At the grocery store, my shopping cart can sometimes be mistaken for a lush green jungle. Some of my favorite green veggies are spinach, kale, beet greens, mustard greens, collard greens, arugula, Swiss chard, and lettuces of all varieties. I eat greens every single day, and I love them.
Dark leafy greens are the biggest celebrity of my Keto-Green diet, including the Keto-Green Extreme plan, featured in my new book MenuPause™. Greens are highly alkalinizing, and an alkaline body is healthier, with ample minerals and other nutrients. Hormonally, an alkaline diet assists the body in burning fat, because (along with a low-carb diet) it decreases levels of belly-fat-forming cortisol. Alkaline foods also support detoxification and help usher toxins from the body.
In addition to the benefit of alkalinity, leafy greens are:
- Beneficial to the brain. It helps prevent mental decline as a result of aging, according to a 2018 study published in Neurology.
- Rich in cardioprotective nutrients
- Full of magnesium
- A non-dairy source of calcium
- Packed with the antioxidant vitamins A and C
- One of the best sources of vitamin K
- Jam-packed with lutein and zeaxanthin which help protect against eye disease
- High in a plant chemical called sulforaphane, which is effective in preventing and treating various cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, skin, urinary bladder and oral cancers
- Rich in the B vitamin folic acid, which helps prevent neural tube defects
- Fiber-rich for great gut health
- High in resveratrol, a naturally occurring polyphenol that has potent regenerative, anti-oxidative, and cancer-fighting properties
Despite these rockstar benefits, not everyone loves greens. If you’re a member of that group, here are 5 ways to sneak greens into your diet.
- Add frozen greens to your smoothies. I like to buy bags of organic spinach and kale. After getting home from the grocery store, I freeze them. When I’m ready to make a smoothie, I toss a cup of frozen greens into my blender along with some nut milk, a few berries, vegan protein powder, and some almond butter, and I have a delicious, cold, thick smoothie to enjoy. The best part is that frozen greens don’t have much flavor. You don’t know they are there! But you’re amping up your nutrition so easily.
- Stir them into stews and soups. Chopped greens make a great addition to these dishes. As with smoothies, they do not alter the flavor, but they definitely boost the nutrition.
- Use greens as sandwich wraps. Who needs bread when you’ve got big leaves of greens? I sub in greens as wraps for sandwiches and tacos. Even the healthiest breads, tortillas, and pitas are high in carbs. With Keto-Green, we’re cutting carbs, because in midlife, our bodies no longer metabolize them as well. Green wraps are the perfect swaps for these high-carb bready foods.
- Turn greens into homemade pesto. I love pesto sauce, especially over zoodles (spiralized zucchini) and spaghetti squash. You can make pesto with any green. Simply blend the green with some olive oil, pine nuts, fresh garlic, lemon juice, and some nutritional yeast – and voila, you have a delicious pesto.
- Place chopped greens on cauliflower pizza crust. Who doesn’t love pizza? On Keto-Green, we swap out high-carb pizza crust with cauliflower crust, plus toppings. Make one of the toppings chopped spinach. Yum!
Want more information on how to slip more greens into your diet? Order your copy of MenuPause™ now and start reaping the many benefits of greens. You can also get a taste of some of the recipes in this ebook: Recipes for Menopause.