The message regarding healthy eating has very often been impacted by the powers of marketing and money. Companies can sell you their sexy new ‘health solution’ with over-the-top advertising and promises that this one drink will undoubtedly ‘change your life’. For this think: any fruit juice or smoothie concoction, Herbalife and its ilk, Huel and the list could go on and on. Regrettably, the marketing department for the humble green vegetable has sat back and had to observe this with frustration. Without the firepower of a highly stimulated City ad executive team, the asparagus and sprout of this world has been left underutilised, bouncing around aimlessly with its vitamin-packed punch unable to serve unless it’s been squashed, pressed and juiced in a concoction with as much sugar as your body can handle, Innocent smoothie anyone? But we’re all missing out by not eating enough greens. I analyse food diaries regularly and am continually insistent that nowhere near enough greens are being eaten (and in some cases no greens at all). We get our fruit and vegetables supply from sweeter and carb-heavier options – strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes. All of these are good for your body but leaving out the most important colour of our consumption choices is leaving a big nutritional hole.
The benefits of going green
Here is a quick snapshot on some of the great health benefits you could be missing out on:
- Asparagus has high levels of vitamin B (good for hair, skin, digestion, energy)
- Broccoli is fibre rich and aids in digestion and cholesterol regulation
- Green tea supports metabolism and blood sugar control with proven weight loss benefits
- Brussel sprouts contains important potassium levels which helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals
- Avocado is packed with vitamin E which is an immune system booster and avocados are also great for promoting good cholesterol
- Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods with huge levels of vitamins A, K, C B6
- Spinach contains high levels of chlorophyll and health-promoting carotenoids which are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous
Low calorie density, high health impact
On top of this, from a purely body compositional perspective, increasing your green food intake will keep you feeling fuller for longer with fewer calories consumed in the process. Most of the food listed above are very low in calories and yet will fill a large proportion of your plate, reducing the possibility of stocking up on more calorific alternatives. The only one listed that is calorie heavy is the avocado. However, its packed with such goodness that it will keep you feeling full and reduce any sugar cravings as the day progresses. Think back to your last week of eating. How many greens have you consumed? You could be missing out on a whole world of healthy eating. Time to amend that weekly shopping list.