Paleo/AIP Acceptable Food # 6: GREEN VEGETABLES
We have all been told at some point in our lives that we need to eat or finish our vegetables…it often came from mom! She was right! Eating our vegetables isn’t just good for the paleo and AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) folks but for EVERYONE! Vegetables can help our overall health and longevity!
Specifically, green vegetables can help reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, and obesity. These little green foods that are often rejected can go a long way with our health if we are willing to include them in our diet. We really should be eating a minimum of 8 servings per day of vegetables to really support our health. This is an even more stringent requirement if we are coping with any of the diseases mentioned above.
Let’s discuss how green vegetables can help fight our battles…
Our bodies can’t actually digest fiber but it’s a good thing! Probiotics are bacteria that live in our stomach and in order for them to do their job they need to consume fiber. Digestion can be a big issue for those who have autoimmune and similar diseases so fiber helps this process along while helping our probiotic companions.
Don’t make the mistake in believing that we can get all our minerals from a little synthetic pill...the best way to get our fill of minerals is by eating our veggies. Calcium can be found in dark green vegetables and helps build our bones and keeps our heart beating. Our leafy greens have copper which helps with absorption, storage, and the formation of red blood cells. Magnesium, also found in the leafy greens, is essential for cells to live and have the energy they need to perform their proper functions. Many more minerals are dependent on our willingness to consume our greens.
Plants use phytochemicals for an array of reasons from fighting off diseases and pests to plant pigment and scent. So what does it do for us? One type of phytochemical called polyphenols has antioxidant properties and helps prevent cell wall damage from free radicals. Flavonoids help reduce inflammation (big one for AIP folks) and have antibacterial properties. Plant Sterols help increase our good cholesterol (HDL) by blocking the absorption of the bad cholesterol (LDL). This is another great reason to include green vegetables in our diet.
Along with minerals, vitamins are best consumed and utilized in whole foods. Green vegetables are loaded with vitamins essential to us. B Vitamins help with metabolism, immune system, and nervous system functions. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant necessary for our immune systems and enzymes. Vitamin K helps important proteins in our body prevent blood clotting and boosts our metabolism.
Our Paleo Perfection Protein has an organic superfood blend that contains some green veggies including: organic broccoli, organic kale, and organic spinach. These are whole food powders that help supplement our need to consume green vegetables! Try it today! #autoimmunehn