St Patrick’s PaleoBy Mary Clifton, MD
Paleo on St. Patrick’s Day! Low calorie, high protein, high fiber greens are a paleo staple that will rock your St. Pat’s party. Green leafy vegetables reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent cancer, and lower risk of death from all causes.
When we chew cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, by choice, and onions, the phytochemicals released suppress the activity of adhesion molecules on the endothelium to prevent binding of inflammatory cells, reducing inflammation and atherosclerosis. These phytochemicals also maintain the integrity of the blood brain barrier, protecting the brain from harmful chemicals or toxins that may be circulating in the bloodstream.
Oxidative stress is known to be a significant contributor to inflammation and also cardiac disease. Green leafy vegetables are loaded with antioxidant enzymes. Other phytochemicals from plant foods also suppress information, including anthocyanins found in berries and it resveratol found in grapes and peanuts.
Greens contain less than 100 calories per pound. People trying to lose weight can consume virtually unlimited quantities of greens, and just get healthier in the process. Our paleo ancestors almost certainly chewed greens as they were hunting and gathering over the course of their day, constantly dosing themselves with healing phytochemicals. In addition, they were getting an excellent source of carotenoids, for folate, calcium, and healthy omega 3 fats with every low calorie bite.
If you want excellent health, this is the best first step. Grab a container of the darkest, greenest leafy vegetable that you can tolerate (some are bitter and hard to eat if you’re not used to them), and munch all day long while you are running your errands, or spending time at work, or managing your household. Monitor your energy levels, your bowel function, and your mental clarity. Adding these dark green leafy vegetables to your diet will not only extend your life, but also dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Worried about your calcium? While calcium absorption from milk is about 32%, green leafy vegetables are not only high in calcium, but have a calcium absorption rate of over 50%. In addition, green leafies make the body more alkaline. Choose green leafies to get your calcium and avoid the hormones and contamination found in dairy products.
Dr. Mary is the co-founder of Get Waisted and an internal medicine MD. She can be found doing her rounds while sneaking in those dark leafies at every chance! For premium dark leafy green recipes and in-depth support, join our community!
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