Stressed out - Try Green Leafy Vegetables

They  are  power­packed...fiber,  calcium,  protein, magnesium, iron,  vitamins K  and C, folicacid, potassium and storehouse of disease­fighting molecules; i.e. photochemical (including lutein,zeaxanthin and beta­carotene).

If you are looking for the foods that are most nutritious, green leafy vegetables are sure to be the first choice. They are packed with higher amounts of nutrients (per calorie) as compared to  any  other foods.  Owing  to  this  great feature, some  nutritionists  are  of  the  opinion  that 
green leafy vegetables must be enrolled into a separate group of foods! If you ask me, I will simply opine that leafy greens must be eaten once a day (minimum) to obtain great health and vitality. To mention the nutrients in green leafy vegetables – what can I say? 

Why should you incorporate green vegetables in your diet? Firstly, the leafy vegetables are filled with natural nitrates. Please do not confuse it with nitrites (which are found in cured meat, especially bacon, hot dogs etc.) and are known to cause cancer. The natural nitrates in vegetables  stand  just  a  few  steps  ahead  of  nitric  oxide;  which  is  an  extremely  powerful vasodilator; i.e. the ingredient that helps in opening up the blood vessels in the body. When the blood vessels are opened up (i.e. dilated) we are able to get more oxygen for the muscles. 

Eating  green  veggies  also  brings  several  other  beneficial  results  as  preventing  cardiac disorders and hypertension. Our  body  can  absorb  the  double  amount  of  calcium  from  leafy  green  vegetables  when compared to the absorption level of calcium from milk. In addition to this information, it is important to note that a cup of cooked kale stores 1300% vitamin K. So, the more greens we consume, the more we stay healthy.

Now  the  vital  question  is  about  how  we  maintain  this  healthy  diet  with  green  leafy vegetables?  Let  us  look  and see  how  we  can  get  leafy  vegetables  into  our  diet  and  think beyond kale and spinach!

Here are my green vegetables list to mull over:

1. Seaweed:

Seaweed is green too and leafy as well! They are available in various sizes of dehydrated packs  at  the  health  food stores.  Sarah (my friend)  told  me  about  the  great  benefits  of seaweeds  as  the  alternative  for  green  vegetables  and  I  simply  loved  the  idea.  She generally  uses  to  crumble  up  handful  seaweed  in  a  tortilla  that  is  already  filled  with hummus.

2. Matcha:

Matcha is popularly known as the green tea powder and actually stores thrice the amount antioxidants  as  compared to  green tea. This will  bring wonderful  healing  effect in  your body and will help you to fight the stress (due to oxidation) that hikers face while walking at the high altitudes. Matcha is a nice substitute for the morning coffee as it will not just rovide you with the health benefits but at the same time give you the calm and alert buzz of  caffeine.  Matcha  powder  tastes  best  when  mixed  with  warm  water  and  a  bit  of cinnamon and sugar.

3. Foraging:

While on the hike, we are amidst the world of greens. It will be interesting to explore the nutrient storage that nature provides us. It will not be hard to find edible plants like Lamb Quarters, Nettle, Chickweed, Miner’s Lettuce, Dandelion or Chicory  as  all of them  are filled with healthy nutrients. You can pick some of the available green vegetables on the trail and brighten up your evening meal. But, be sure about your choice and do not try this procedure  if  you  are  not  too sure  about  identifying  the  right  plant.  Proper  knowledge about plants and a bit of education in this matter is extremely important.

4. Load up on your nutrients:

Buys  a  bunch  of  kale  along  with  a  lime  and  avocado.  You  can  make  a  simple  but wonderful kale salad by chopping the kale, squeezing the lime juice into it, mashing the avocado  and seasoning  with salt.  Provision  of some salsa  and  black  beans  will surely make the dish mouth­watering. 

5. Barlean’s Green:

Besides making flax seed oil, Barlean’s is the manufacturer of  a super formula powder that  contains  various  types  of  healthy  vegetable  ingredients  (right  from  wheatgrass  to apple extract!). Having the multi­ingredient Barlean’s Green powder to add antioxidants and micronutrients will surely prove to be beneficial while on the hike. This one comes in various flavors and I am personally in love with the chocolate version.

I would suggest to include leafy green vegetables in your daily diet and feel free to suggest more options!

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