If you're looking to power up your healthy diet game, plant-based superfoods are undoubtedly a great place to begin. Filled with the vitamins, minerals and protective antioxidants (and so much more!) that your body craves, these special foods offer a lot of healthy potential in every bite. And while all superfoods live up to their laudable name, some are true everyday essentials. It's this kind of championing that belongs behind the class of superfoods known simply as “green vegetables.”
Dietary systems can borderline being as divisive and polarizing as any political or religious discussion. But aside from water, there's one thing almost every dietary dogma under the sun agrees with: the power of green. So, what is it that makes this class of foods so celebrated?
Plants are energy machines.
The biggest key behind the healthy prowess of green vegetables is the very component that makes them green: chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is an antioxidant found in plants that transforms the sunshine energy they absorb into fuel through photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is often called “the blood of plants” and interestingly, is remarkably similar to the hemoglobin in human blood; the only difference is chlorophyll carries magnesium in its center, while hemoglobin carries iron. This is one of the reasons why consuming chlorophyll-rich foods can help us build our own blood, giving us the nutrients we need to create our own oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Clearly, there's a reason why you feel so energetic eating “green!”
When you increase your oxygen, you increase your healing.
The body relies on oxygen-rich blood to speed up all kinds of healing – from tissue injury and inflammation to neurological regeneration and balance. The more oxygen-rich chlorophyll you consume, the speedier your recovery.
Green also means clean.
Green vegetables have a strong link to detoxification, thanks in part to chlorophyll’s strong antibacterial qualities. But even more so, chlorophyll can help to purify your liver as well, aiding in the removal of heavy metals, drug deposits and chemical accumulation. Additionally, chlorophyll helps aid digestion by keeping blood sugar levels stable, and can even reduce chronic bad breath and body odor.
Plus, there's all those amazing micronutrients.
Getting enough vitamins and minerals from naturally occurring sources is a problem for most people, but green vegetables offer up the micronutrient goods in heaps. Immunity-boosting vitamins like beta carotene and vitamin C are plentiful, as well as essential minerals like magnesium and calcium. Even hard-to-source nutrients, such as vitamin K (essential for strong bones, blood clotting and adrenal activity) are abundant.
Green vegetables come in all varieties, and should be consumed whenever and wherever possible. Sure, you can have a big salad, but don't forget to boost your smoothie with some protein-rich greens, make yourself a dreamy Matcha latte or even sneak a little powdered Wheatgrass into your next dessert recipe. There are endless ways to go green!