Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens come in many different varieties, some of which are only seen in the warmer seasons, like lettuces & rocket, whilst others which are available almost all year round. Many are eaten fresh, some being suitable to store through winter. We should add leafy greens into our diet on a daily basis – steamed, boiled, baked, in soups, homemade pesto, and stir fries etc.
Common examples of leafy greens are:
Microgreens: sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, wheatgrass etc
There are too many to list them all, especially if we include all the wild plants we can forage & eat – such as Chickweed, Dandelion leaf, Jack-by-the-Hedge and Ramsons etc.
Leafy greens contain high levels of:
- Fibre normalizes bowel movements by increasing the weight and size of your stool and softening it
- Iron creates healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
- Magnesium for bone health & to support calcium absorption and decrease stress effects
- Potassium helps muscles contract, the heart beat healthily and to regulate blood pressure.
- Calcium for your heart, bones, muscles & nerves.
- The dark greens act as antioxidants in the body & supply a significant amount of folate, a B vitamin that promotes heart health and helps prevent birth defects.
Chinese medicine uses Leafy Greens to:
- Nourish the Blood
- Regulate Qi
- Clear Heat
- Eliminate excess Fluid
Nourishing the blood: is an important factor in improving fertility.
If you are ‘blood deficient’ your menstrual cycle can become irregular, follicles may not develop fully & the endometrium may not reach an ideal thickness. There may also be dizziness, feeling cold easily, cold extremities, & general fatigue.
Regulating your Qi (energy): is also an important factor as your Qi needs to circulate constantly to keep all processes in your body flowing and functioning properly. These processes include: regularity of your menstrual cycle, menstruation itself, ovulation, hormone regulation and production, circulation of energy and blood to your cells and tissue (including egg and sperm cells), energy production, blood production, immune regulation and much more.
Leafy greens help to keep all of these processes functioning well.
Clearing Heat: means to keep levels of inflammation reduced.
Eliminating excess fluids: is to prevent fluid retention and waste build up.
If fluids are allowed to accumulate they can hinder nourishment of the cells (eggs and sperm), along with creating mucus build up in the reproductive organs. This build up negatively impacts fallopian tube health (by blocking the tubes), the ovaries (by allowing cysts to develop), and coating the endometrium (by coating it with too much mucus), which may block implantation of an embryo.
Eating cooked leafy greens should be a vital part of your daily diet to help with all of the above.
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