Whenever I go to the market, I am delighted to see the beets with their long leaves still attached! Why? Because they are packed with nutrients and can be used in a variety of ways! Just a heads up that beet greens do contain a lot of oxalates, so if you have kidney or gallbladder issues, it might be best to steer clear from these greens!
Phytonutrients or “plant nutrients” are important to include in our daily diet. They come in many classes including carotenoids, flavonoids, and sulfides. Phytonutrients are responsible for the way a plant looks, smells, and tastes. When your steamed veggies start to change color (for example, your kale becomes a beautiful deep green), that reaction is centered around the plants phytonutrients. The bitter taste found in some of fruits and vegetables are also a result of these substances. Why do we need to include phytonutrients in our diet? They have been shown to help slow down the aging process, prevent cancers, promote a healthy heart and good blood pressure. They are also loaded with antioxidants to help our immune system stay strong. Try including broccoli, kale, cilantro, blueberries, oranges, tomatoes, or sweet potatoes into your meals this week for a healthy dose of phytonutrients!
Did you know that parsley is a powerful little plant full of amazing health benefits? It’s dark green color comes from the chlorophyll content which makes it good for cleansing the body. Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C, folate, and iron. It also contains some bone-building calcium and heart-healthy potassium. If you suffer from bad breath, try chewing on a sprig of parsley! It has a long history of being used as a natural breath freshener. Parsley also contains some tryptophan, it can help promote sleepiness at night. Parsley is also a good source of free-radical fighting manganese.