1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
By Kat L. Robertson
It’s fair to say that in today’s world most of us understand the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle to protect against sickness and disease, especially cancer. But what does that look like? How do you proactively adapt a healthy lifestyle that will help you avoid getting sick?
I’d like to emphasize the importance of focusing on what we put into our bodies, so that we are eating for the sake of good nutrition. We begin by abstaining from all fast food (like Mikey D’s and Burger King) and food that has been processed, along with that which is microwavable for convenience.
You may not have a Farmer’s Market nearby and must rely on your local supermarket, but the value of selecting fresh fruits and vegetables should not be underestimated.
Although there are several more, these are a few of my favorite nutrient-dense green foods.
#1 – Kiwifruit
Kiwi has more vitamin C than an orange and the succulent, green meat of the fruit is overflowing with disease-fighting vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help prevent aging, improve skin health, boosts respiratory function, protects vision and improves cardiovascular health, among many other functions. Studies show that the kiwi helps to keep the stomach and intestinal tract in top shape. The skin and the seeds of an organic kiwi have high levels of digestive-friendly fiber, protein and other healthy-protecting compounds. So, you can triple your fiber intake when you eat an organic kiwi skin and all!
#2 – Kale
Kale, (one of my all-time favorites) is a powerhouse of vitamins A, C and K. It is a naturally powerful cancer-fighting food that studies have shown can help improve detoxification, support heart health and inhibit the formation and spread of malignant cancer cells. The anti-inflammatory feature of kale is that it helps to protect the body against harmful bacteria and viruses.
#3 – Spinach
Packed with B vitamins, vitamins A, C, E, and K, trace minerals like copper and magnesium, Spinach is a powerful antioxidant food. It also helps to keep cholesterol from oxidizing in your blood vessels while helping to improve circulation and promoting a healthy heart.
#4 – Watercress
This culinary delight tastes great in soups, salads and sandwiches. It’s technically a healing herb that contains at least 15 essential vitamins and minerals and many other compounds at quantities much higher than that of a typical vegetable. Watercress contains more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than an orange. This amazing vegetable also contains phytonutrients, antioxidants and other “super” nutrients that help protect the body against chronic disease and cancer.
Foods rich in vitamin K help protect the brain against neurodegeneration as well as strengthen bones and prevent heart disease. Studies suggest that watercress is a powerful anti-aging food that can help people live longer with improved quality of life. If this has not been on your shopping list, it should be!
#5 – Parsley
Although used as a popular garnish for many dishes, parsley is a powerful chelating herb, which means that it can draw out toxic heavy metals and expel them from the body. Parsley is an incredible anti-cancer food, rich in flavonoids like myricetin and apigenin that research shows helps deter cancer cells and tumors. In addition, parsley is also shown to help strengthen the cellular matrices of bones as well as balance blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes.
#6 – Broccoli
Another fiber-rich cruciferous vegetable (containing phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber that are important to your health) is broccoli, an incredible anti-cancer superfood. It contains high levels of sulforaphane, a chemoprotective substance that has been the focus of extensive cancer research. A famous study out of John Hopkins University found that broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain such high levels of sulforaphane that eating it regularly can significantly help reduce your risk of cancer.
#7 Collard Greens
Collard Greens are another cruciferous vegetable full of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids that help lubricate joints and improve brain function. Collards also contain sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates that not only help detoxify but also protect the body against pathogenic invaders. Indole-3-carbino is another healing compound in collards that help fortify the immune system and the body’s defense against cancer.
#8 – Kelp
Seaweed is a rich source of vitamins and trace minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids, omega-3s, fiber and iodine, (which is abundant in plants from the sea). Iodine is essential for brain development and proper functionality of the pituitary gland and the thyroid gland which regulates hormone production and good for your nervous system as well. Iodine plays a critical role in cancer prevention with scientific evidence that suggests that iodine deficiency is directly correlated with increased cancer progression, especially cancers of the breast.
#9 – Celery
Rich in fiber content, celery consists of electrolyte compounds that help keep the body hydrated and enzymes that help keep it clean and nourished. Celery is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and other compounds that help protect vital organs, vision, virility, clearing arteries, reducing inflammation and protecting the body against cancer.
#10 – Aloe Vera
Although known for its amazing healing properties when applied to the skin topically, aloe also has anti-inflammatory and laxative properties. It is a powerful remedy for upset stomachs, constipation and various gastrointestinal disorders. Aloe contains significant quantities of enzymes that help improve food digestion, boost immunity and create homeostatic balance throughout the body.
Look for interesting recipes, eat them in salads or lightly steam your veggies. The synergistic benefit of adding these greens to your diet can only enhance a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are juicing or eating raw, it is important to get a daily dose of healthy greens.
For your optimal health!
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