Ok people – It’s Monday – I’m sure a lot of you are face planted in a coffee and are dreading about the week ahead. This anxiety could very well be causing you to crave sugars and simple carbs, you’re probably thinking about donuts (or cronuts) right now, and I don’t blame you.
BUT what if your Monday grogginess and anxieties went away because you increased your leafy greens intake? Do you even know all of the freakin’ amazing benefits you get from eating your greens? So put down the cronut, put down the bacon, saute some spinach and listen up!
1: Reduce fatigue and indirectly reduce anxieties with magnesium. Magnesium is found in leafy greens such as spinach, kale and swiss chard. Our body can more easily produce energy when consuming magnesium because it plays as a middle man for the enzymes that jump-start energy production. Magnesium also plays a role in preventing depression by protecting certain receptors in our brain.
2: Stimulates growth and repair of body tissue. Greens such as collard greens and spinach also contain beta-carotene which helps stimulate the repair of various tissues. Beta-carotene also protects skin from UV damage and other free radical damage. This, in turn, can keep our skin looking youthful and tight.
3: Improves hair, nails and joint health. Kale, turnips, and mustard greens all are high in Vitamin C which, besides contributing to a healthy immune system, guides the production of collagen. Studies show that collagen can reduce the chance of an individual developing arthritis, and some also believe that collagen stimulates hair and nail growth.
4: Weight loss. Leafy greens are packed with fiber which aids in weight loss and feeling satisfied after a meal. Greens are also packed with water which will keep you hydrated and thus, also reducing hunger.
5: Protect from cancer. Between the blend of antioxidants, folate and other vitamins and minerals, increase in consuming leafy greens have been correlated to a decrease in developing cancer. The antioxidants help fight damaged cells, and the fiber in greens can help keep our colon healthy and potentially cancer free.
With all of that said, try to add one serving of greens to every meal today or for the rest of this week. Include some spinach in your omelette, add some extra kale to your soup, up the intake of arugula in your salad, or just saute a blend of greens and smother it with Parmesan cheese for a nutty side dish!