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5 Good Reasons to Love Your Greens

If you haven’t fallen in love with leafy greens yet, there’s no better time!

Leafy greens, including collards, kale, spinach, arugula, and chard are among the best foods you can eat. Dr. Greger, doctor and author of the book “How Not to Die”, promotes a plant-based diet for best health. Included in his “Daily Dozen” list of foods to eat, he recommends two servings of greens a day and says, “Eating greens nearly every day may be one of the most powerful steps you can take to prolong your life.” And who doesn’t want to live as long and healthy a life as they possibly can?

Here are five more good reasons to love your greens:

1. Just look at the name of the category–greens–and that will give you a hint about their superpower. Plants get their green color from chlorophyll. Scientists found that chlorophyll acts as an interceptor for carcinogens that slip into our DNA and create mutations that can lead to cancer.

2. A recent study found that those who ate the most leafy greens each day had slower rates of cognitive decline compared to those who ate the least.

3. Beta-carotene, the plant pigment that we normally associate with carrots, is also hiding in leafy greens. Imagine the leaves in the fall, as they lose chlorophyll (the pigment that makes them green), you can see the red, orange, and yellow pigments those leaves contain underneath. Beta-carotene can give your skin a youthful glow.

4. Think you need dairy to get your calcium? Research has shown that milk consumption has no protective effect on fracture risk and may even increase the risk of hip fractures among women. You can get plenty of calcium for supporting optimal bone health from dark, leafy greens.

5. Greens can help create a healthy response to inflammation that leads to all kinds of trouble. Leafy greens contain antioxidants and polyphenols, disease-fighting compounds that can help prevent and reverse many chronic illnesses–they essentially cool things down. Some foods that contribute to inflammation are sugar, refined carbs, dairy, and meat.

So eat your greens every day; in smoothies, sautéed with garlic, in soup, in a salad, how about pesto? A daily dose will do you good!

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