Nutritionally, greens are pretty much AMAZING! They are nutritionally dense with 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: blood purification, cancer prevention, improved circulation, strengthened immune system, promotion of healthy intestinal flora, improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function, and cleared congestion especially in lungs by reducing mucus.
If you want to start trying new greens but aren’t familiar, start with one a week. I believe in buying what you can afford, and as much as I would like to buy all organic produce, I have to prioritize. Greens tend to have a lot of chemical residue, so they are at the top of my organic list.
Next time you are in the grocery store go over to that leafy section and start rotating between. There are so many greens to choose from. Find greens that you love and eat them often. When you get bored with your favorites, be adventurous and try greens that you’ve never heard of before. Rotate between broccoli, bok choy, napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion and other leafy greens. Green cabbage is great in the form of sauerkraut or raw. Sauerkraut is so easy to make at home, and since it’s fermented it is loaded with enzymes and probiotics. This website is AWESOME if you want to experiment with some krauting. http://paleodietlifestyle.com/fermented-food-recipes/Arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun and wild greens are generally eaten raw, but can be consumed in any creative way you enjoy. Spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens are higher in oxalic acid. There is a mix of opinions on this subject. Yes it can affect the absorption of calcium, but not to a significant extent. Some people have a condition, usually genetic, where their body cannot process oxalic acid properly. Those with a need for caution include sufferers from kidney disorders and kidney stones, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain forms of chronic vulvar pain (vulvodynia). Cook these vegetables with something rich like seeds, nuts, butter, animal products or oil. This will balance the effect of the oxalic acid.
If you really want to experiment with greens, find an Asian grocery store. Two that I shop at are Lao Market in Westminster, or New Saigon Market on S. Federal. They have more greens than you will know what to do with. It’s kind of fun too because you have no idea what you are buying since nothing is in English. Sure, Bao Nun Co looks good… I’ll try that. I made that up so hopefully it’s not some offensive Vietnamese word. Those markets are full of amazing spices, curries, fresh vegetables etc that you can’t find anywhere else. This website is great if you want some info on Asian greens.. http://www.alhambrasource.org/news/asian-greens-demystified
Cooking GreensTry a variety of methods like steaming, boiling, sautéing in oil, water sautéing, waterless cooking or lightly pickling, as in a pressed salad. Boiling makes greens plump and relaxed. Boil 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 healthy broth or tea if you’re using organic greens. Steaming helps vegetables to retain their fiber, causing them to move more easily through the digestive tract. And of course a raw salad is always a great way to get greens. It’s refreshing, cooling and soft, and supplies live enzymes.
When some people hear “leafy green vegetables,” they often 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 dark, leafy green vegetables to your daily diet. Try it out for a month and see how you feel.A simple great recipe to start with is boiled kale or Swiss chard. Put a little bit of water in a pan, cook on medium high for a minute. Drain the water…drink it or water your plants with it as long as you are using organic greens (your plants will thank you). Drizzle olive oil and squeeze some lemon on the greens and that’s it. Super easy and delicious.
Here are some websites with a ton of recipes. They are not all Paleo but it is a good place to start if you need some ideas, or just Google “Paleo leafy greens.”http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/2009/07/cheap-healthy-leafy-greens-246-recipes.html
And this recipe just looks so freaking good I’m going to go home and make it tonight… bacon and kale…it’s like a match made in heaven. http://nomnompaleo.com/post/3082537932/quick-and-simple-stir-fried-kale-and-baconThanks Ya’ll