INSHAPE NEWS OPINION
Photo Credit: Jim Smart 2009 – The Vital Green Veggie Patch –
Diana Robinson- Nutritionist
Green vegetables are such an important part of the diet, but unfortunately most of us simply are not getting enough. For a healthy diet, we should be consuming five servings of vegetables each day. This ensures we are getting enough fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep us functioning at an optimal level. Green vegetables in particular offer a wide range of nutritional benefits. Particularly dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, rocket and lettuce varieties. These little power houses of nutrients offer essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins K, E, E, B’s, iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, lutein and zeaxanthin. Green vegetables also act as a blood alkaliser, which is important particularly to maintain good blood calcium levels, as calcium is leached from the bones to act as a buffer when blood becomes too acidic (eg. from consuming a diet high in animal protein, sugar and processed foods).
The Best Vital Greens
Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts and cauliflower belong to a group of vegetables know as Brassicas. This group of vegetables is particularly important, as it contains something called indol-3-carbonal, which has been shown to have powerful anti-cancer properties. These vegetables also help support oestrogen clearance through the liver, so can be helpful for women with symptoms hormonal symptoms.
Soil Quality is a Must When Growing Vital Greens
One important factor to note about vegetables is the soil they’re grown in, which ultimately affects their nutrient content. Unfortunately, Australian soil tends to be quite low in essential minerals, so our vegetables already contain fewer nutrients than they should. Couple this with a typical Western diet which is already low in vegetables, and you have a recipe for nutrient deficiencies. Among the most common are magnesium, calcium and iron. However, you can overcome this by adding vital greens powders to your diet, as these may come in handy to give your food the extra nutritional boost it needs for optimal health and vitality. They are also good for people who are time poor and simply don’t eat enough vegetables.
Increasing Your Vital Green Intake
To increase green vegetables in your diet, aim to have a serving with each meal. That may include a handful of spinach with your morning eggs, some salad greens with your lunch and an assortment of vegetables with your dinner. If you are keen to increase your vegetables, green smoothies as an addition to breakfast or in between meals is a great way to up your intake and energy levels.
Diana Robinson is a Melbourne based nutritionist working in clinical practice with a special interest in food intolerance, fitness and mood disorders.
Diana graduated from Melbourne’s Endeavour College of Natural Health with a Bachelor Degree in Health Science – Nutritional Medicine. She is a firm believer in living life to the full and taking care of your body by feeding it healthy, nutritious food but not forgetting to nourish your mental wellbeing also.
Diana encourages patients to seek enjoyment from the food they eat rather than having a negative relationship with food. When you learn to eat right, you will learn that food is your friend and not your enemy.
You can follow her Instagram for inspiration and recipes @dianar_nutrition.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on each of the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.