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What’s So Great About Greens?

by jenny sansouci on August 15, 2012

I was walking around Whole Foods with my friend Ali tonight and our conversation went a little something like this:

“Dude. I’m obsessed with kale.”

“I know. I think I’m addicted to it.”

“It’s like all I want to do is eat kale salads and drink green juice.”

“I know. It’s insane.”

I have to admit, a lot of my conversations are like this. In fact, I have almost that same conversation weekly over text with my friend Rachel. We joke about showing up on each others doorsteps wearing kale costumes, and she even mailed me a framed picture of kale once. No joke. We go absolutely bonkers over this stuff. What gives??

If you’re thinking I’ve just always been some health freak who likes bland food and obsesses over plain lettuce, think again. I want my food to be the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted at every meal. I also want to feel incredibly awesome and vibrant in my life as much as possible. Enter leafy greens.

As soon as I started incorporating lots of dark leafy greens into my life (kale is clearly my #1 choice), it was like everything improved. I felt so good, I began to geek out over green smoothies, worship green juice like it was holy water and incorporate kale into every possible dining scenario. When I’m eating/drinking a lot of greens, my digestion is better, my mood is lifted, my health and happiness get a huge boost.

I’m going to quote my awesome nutrition school, IIN, about why greens rock so much:

Some of the benefits of eating dark leafy greens are:

  • Blood purification
  • Cancer prevention
  • Improved circulation
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Promotion of healthy intestinal flora
  • Promotion of subtle, light and flexible energy
  • Lifted spirit and elimination of depression
  • Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
  • Cleared congestion, especially in lungs by reducing mucus

Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals. Whenever possible, choose organic.

Oh, and by the way, the more you eat greens the less you crave unhealthy foods. The greens provide you so many nutrients that your body is like, “Sweet! I’m good, thanks.”

Uh…yep, I’d pretty much say greens are the best thing in the world. Like I said, kale is my #1 priority, but there are lots of other greens to choose from:

Bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion, arugula, endive, chicory, romaine, mesclun, wild greens, swiss chard and beet greens to name a few.

I think the other point I really want to drive home here is that greens can taste AWESOME. You don’t have to think of lame old plain boiled spinach when you think of greens. Do you think I’d recommend something like that to you?

Here are some of my all-time favorite DELICIOUS greens recipes. Try them and you’ll never go back to your non-greens filled life.

kale avocado salad

The Simplest Green Smoothie

Green Guacamole

Green Mango Smoothie

My Favorite Green Juice

3 Easy Ways to Eat More Kale

Massaged Kale Salad

Lemony Kale Salad

Garlicky Kale

Kale Avocado Salad

Grapefruit Kale Salad

Buddha Bowl Salad

I have heard that city people should eat even more greens because they aren’t physically around natural greens as much. I believe that.

Do you have a ridiculously amazing way to eat or drink greens? Please share in the comments, clearly this is where I get my excitement in life. 😉




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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cut `n Clean Greens August 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

You are so right about all the nutritional benefits of kale! We love your collection of kale recipes, and are going to feature this on our Facebook page and link here so people can read your greens-inspired words and see your lovely photography. If you wish, come LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes and tips on greens like kale, chard, beet, mustard, turnip, collard, escarole, dandelion and other green leafies. https://www.facebook.com/Cut.n.Clean.Greens

–Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut `n Clean Greens
https://www.facebook.com/Cut.n.Clean.Greens

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Lindsay Nadramia August 15, 2012 at 11:24 am

No new ideas just a note of thanks-I have been drinking your “Simplest Green Smoothie” for breakfast every morning for about 3 months-about a week ago I went out for breakfast (one of my fave things to do) instead..I found myself staring at the menu wishing I had just drank a smoothie before I left the house! Plus it’s hilarious to watch my 18 month old son flip out until I give him some-we sit and share one everyday-thanks for the recipe Jenny-it’s amazing 🙂

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Liz Mauro August 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Love your recipes and blog! I am legit obsessed with kale as well. Kale avocado salad, kale juice, the works! I also like adding spirulina and other powdered greens to my smoothies and chewing chlorella tablets! The difference is unbelievable in how I look and feel when I am getting lots of greens in my diet!!!

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Megan August 16, 2012 at 10:43 am

Thanks for the great article Jenny! Your simple green smoothie got me blending my kale instead of just eating it with a fork! Just made a great dish with quickly sautéed kale, onion, red pepper with a splash of balsamic. The warm greens and balsamic were delish together!!

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The Hair Care Pro December 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

Fantastic advice and recipes! There are few foods better for you overall than greens. About two months ago, I started making myself eat at least one salad or “green” meal a day–keeping in mind that if I drowned the thing in ranch or other fatty dressings that it would defeat the purpose. It’s amazing how much it’s changed the way I feel and look, plus I’ve been saving a ton of money from eating out all the time. Thanks for sharing this!

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