5 Super Greens For The Adventurous (And Healthy) Eater
Add These Greens To Your Diet To Supercharge Your System
1 February, 2013 by
5 Super Greens For The Adventurous (And Healthy) Eater
Sun Chlorella USA

Without question, chlorella is my favorite green food. Nothing matches its nutrition power, its concentrated chlorophyll or its unique chlorella growth factor.

But just because I love this green, doesn't mean I don't appreciate the attributes of other super greens out there. The way I see it, the more green goodness you get in your diet, the better. And the more you mix it up, better yet. Each plant on this planet has its own unique nutritional value - not to mention the different flavors and aesthetic appeal!

So while the growing season is going strong, here's my list of greens you should look for and add to your plate.But be forewarned, they may take a little extra effort to put on the table . . .

Some of the greens mentioned here you can find at any old grocer. Some you might have to befriend a gourmet-green-growing farmer to get a hold of.

And some, you might have to go looking for on your own. I've only seen them in the wild.

Super Green #1: Kale

Now, kale may seem easy to find. But while you can probably find bunches of this increasingly common green in your grocer, you may be missing out on the best stuff. Usually what you find there is big and tough. You won't be able to fully enjoy this super vegetable's finer qualities . . .

See, most recipes tell you to remove the leafy part from the stem and toss the stem. These instructions evolved from limited selection at the supermarket. But the stem is half the delight.If you get it young enough, kale leaves with their stems can be eaten in their entirety.

And the stem offers a nice crispy crunch. Put them in your salad, stir fry, bake as chips or even toss them in a green smoothie.
Kale gives you the special cancer-fighting sulfur compounds, isothicyanates, found in all vegetables in the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, etc.). [1] It offers a good dose of calcium, vitamin A and the hard to find vitamin K which is excellent for bone health.[2]In addition, kale can help you with your cholesterol levels. When steamed, research indicates it binds with bile acids. Bile acids are made with cholesterol. And when kale's compounds binds with bile, your body then has to use cholesterol up to make new bile acids. Consequently your cholesterol levels go down. Kale is one of the best vegetables for binding with bile in this manner. [3]

Super Green #2: Orach

I deliberately left spinach off the list because - after lettuce - it's the first green everyone thinks of. We're going for adventure! Instead, I opted for what many consider a fine substitute for spinach - orach. Orach grows wild on the beach or in desert environments. It also has long been a favorite green to cultivate in hot climates where spinach goes to seed rather than producing leaves. It tastes like a mild form of spinach. But unlike spinach, when it's sunny and dry, orach thrives.

Powerpacked with nutrition, orach gives you iron, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. And while most orach is green, if you're lucky you can find some of the red or purple variety. These glorious hues come from anthocyanins - the same brain-protective pigments found in blueberries.

Wild orach is a traditional remedy for diabetes in Arabic medicine. Lab research bears this out. It seems orach has a similar effect on the glucose-transporting molecule, GLUT4 as insulin and consequently helps reduce blood sugar levels effectively. [4]

Super Green #3: Arugula

Want to add some kick to your salad? Try arugula, also aptly known as rocket. A fiery green, arugula has a hint of peppery flavor, a nice, light crispiness and shoots up quickly in the right conditions.Related to kale, arugula contains the same groups of cancer-fighting sulfur compounds, isothiocyanates.

Better yet, it seems to help bring out these compounds in other vegetables, like broccoli. According to research presented by the American Institute For Cancer research, raw arugula provides a hefty supply of the enzyme, myrosinase. As researcher, Dr. Elizabeth Jeffrey explains, this enzyme is necessary for bringing out the sulfur compounds in vegetables like broccoli. But cooking too long can destroy it.

By adding some chopped, raw arugula with its myrosinase to your broccoli or cabbage, you can increase the amount of these important cancer-fighting compounds you get from your broccoli. 
[5]In addition to this special enzyme and the sulfur compound it helps make, arugula contains vitamin A, K and many minerals like calcium. It also is high in many B vitamins like folate and vitamin C.Look for young arugula cuttings. According to research, younger plants have a higher concentration of these special compounds. [6] 

If you're lucky, you might find a farmer selling arugula with the flowers - white with dark pink veins. Edible like the leaves, these blossoms can add some spice and beauty to your salad.

 Super Green #4: Mustard

Not all mustard is yellow and comes in a jar.

Mustard greens are a favorite in Japanese cooking and come in many different shapes and colors. However, all of them have some degree of mustard-y hotness. Apple green mizuna adds a beautiful feathery leaf to your mix. And the garnet or purple varieties start with bright green at the stem and shift into deep purples and reds.But mustard greens aren't only stars when it comes to flavor and looks. They also are nutrition powerhouses. Like kale, by binding with bile acids, steamed mustard greens can help lower cholesterol. They have the highest concentration of the cancer-fighting sulfur compounds found in this family of vegetables. [7] 

If you're interested in detoxing, include these in your diet plans. These same sulfur compounds seem to boost the body's two-phase detox system.

Super Green #5: Stinging Nettles 

Okay, here's the green variety for the truly adventurous.

For not only is it highly unlikely you'll find fresh stinging nettles anywhere but in the wild, but - as their name implies - they are also somewhat painful to pick. Covered with tiny hairs filled with formic acid, histamine and acetylcholine, nettles are known to leave a mark on the skin they come in contact. The pain is temporary and then fades to a slight pins and needles sensation.

In fact, traditional healers and modern researchers have shown nettles work as a remedy for joint pain. 
[9] Nonetheless, you might have to endure a little discomfort - or wear gloves - to harvest this special plant.However, once you cook these greens with a bite, you're in for a treat. 

Eleuthero researcher and herbal medicine expert, Donald Yance says nettles are one of his favorite superfoods. He eats them two or three times a week.

High in iron, nettles have a history of helping with anemia. Clinical research has shown they help cure allergies. In Chinese medicine, nettles are thought to help the kidneys and protect the lungs. Both of these uses have also been borne out by research. [10]

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