Greens are the least consumed food in the standard American diet, and the most essential for inner and outer health. They come the closest of any food to meeting our ideal nutritional requirements. It probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that romaine lettuce has more fiber than sirloin, but you may not know that calorie for calorie, it has double the protein, ten times the amount of iron, and a hundred times more calcium. If you asked me to recommend the one thing that would have the biggest impact on the health of your gut and skin, it would be to eat as many leafy green vegetables as you can.
If you want to encourage the growth of good bacteria, heal inflammation, improve motility, crowd out parasites, eliminate yeast, get rid of belly fat, dissolve gallstones, balance your pH, quiet down your irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), prevent diverticulosis, cut your risk of colon cancer in half, boost your energy, lose weight, banish your bloat, and really glow from the inside out, then the single most important thing you need to do is eat greens every single day.
There’s a lot to choose from: kale, spinach, chard, collards, parsley, turnip greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, beet greens, arugula, broccoli, bok choy, and all kinds of lettuce. And a lot of ways to fix them: steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, boiled, roasted, raw, in salads, in smoothies, or on their own. However you eat them, leafy greens are the embodiment of food as medicine. You don’t have to like them; you just have to eat them. If you do nothing else, commit to eating leafy greens every day for the next ten days and I promise you, amazing things will start to happen inside and out.
By: Dr. Robynne Chutkan