Here’s a Question for you
What seasonal food is packed with nutrients, cheap, delicious and can help reduce inflammation in your body (which has been linked to pretty much all the modern lifestyle diseases – everything from autoimmune diseases, heart disease, and cancer to obesity, diabetes, and dementia)?
Believe it or not, its one of our great British vegetables that has been sadly under appreciated for far too long. Making a comeback in trendy Brooklyn and drunk with gusto by the Japanese in aojiru (literally “green juice”) and championed by health coaches all over the world, if you’re not in the habit of eating this veggie superstar I strongly recommend you reconsider this winter … and here’s why.
“Eat your greens!”
I don’t think I’ve ever actually thanked my mother for drumming this into me over the kitchen table. At the time, she was pretty progressive – eschewing the traditional boil-it-to-submission cooking methods of my Grandmother teaching me to gently steam our veggies until ‘al dente’. Wise, wise advice that I’m ashamed to say it took me a couple of decades to truly appreciate.
Leafy greens are amongst the easiest and most beneficial foods that you can add to your daily diet. Densely packed with a whole range of vitamins (A,C, E and K) plus a multitude of vital minerals too, they are crammed full of fibre, folic acid, magnesium, iron and calcium. And the king of the greens, which is genuinely my favourite, is in season right now – wonderful, gorgeous, green glossy kale!
Better than dairy?
Now here’s an interesting fact – did you know that kale has MORE calcium in it weight for weight than whole milk (135mg/100g compared with 113mg/100g). Surprised? I was stunned I didn’t know this – I mean we all think the best source of calcium is dairy right? But I suppose the thing is that there isn’t a ‘kale marketing board’ to tell us such facts – and we tend to remember the messages that we are shown through advertising.
A nutritional star
But once you start to tune into why Green stuff (and Kale in particular) might be a good thing to try to eat more of, the evidence is compelling. You’ll find research suggesting that Greens can help to support your body pretty much from head to toe! Things like helping to:
- purify your blood,
- strengthen your immune system,
- improve liver, gall bladder and kidney function,
- help to fight depression,
- help to clear congestion,
- improve circulation and
- keep your skin clear and gorgeous!
So if you’re not yet in the habit of eating Kale at this time of year, I urge you to give it a go. Here are two of my favourite quick and easy (but yummy) recipes to get you inspired: