Instead of all the commercials we see, and all the advertisements we hear everyday about fast foods, milk, beef, etc., we should be told about the most nutrient-rich, powerhouse foods on the planet--GREENS! People don't realize just how good greens are for us. They are packed with phytochemicals (protection from free radicals), vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The Cancer Institute recently reported on hundreds of different studies that all concluded with the same basic information:
- Vegetables and fruits protect against all types of cancer if consumed in large enough quantities. Hundreds of scientific studies document this. The most prevalent cancers in our country are mostly plant food deficiency diseases.
- Raw vegetables have the most powerful anti-cancer properties of all foods.
- Beans in general, have additional anti-cancer benefits against reproductive cancers, such as breast and prostate cancers.
Unfortunately, most Americans would rather take a pill so they could continue eating what they are used to. After billions and billions of dollars are spent on cancer research, we really don't have too much to show for it. There is more cancer today than ever before, and there is no CURE for it. We have been searching for the cure for years and years, when in fact, REMOVING THE CAUSE IS THE ONLY WAY TO WIN!
The great news is, the key to both weight loss and optimal health is eat high levels of green vegetables, fruits and beans. People that cut out meat, poultry and dairy but fill up on bread, pasta, pretzels, bagels, rice cakes and crackers may be on a low-fat diet, but because their diet is so low in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber, they do not have the protection against cancer that you will get from vegetables, fruits and beans. Following a strict vegetarian diet is not as important as eating a diet rich in fruits, and vegetables--studies have confirmed this over and over again.
As I have said before, kale is one of the most powerful superfoods you can eat. It is a nutrient-dense food, (more nutrients are packed in a leaf of kale than probably most people eat all day!), and is among the best source of vitamins C and A, and contains thousands of plant chemicals that improve health. All vegetables are good for you, but leafy greens like kale, collards, spinach and turnip greens pack a powerful nutritional punch. Besides the vitamins listed above, they are rich in Vitamins K, potassium, iron, folate and calcium which are linked to everything from reducing our risk of heart disease and cancer, to better eyesight with aging. Who knew...WHY ISN'T THIS INFORMATION PLASTERED ON BILLBOARDS ALL OVER OUR COUNTRY...WHY ARE THERE NO COMMERCIALS ON TV TELLING US TO EAT OUR LEAFY GREENS EVERYDAY?
I do believe that more and more people are taking responsibility for their health today more than ever. With all the scientific research that has been done, people are beginning to realize the food we eat has everything to do with our health. This is great news because we have control over what we put in our bodies and we all can achieve optimal health....IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!!
Here is a great recipe using kale...and it's using raw kale which sometimes does not taste so good. However, by "massaging" the kale with the lemon juice, it breaks the leaves down causing the leaves to actually wilt. I found this recipe and have made it several times because it is SO GOOD!!
MASSAGED KALE SALAD
5 large kale leaves, cut into fine strips
6 crimini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 avocado, roughly chopped
pinch of salt
1-2 lemons, juiced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small shallots or 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
handful of coarsely chopped slivered almonds
2 T nutritional yeast
- In a large bowl, place kale, mushrooms, avocado, salt and juice of 1 lemon.
- Rub and squeeze the mixture with your hands until kale begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, spinach, carrot, tomatoes and onions and mix gently with hands to combine.
- Add almonds and nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
- Taste, and if necessary, add salt and juice of 2nd lemon--I added juice of 1/2 the second lemon.
This salad is absolutely delicious...give it a try and let me know what you think. If anyone has a really good kale recipe, please share with me...I try to eat as much kale as I can!
Maybe someday we will see a billboard with a huge green salad instead of a double cheeseburger, large fries and a super-sized Coke.....I can only dream....