on our planet absorb minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium etc from the earth through their root and shoot system. We can get all the minerals we need on a daily basis by making sure to eat greens at least twice a day - lunch and dinner time.
GREENS FOR PROTEINS – Many sportsmen and athletes swear that making greens a part of their daily diet especially in raw form – smoothies, juices and salads has boosted their performance. Greens are high in protein content too, helping you in rebuilding your body cells without the aid of protein powders or other supplements in your training.
GREENS FOR B VITAMINS - Greens are naturally high in folates and other B vitamins.
GREENS ARE ALKALINE - Greens are alkaline and help keep restore your body’s acid-alkaline balance.
And many more….
With so much going on for the humble greens, load up on greens. Spinach, amaranthus, coriander, curry leaves, methi, sarson.. which is your favourite green? Leave a comment in the comments section.
Which greens are best?
What is local in your area and what is seasonal is best for you! That is what nature intended for us to eat! You don’t have to waste a ton of money eating iceberg lettuce from California or Arugula from Spain.
Look at what your local bhaji wala is stocking to get an idea of what to buy. It is also most likely to be seasonal and local.
Bored of eating greens?
Add variety to your greens intake by trying out a green which you have not tried before. Get adventurous! Call up your mom or grandmom and ask how to prepare it. Our country has such a rich variety of foods and ways to prepare them but we have forgotten many of the traditional dishes.
Listed below are some greens you may not have known before.
Cauliflower and broccoli leaves
Water spinach or Anne soopu (in Kannada)
Purslane – kulfa saag or luni bhaaji
Tamarind leaves (Imli ke patte)
Ponnanganni (in Tamil)
Did you know in south India, drumstick leaves are used to make curries, soups or added to rotis? The humble drumstick leaf or moringa leaf is said to have 7 times morevitamin Cthan oranges, 10 times more vitamin A than carrots, 17 times more calcium than milk, 9 times more protein than yoghurt, 15 times more potassium than bananas and 25 times more iron than spinach.
These greens are aromatic and are typically used in lesser quantities
Basil or Tulsi
Spring onions (Hara pyaaz)
Chives (Stalks of garlic)
Greens which can be used to make infusion teas
These lists are not exhaustive but we hope it is enough to diversify your green diet. So go ahead and add more greens to your life! All the best.
Survey of Underutilised Leafy Vegetables in South Karnataka of India to Attain Nutritional Security- https://bit.ly/2Gg6XeF
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