What is it that makes plants green? Chlorophyll! This is the magic substance that plants use to capture and store the energy from sunlight. Without this mechanism there would be no life on earth as every living thing directly or indirectly derives its energy from plant sources.
The chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to the oxygen-carrying haemoglobin molecule in our own blood. Remarkably, chlorophyll is an excellent tonic and cleansing agent for our blood. It is one of the key substances that give wheatgrass, barley grass and chorella their well-known healing properties.
However it is not only the green in greens which makes them such an important food. As we can see in autumn leaves, chlorophyll actually masks many other pigments. These colours indicate the presence of‘ a huge array of ‘phytonutrients’, or beneficial plant compounds. Phytonutrients have an assortment of subtle effects that keep our energy flowing and balanced.
How do green vegetables help your body to be healthy?
Eating green vegetables provides many health benefits. They help your immune system, provide antioxidant protection and rejuvenate your cells. Green leafy vegetables also contain significant amounts of protein, minerals and fibre. As we naturally eat heavier, richer, cooked foods in winter it is important to keep eating a proportion of raw greens. They provide balance to our meals and aid digestion and detoxification.
So remember to get your greens! There are many green vegetables available through the winter and they go abundantly crazy in the spring. Dark greens such as kale, broccoli and the Chinese greens are particularly fortifying. Let yourself become accustomed to stronger, bitter tastes in greens – these can indicate powerful cleansing properties. Have a look at the organic stall at the local farmers market and try something different. Just ask if you are not sure how to prepare them.
Yummy Recipes with Leafy Greens
Greens, Bacon and Poached Eggs
This makes a deliciously satisfying and nutritious lower carb breakfast. You’ll get lots of essential minerals from the leafy greens, plus good protein from the bacon and eggs.
This is my idea of weekend breakfast heaven! However it’s equally ideal for lunch or dinner. Use organic free range bacon and eggs for better flavour. You'll also be supporting more wholesome farming practices.
2 T olive oil or organic butter
1 large bunch dark leafy greens [kale, chard (silverbeet) or Chinese greens]
4 rashers organic (or wild) free range bacon
1 medium onion
1 clove crushed garlic
2 T soy sauce
½ squeezed lemon
½ capsicum (bell pepper), red or green, chopped
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
1. Gently saute the onions, garlic and bacon with the olive oil in a wok.
2. Remove stems and roughly chop greens. Place in wok and cover with a lid. Steam until tender.
3. Meanwhile poach the required number of poached eggs.
4. Dice the tomatoes and add to wok with remaining ingredients.
5. Serve on warm plates and top with the poached eggs. Add a grind of black pepper to taste.
Bok Choi Stir-fry
Stir-frying requires fast intense heat. Moisture in the leaves creates steam, rapidly wilting the greens. Spicy white pepper compliments the earthy/sweet flavour of the leaves.
Several small bunches of bok choi (or other Chinese Greens)
2 tsp sesame oil
Shoyu (good quality fermented soy sauce)
Separate the leaves by cutting the bottom stalk of each bunch. Slice he stalks and leaves into 3cm lengths.
Wash the chopped bok choi by putting it into a sink or large bowlful of water. Massage gently to loosen any dirt and allow it to drop to the bottom. Use your hands to life out the greens into a colander and allow it to drain.
Heat a wok or large frypan over a high heat. Add the sesame oil. When the oil is very hot (but not smoking) add the bok choi. Keep the heat high and stir the greens until wilted – this should take less than two minutes.
Season with pepper and shoyu, toss for a few more seconds and remove from the wok into a serving dish.
Copyright Wild Health and Anna Wilde 2007
Anna Wilde works with people who want to improve their health naturally.
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